National Fellowships Incentive Program

The NFIP application is currently closed.

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 UConn faculty are eligible for up to $1,000 in professional development funds to recognize their work mentoring students through the process of developing proposals and submitting applications for eligible awards.  Additionally, full-time graduate students who apply for NFIP-eligible fellowships may apply for a $250 scholarship through this program.  In the program’s first five years, more than $450,000 in professional development funds and graduate student scholarships have been awarded.

Program Rationale and Goals

Many UConn students are promising candidates for individual fellowships, but many who are eligible - and competitive - 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 Provost’s Office, 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.

In 2018, the NFIP was extended to graduate students.  Graduate students who apply for eligible fellowships (see below) may have up to $250 in scholarship funds applied towards their fee bill.  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.

At this time, undergraduates are not eligible for these payouts.  However, faculty who mentor undergraduate applicants are eligible for the faculty program.

Program Description: Graduate Students

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, NSF-GRFP, NIH-NRSA, Ford Foundation Dissertation Completion, SSRC-IDRF, etc.) will be awarded a $250 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 disburse the funds directly to the student.

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.

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.

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)

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.

Program Description: Faculty

ONSF will provide professional development funds to 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, Fulbright U.S. Student Program Research Awards, SSRC-IDRF, etc.) will be awarded $1,000 in professional development funds (awards to non-UCHC faculty will be deposited into a Ledger 4 professional development account; UCHC faculty will receive funds through a different mechanism).

Ledger 4 funds are subject to the same basic conditions as other professional development funds, and thus may be used for a broad range of professional development purposes, including materials/equipment purchases and travel reimbursement.  However, by applying for this award, faculty acknowledge the restrictions that govern their use -- most notably, Ledger 4 funds may not be used to pay or supplement the applicant's salary or the salaries of employees who report to the applicant, nor may they be used for any personal purposes.

The NFIP is 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.  Mentors must verify to ONSF (in the online application) that the student’s application meets their personal and professional standards of quality and/or competitiveness.

The $1,000 faculty award is given for initial submissions only; a mentor may not receive an NFIP award two years in a row for mentoring a student through the same fellowship application in two different competition cycles.

While program administrators understand that the definition of "primary mentor" varies from discipline to discipline, only one faculty member per student will be eligible to receive an NFIP award in any given award cycle.  Mentors must serve in some documentable supervisory role (e.g., thesis committee chair, P.I., etc.) at the time the application is submitted in order to receive funds.  In the case of graduate student applicants, this is generally assumed to be the individual identified as the student's primary adviser in the Student Administration system ("PeopleSoft").  In the case of undergraduate applicants, faculty applicants should provide documentation of their supervisory role (e.g., Honors thesis committee chair, University Scholar committee chair, P.I., etc.) in order to receive funds.  Prospective faculty applicants should Email ONSF Director Vin Moscardelli ( with questions or concerns about their eligibility.

Faculty are eligible for one award per year, with a maximum of two awards for mentoring any single student over the course of that student’s career.

Eligibility and Exceptions

Graduate Students:  All full-time, degree-seeking 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, as well as Jackson Laboratories faculty serving as primary advisers to UConn graduate students, are eligible for this program. In the case of graduate student applicants, faculty must be identified as the student applicant's primary adviser in the Student Administration system in order to receive funds.

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 as long as they hold some formal, documentable supervisory relationship with the student (e.g., thesis committee chair, University Scholar committee chair, PI, etc.).

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 "full academic year" (9 month) UConn graduate assistantship at the level appropriate to the student’s status at the time the award begins (in 2022-23, this amount is $22,630 for a PhD student; other current values 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 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, the following scholarship, fellowship, and research training/support opportunities are not eligible for the NFIP:  Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, Schwarzman, Knight-Hennessy, Beinecke, Truman, Udall, Goldwater, Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, 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.  The rationales behind these 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, if someone other than the student is listed as the P.I. in the application, 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.


Faculty and graduate students apply for the NFIP independently, and only individuals who submit applications will be considered for awards.

Advisers:  just because your student applied for an award does not mean that you will automatically receive funds; you must submit your own application in order to receive funds through this program.  Also, please note that faculty mentors of undergraduate applicants will need to secure electronic copies of documents from their mentees in order to complete the application (see checklist below).

Applications and Relevant Deadlines

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and faculty and graduate student applicants are encouraged to submit their online applications within 30-60 days of the date the student’s external fellowship application is submitted.  

  • Applications associated with fellowships with Fall 2022 deadlines must be submitted on or before January 23, 2023 (extended).
  • Applications associated with fellowships with Spring 2023 deadlines must be submitted on or before June 10, 2023.
  • If you or your student intends to apply for a fellowship with a late June 2023 or July 2023 deadline, please contact Vin Moscardelli at

Demand for this program has outstripped the supply of funds three of the past four years; therefore faculty and students should consider these 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.

Graduate Students:

_____  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).  UCHC faculty do not have to provide a Ledger 4 account number at the time they submit their application(s), only the name and Email address of their account administrator.

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.

Additional Clarifications and Information Specific to the 2023-24 Program

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

The “winner’s bonus” payments available in the program's first two years were discontinued in 2019.  This has allowed the the NFIP to remain active later in the spring before funds are depleted, to support a greater number of faculty, and to extend the program's benefits to graduate students.

Faculty who advise a large number of students applying for eligible fellowships should note individual faculty are limited to total payout of $1,000 in any academic year.  The online application still allows for mentors to indicate that their students have applied (or intend to apply) for multiple fellowships, and applicants are encouraged to share this information with ONSF through the NFIP application.

Fellowship applications with deadlines (internal for those requiring institutional nomination or endorsement; external otherwise) that fell before July 1, 2023 are not eligible for 2023-24 round of funding.  There are no exceptions to this policy.

While most NFIP awards have gone 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.

Link to Application

The application portal is currently closed.