The National Fellowships Incentive Program (NFIP) application is now live. We apologize for the delay.
The Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships (ONSF), is pleased to announce the continuation of UConn’s ambitious incentive program to build a stronger student and faculty culture around applying for prestigious, nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships.
Under this program, all UConn faculty on all campuses (including UCHC) are eligible for up to $2,500 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 in professional development funds have been awarded. Applications for the 2018-19 round of funding are now open.
This year, ONSF is pleased to extend the incentive program to benefit UConn graduate students directly. Full-time graduate students who apply for NFIP-eligible fellowships will receive up to $500 for submitting their applications and completing the NFIP application.
Program Rationale and Goals
Many UConn students are promising candidates for individual fellowships, but many who are eligible do not apply. ONSF believes that faculty advising, mentoring, and support are vital to the development of quality proposals and successful applications. Therefore, in 2016, 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.
This year, the incentive program has been extended to graduate students. Graduate students who apply for eligible fellowships (see below) may have up to $500 applied towards their fee bill in exchange for an agreement to share elements of their application with future UConn students who are applying for the same (or similar) awards. At this time, undergraduates are not eligible for these payouts. However, faculty who mentor undergraduate applicants are eligible for the faculty incentive.
Program Description: Graduate Students
To receive their stipends, after submitting their external fellowship application, graduate students must simply complete the internal NFIP application, which is available online via the link at the bottom of this page.
All full-time graduate students in good standing who submit applications for eligible individual fellowships funded by extramural agencies or foundations are eligible. Students who apply for an eligible individual fellowship (e.g. NSF-GRFP, NIH-NRSA R31, Ford Foundation Dissertation Completion, SSRC-IDRF, etc.) will be awarded a $500 scholarship payment, which will be applied towards their fee bill. If the student has a fee bill balance of $0.00, the Bursar’s office will cut a check.
After the fellowship application has been submitted to the funding agency or foundation, the student 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 $500 award is given for initial submissions only. While students are encouraged to apply for more than one fellowship, students are only eligible for one award per year, with a maximum of two awards to any single student over the course of that student’s career.
To receive the student funds, two conditions apply:
First, the student’s faculty mentor must independently verify to ONSF that he or she has reviewed the proposal and that the student’s application meets the research mentor’s personal and professional standard of quality and/or competitiveness. This verification appears in the faculty portion of the online application.
Second, graduate students must submit their completed applications to ONSF and provide permission for ONSF staff to share de-identified elements of their successful application(s) with future internal applicants served by the office. (This permission is embedded in the online application.) Non-UConn students will not be allowed to review these successful applications. Applicants with concerns about proprietary or deeply personal elements of their proposals and/or personal statements should contact ONSF Director Vin Moscardelli (firstname.lastname@example.org) or STEM Fellowships Advisor Rowena Grainger (email@example.com) to discuss their concerns before sharing their applications.
Program Description: Faculty
ONSF 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. Please note that at this time, the specific payment mechanism is unclear. However, the program is funded, and payments for fellowships with fall application deadlines should be made before December 31, 2018. In past years, funds have been deposited into Ledger 4 professional development accounts.
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.
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. Furthermore, under this program, no individual faculty member may receive a payout of more than $2,500 in a single academic year.
If a student’s application is funded, the faculty adviser will receive an additional financial reward of up to $500 (unless such payment would push the adviser above the $2,500/AY cap).
Graduate Students: All full-time UConn graduate students in good standing are eligible for this program.
Faculty: All tenured, tenure track, research, and in-residence faculty at all UConn campuses are eligible for this program.
Undergraduate Students: At this point, undergraduate students are not eligible to receive payouts under this program. However, faculty whose undergraduate mentees apply for eligible fellowships are eligible for the faculty portion of the program.
Fellowships & Scholarships: 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 (usually stated clearly in CFPs or program guidelines);
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 (current amounts listed here); 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.)
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 (research awards are eligible), Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships, Fulbright Summer Institutes, Boren Scholarships (Boren Fellowships are eligible), Critical Language Scholarships, NIH-R36 Dissertation Awards, and the NSF-Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement (DDRI) Grants and Awards available in some disciplines.
Graduate students will generally initiate the application process by accessing the online application at the bottom of this page. Once they have submitted the requested materials, their faculty advisers may complete the faculty portion of the application (found at the same URL). Faculty mentors of undergraduate applicants should proceed directly to the application. These mentors will need to secure electronic copies of documents from their mentees in order to complete the application (see checklist below).
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 (for fall, this is obviously not relevant due to delays in launching the program). 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 10.
Checklist (materials and information you’ll need to assemble before you start the online application)
To complete the online application incentive ($1,000) the following materials are required. They should be submitted via the online application available at http://onsf.uconn.edu/nfipform
_____ An electronic (*.pdf preferred) copy of the completed scholarship or fellowship application, including all associated personal statements and research proposals.
_____ Documentation (program URL preferred) 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.
_____ Ledger 4 account number into which funds should be distributed (if available).
_____ Name and Email of department (or BSC) staff member who administers the Ledger 4 account (required to coordinate the transfer of funds from ONSF to faculty adviser’s account).
Note: If you are a faculty mentor of an undergraduate applicant, you must assemble all of the items on both lists in order to complete the application. At this time, undergraduates are not eligible for the student stipend and as such, they are not required to complete the online NFIP application.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org in order to receive the additional $500 financial reward described in the Plan Description.
Additional Clarifications and Information Specific to the 2018-19 Program
ONSF anticipates funding all eligible requests, but reserves 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 individual faculty are limited to total payout of $2,500 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 email@example.com 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. Students are encouraged to submit NFIP applications for every eligible fellowship for which they 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. There are no exceptions to this policy.
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. (In 2017-18, three times as many undergraduates won NSF-GRFPs as graduate students.)
The Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships encourages 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or to call 860-486-4223.