National Fellowships Incentive Program


The Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships (ONSF) is pleased to announce the continuation of  the student portion of UConn’s ambitious incentive program to build a stronger institutional culture around applying for prestigious, nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships.

Under this program, full-time UConn graduate students who apply for prestigious external fellowships during the 2023-24 academic year (July 1, 2023 through June 10, 2024) are eligible for a $250 scholarship to recognize the work involved in developing proposals and submitting applications for such awards.

Program Rationale and Goals

Many UConn students are promising candidates for individual fellowships, but many who are eligible - and competitive - do not apply.  In 2016, the Provost’s Office, The Graduate School, and ONSF created the National Fellowships Incentive Program (NFIP) to encourage more submissions of high-quality applications from students enrolled in disciplines in which lucrative individual fellowships are available.

Graduate students who apply for eligible fellowships can request $250 in scholarship funds from the program.  In exchange, graduate student applicants are asked to share elements of their application with future UConn students who are applying for the same (or similar) awards.

Program Description

All degree-seeking, full-time graduate students in good standing who submit applications for qualifying individual fellowships funded by extramural agencies or foundations are eligible.

Students who apply for a qualifying, external individual fellowship (e.g. Fulbright Study/Research Award, Fulbright-Hays DDRA, NSF-GRFP, NIH-NRSA, Ford Foundation Dissertation Completion, NDSEG, AAUW, etc.) will be awarded a $250 scholarship, which is applied towards their fee bill.  The credit triggers a disbursement to the student via direct deposit.

In order to receive the NFIP Scholarship, graduate students must complete the internal NFIP application, which is available online via the link at the bottom of this page, after they submit their external fellowship application.  Applicants must provide an electronic copy of the complete application along with evidence that the application has been received by the granting agency or foundation.

While students are encouraged to apply for as many external fellowships as possible, students are only eligible for one NFIP award per year, with a maximum of two awards to any single student over the course of that student’s career.  The $250 award is given for initial submissions only; a student may not receive the NFIP award two years in a row for submitting to the same fellowship in two different competition cycles.

If a student receives need-based aid, receiving the NFIP Scholarship could have both financial aid and tax implications.  Please consult with the Office of Financial Aid and your tax professional before submitting an NFIP Scholarship application.

Additional information about taxes and financial aid:

Graduate students should note that scholarships payments such as this one are generally subject to federal and state income taxes unless the payment is used to pay for qualified tuition and required enrollment fees.  You will be personally responsible for any income taxes resulting from the receipt of this payment.  The scholarship payment, although potentially taxable, is not subject to income tax withholding if paid to a U.S. citizen or resident alien.  It is the sole responsibility of students to report and pay taxes on the taxable portion of any scholarships, fellowships, or grants that they receive.  Consistent with IRS guidance, the University does not withhold taxes on the taxable portion of scholarships, fellowships, or grants except in limited circumstances involving international students.  If you are an international student, federal income taxes may be required to be withheld from your NFIP payment unless you qualify for exemption by way of an income tax treaty between the United States and your country of tax residence.  Additional details, and answers to many frequently asked questions, may be found at the following websites: (some users have reported difficulty connecting to this external link; paste it into your browser's address bar and it should work fine)


Eligibility and Exceptions

Graduate Students:  All full-time, degree-seeking UConn graduate students in good standing are eligible for this 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 $20,000; 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 program 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 the online application (as a drop-down list).  However this list is not meant to be exhaustive.  Students who 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.  At this time, neither NIH-R36 Dissertation Awards nor the NSF-Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement (DDRI) Grants and Awards available in some disciplines are eligible for this program.  The rationales behind the exclusions vary, and students and faculty with questions about them are encouraged to contact ONSF for clarification.  Generally speaking, if the opportunity is designed to support the applicant's undergraduate education, if the award's core criteria are non-academic (e.g., leadership and/or public service), if someone other than the student is listed as the P.I. in the application (e.g., most training grant opportunities), or if the primary purpose of the award is to offset expenses associated with a specific research project (e.g., equipment, compensation of experimental subjects, etc.), then it will not be eligible for funding under this program.

Applications and Relevant Deadlines

The NFIP application opens on March 21, 2024. 

Students who applied for an eligible fellowship at any point between July 1, 2023 and June 1, 2024 are eligible to apply.  All NFIP applications must be submitted before June 10, 2024.

  • Note:  if you intend to apply for a fellowship with a late June 2024 deadline, please contact Vin Moscardelli at

Demand for this program has outstripped the supply of funds several times in recent years, so students should consider this deadlines firm.

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

To complete the online application the following materials are required.  They should be submitted via the online application linked below.

_____  An electronic (*.pdf) 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.)


Additional Clarifications and Information Specific to the 2023-24 Program

ONSF reserves the right to suspend the program subject to the availability of funds.

Fellowship applications with deadlines (internal for those requiring institutional nomination or endorsement; external otherwise) that fell before July 1, 2023 are not eligible for current round of funding.  There are no exceptions to this policy.

The faculty portion of this program, which existed from 2016-2023, has been discontinued.

Link to Application

Use the following link to access the NFIP application: