SPHHS Dean's Incentive Programs
Learn about internal funding opportunities offered by the dean.
SPHHS Dean’s Fellowship
Academic year 2023-2024
SPHHS – full-time PhD student non-working fellowships, 2023-2024
- First review deadline: Jan. 15
- Second review deadline: Feb. 15
The dean of the SPHHS will offer several PhD fellowships to nationally competitive new doctoral student applicants. Total number dependent on funding available in any given year. The intent of this program is to facilitate the recruitment of top-quality doctoral students to the SPHHS. We especially encourage nominations of students who will contribute to promoting equity and inclusion within our graduate programs.
Potential Indicators of Nationally Competitive Applicants
- Presentations at national meetings and/or peer-reviewed publications
- Experience in writing for and/or receiving extramural funds
- Exceptional work experience within their field and within communities
Term of Appointment
Each fellowship is for one year but can be renewed for a second year provided the student achieves excellent academic standing in their first year and funds are available (see instructions below to apply for a second year of funding).
Each fellow will receive up to $15,000 per year from the dean’s office. All funds received from the dean’s office must be matched by either departmental funds or faculty funds (minimum $10,000 per year). Dean’s funding will begin in September and end in May. Additional funding beyond the combined $25,000 is encouraged, such as grant funding during the summer.
- Each fellow will be recruited by a specific faculty member who will commit to funding two years of the fellow’s program for a minimum of $10,000/year. This commitment can be from departmental funds (including funding as TA), the specific faculty’s grants, RTF, or start-up.
- During year one of the fellowship, the recipient must maintain excellent academic standing, and either present a poster and/or submit a scientific abstract to a national meeting or be a coauthor on a manuscript. Presentations at the SPHHS Research Day do not meet this requirement.
- During year two of the fellowship (if awarded), the fellow must apply for an external predoctoral fellowship or grant to support their dissertation work. Examples of appropriate grant applications include a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, the Ford Predoctoral Diversity Fellowship or other fellowship/grant appropriate to the student’s discipline. More information is provided below.
- Preference will be given to applicants who already have a master’s level degree or equivalent. Students currently enrolled in a UMass master’s degree program are eligible to apply.
Application and Evaluation Process for Initial Funding
Applications will be reviewed in two rounds. Initial fellowship requests are due no later than Jan. 15, and the second round is due no later than Feb. 15. After that date, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and funded only if monies are available.
The Graduate Program director or Admissions Committee chair should submit a complete application here, which includes the following:
The full graduate school application packet.
- A statement from the nominating faculty member. This letter should highlight the strengths of the applicant, describe how this applicant will contribute to the faculty’s research, and outline plans for the applicant to apply for a predoctoral fellowship in their second year.
- A statement from the chair/faculty committing the funds for the department/faculty share over the course of the fellow’s tenure, including specific source.
Applications will be reviewed by the Associate Deans for Research and Graduate Studies with a final decision made by the Dean. If possible, final decisions will be made in time to offer the potential student funding along with his or her acceptance into the specific department’s PhD program.
Application and Evaluation Process for a Second Year of Funding
The student’s faculty advisor must electronically submit the following materials by May 26, 2023:
- A letter from the faculty advisor that includes:
- A description of the student’s progress during the first year
- Evidence of excellent academic standing
- The name and submission date of the predoctoral fellowship program to which the student will apply.
- A copy of the abstract, poster, or manuscript submitted in year 1
Applications will be reviewed by the Associate Deans for Research and Graduate Studies with a final decision made by the Dean.
SPHHS Dean’s Dissertation Completion Award (aka SPHHS Summer PhD Fellowships)
The dean of the SPHHS will offer $7,000 summer fellowships to provide support for PhD students in excellent standing to pursue the completion of their doctoral dissertations during the summer months.
Must be a full-time PhD student in excellent standing, be within the last 12 to 18 months of their doctoral program at the time of the award, and not be a prior recipient of a Dean’s Summer Fellowship award. A mentor must be identified for the summer months when the fellowship will be provided. Preference will be given to students who are actively working on their dissertation, and have no other source of funding (i.e., teaching, scholarships/fellowships, etc.) for the summer. Students may supplement with RA funds if the research is related to their dissertation. Students provided the award are required to submit a one-page report of what was accomplished during the summer by Friday, September 1, 2023; the report should be emailed to Shannon Leclair (leclair [at] umass [dot] edu (leclair[at]umass[dot]edu)), with a cc to their faculty mentor.
Nomination and Evaluation Process
Students do not apply for these fellowships directly. They must be nominated by their faculty mentors. The nomination deadline is April 7, 2023. Fellowships will begin early summer contingent on timely completion of all necessary department-level administrative steps.
Nominations to include: (1) a copy of the student’s CV, (2) letter of nomination and commitment from the faculty mentor, and (3) the completed nomination form.
Nominations should be sent electronically to Shannon Leclair at leclair [at] umass [dot] edu (leclair[at]umass[dot]edu).
A review committee will consider all applications, and decisions are anticipated in two to three weeks of the application deadline. The student will be notified directly, along with their faculty mentor and the graduate program director.
SPHHS Dean’s Research Enhancement Opportunity, 2023-2024
SPHHS faculty may apply to the Dean’s office for funding to enhance an existing or new research program. The goal of this award program is to assist the faculty member in generating preliminary data needed to strengthen larger extramural grant applications. Applications that represent a new collaboration between SPHHS faculty members are particularly encouraged.
We anticipate that the average size of these awards will be $10,000 and we will fund about four awards. With strong justification, proposals requesting up to $20,000 will be considered for funding. Funds will be available for the semester and/or summer following the award unless extenuating circumstances require funds more quickly and may not be used for faculty salary.
Faculty receiving this award are required to submit a one-page final report within three months of project completion that describes project outcomes and submitted/planned grant applications related to the award.
- Eligibility: Full-time faculty at the SPHHS are eligible for Dean’s Research Enhancement funding. Faculty members can receive only one Research Enhancement Opportunity award every two years.
- To apply for funds: a faculty member must submit the following:
- A description of the proposed project (up to two pages, single spaced). Describe what you are proposing to do and why. Address both significance of the research area, and how this award will provide preliminary data for a larger extramural grant application. Also indicate if the application represents a new collaboration.
- An itemized budget, timeline, and scope of work for the project. Awardees will be required to keep an itemized budget of expenditures.
- The dollar amount of RTF and/or start-up funds currently available to the applicant.
- A copy of the RFP for the grant application (including due dates) to which the faculty member intends to submit.
- An email from the department chair indicating support of the application.
All materials should be emailed with the header “Dean’s Research Enhancement Opportunity 2023-2024” with one pdf document attached. The email should be sent to Shannon Leclair, Leclair [at] umass [dot] edu (Leclair[at]umass[dot]edu), by Friday, November 3rd, 2023.
Additional Potential Nationally Competitive Predoctoral Fellowship Programs
- The Fogarty Institute has potential sources for predoctoral funding on its website.
- NIH has funding for diversity in health-related research, including the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellowships to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research.
- The American Heart Association offers a predoctoral fellowship that is open to international and non-international students.
- We have compiled a list of additional opportunities, organized by department, in a OneDrive folder: selected from the following search engine: UI Urbana/Champaign Fellowship finder.
For information on additional opportunities and guidance, graduate students are encouraged to contact the Graduate Student Grant Services Office.