The competition is currently closed. Please check back in early August.



The Graduate School, in collaboration with the Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships (ONSF), is pleased to announce the continuation of UConn’s ambitious incentive program to encourage faculty to take a more active role in advising students who apply for prestigious, nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships.

Under this program, UConn and UCHC faculty are eligible for up to $1,500 in rewards for mentoring students through the process of developing proposals and submitting applications for eligible awards.  In the program’s first two years, more than $200,000 have been awarded. Applications for the 2018-19 round of funding will open around the beginning of August.

Program Rationale and Goals

Many UConn students are promising candidates for individual fellowships, but many who are eligible do not apply.  Faculty advising, mentoring, and support are vital to the development of quality proposals and successful applications.  Therefore, The Graduate School and ONSF created the National Fellowships Incentive Program (NFIP) to broaden and deepen faculty involvement in this particular form of mentoring and to encourage submission of high quality applications from students enrolled in disciplines in which individual fellowships are available.


Program Description

The Graduate School will provide a monetary incentive for faculty advisers who mentor their research advisees through the process of applying for individual fellowships funded by extramural agencies or foundations. Faculty members whose research advisees apply for an eligible individual fellowship (e.g. NSF-GRFP, NIH-NRSA R31, Ford Foundation Dissertation Completion, SSRC-IDRF, etc.) will be awarded $1,000, which will be deposited into an unrestricted research account (Ledger 4).

The NFIP is an incentive program designed to broaden and deepen faculty involvement in fellowships advising.  Therefore, to qualify for this award, the application must be reviewed prior to submission by the student’s faculty mentor, who must verify to ONSF that the student’s application meets his or her personal and professional standard of quality and/or competiveness.

After the application has been submitted, the faculty adviser will provide an electronic copy of the complete application along with evidence that the application has been received by the granting agency or foundation.  The $1,000 award is given for initial submissions only. While students are encouraged to apply for more than one fellowship, faculty are only eligible for one award per student per year, with a maximum of two awards for mentoring any single student over the course of that student’s career.

If a student’s application is funded, the faculty adviser will receive an additional financial reward of $500, deposited in his or her unrestricted research account (faculty are limited to two $500 payments per year and a total NFIP award of $2,000).  For faculty to receive the $500 award, their advisees must provide permission for ONSF to share their successful (de-identified) application with future internal applicants served by the office. Non-UConn students will not be allowed to review these successful applications.  Applicants with concerns about proprietary elements of their proposals should contact ONSF Director Vin Moscardelli ( or STEM Fellowships Advisor Rowena Grainger ( to discuss their concerns.



For purposes of this program, an eligible fellowship award is defined as having all of the following features:


1) It is nationally competitive;

2) It is an individual, not institutional, award (please note that this renders most training grant programs ineligible for this program);

3) It is intended by the granting agency or foundation to be the student’s sole or primary source of support during the fellowship period;

4) The fellowship period is no less than nine months in duration;

5) The fellowship carries with it a stipend equal to or greater than 75% of a nine month UConn graduate assistantship at the level appropriate to the student’s status at the time the award begins (see below); and,

6) The fellowship carries with it some associated programming and/or professional development/networking opportunities during or beyond the fellowship term.  Examples include NSF’s GRIP and GROW programs and DOE-CSGF’s lab practica.  (Dissertation completion awards that meet the first five criteria are not subject to this final requirement.)


This plan is available to faculty advisers of students in any degree program discipline in which extramural individual fellowship funding is available. To be eligible for this incentive, the award must provide a stipend equal to or more than 75% of a nine-month UConn graduate assistantship at the level appropriate for the student’s status at the time the award begins (current amounts listed here).

Applications for non-research fellowships, training programs, institutional awards, scholarships to study abroad, or grants for travel and other supplementary research funding, will not be eligible for an incentive award under this program.

A list of pre-approved fellowship programs is available here and as a dropdown menu in the online application.  However this list is not meant to be exhaustive.  Faculty whose students apply for eligible awards that do not appear on the list of pre-approved fellowships may, and are encouraged to, submit documentation of eligibility through the online application.

Exceptions.  The following scholarship, fellowship, and research training/support opportunities are not eligible for the NFIP:  Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, Schwarzman, Knight-Hennessy, Beinecke, Truman, Udall, Fulbright Study Awards, Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships, Fulbright Summer Institutes, Critical Language Scholarships, NIH-R36 Dissertation Awards, and NSF-Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement (DDRI) Grants.


Application Information and Relevant Deadlines

Due to budgetary constraints, applications will be broken up into two pools: the fall pool and the spring pool. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and faculty are encouraged to submit their online applications within 30 days of the date the student’s fellowship application is submitted.
However, in no instance will applications associated with fellowships with deadlines that fall between July 1 and December 31 be accepted after the first day of classes of the spring semester. Similarly, all applications associated with fellowships with deadlines that fall between January 1 and May 31
must be submitted before June 15.


Checklist (materials and information you’ll need to assemble before you start the online application)

To receive the application incentive ($1,000) the following materials are required.  They should be submitted via the online application available at

_____  An electronic (*.pdf preferred) copy of the completed scholarship or fellowship application, including all associated personal statements and research proposals.

_____  Verification from the faculty adviser (via an attestation in the online application) that he or she has reviewed the application and believes that it meets his or her personal or professional standard of quality and/or competitiveness.

_____  Documentation that the stipend provided by the fellowship equals or exceeds that of 75% of a nine-month UConn graduate assistantship at the level appropriate for the student’s status at the time the award begins. (Note: This requirement is waived for fellowships that appear in the pre-approved (dropdown) list in the application.)

_____  Verification of receipt of the application by the funding agency. (A screenshot of the confirmation Email is sufficient.)

_____  Student applicant’s UConn Email address and NetID (abc12345 format).

_____  Ledger 4 account number into which funds should be distributed (if available).

_____  Name and Email of staff member who administers the Ledger 4 account (required to coordinate the transfer of funds from the Graduate School to faculty adviser’s account).


What if my Student Wins?

If the student’s application is successfully funded, the faculty mentor should send a copy of the award notice to in order to receive the additional $500 financial reward described in the Plan Description.


Additional Clarifications and Information Specific to the 2018-19 Program

Applications for the 2018-19 round of funding open in early August.  The Graduate School and ONSF anticipate funding all eligible requests, but reserve the right to discontinue or suspend the program subject to the availability of funds.

Faculty who advise a large number of students applying for eligible fellowships should note that there is currently no limit to the number of $1,000 application incentive payments a faculty mentor may receive.  However, individual faculty are limited to total payout of $2,000 in any academic year.

Faculty who advise individual students who apply for several eligible awards in a single year are encouraged to contact ONSF Director Vin Moscardelli at for guidance. Please note that mentors do not have to “gamble” on which eligible fellowship they think their student has the best chance of winning. They’re encouraged to submit applications for every eligible fellowship for which their students apply.

Fellowship applications with deadlines (internal for those requiring institutional nomination or endorsement; external otherwise) that fell before July 1, 2018 are not eligible for 2018-19 round of funding.

While most NFIP awards go to faculty whose graduate students apply for eligible fellowships, please be aware that the program also provides payments to mentors of UConn undergraduates who apply for NFIP-eligible awards regardless of where those students plan to attend graduate school. For example, in 2018, three times as many undergraduates won NSF-GRFPs as graduate students.



The Graduate School and Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships encourage all faculty to increase their efforts to advise and mentor graduate and advanced undergraduate students through the process of developing proposals and submitting applications for prestigious, nationally and internationally competitive scholarship and fellowships and to participate in this new incentive program.  Those with questions about the program or their eligibility are encouraged to contact ONSF Director Vin Moscardelli at, or to call 860-486-4223.


Proceed to the online application