Dean’s Dissertation Completion Fellowship

The Graduate School Dean's Fellowship typically awards five fellowships annually to doctoral students in the final year of degree work to support superior scholarship that enhances the reputation of their program, department and the University of Cincinnati.

The recipients of this award are recommended by a faculty committee and sanctioned by the dean of the Graduate School. The awards are presented spring semester, and each award includes a $20,000 fellowship and a full one-year tuition scholarship.

Please read the dissertation completion fellowship program description (PDF) for more information about selection criteria, award process and structure, and fellowship responsibilities. (To view this document, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free download.)

Current Award Cycle

Eligible students are those with dissertation committees established, who will have all coursework completed by the beginning of the fall 2022 semester, and who are sufficiently advanced in their dissertation research and writing to be able to commit credibly to graduating by the end of the fellowship year. The purpose of this award is to support students in their final year of study. Therefore, awardees, their mentors, and their graduate program directors must sign an acknowledgement that (1) affirms their shared commitment to graduate by the conclusion of the fellowship year, and (2) signals that their acceptance of this award precludes the student from receiving any further university (UGA or GIA/GAS) funding for this degree program in the future, in the event that the student does not graduate during the academic year.

Nominations should not include those who will graduate prior to spring term 2023, nor those who are ineligible for funding in fall 2022 or spring 2023 due to the 174 graduate credit rule. Nominations are limited to one from each doctoral program and are made by the graduate program director in consultation with program faculty. The director’s letter of nomination must attest that the dissertation is proceeding on schedule for graduation by summer 2023, as must the recommendation from the student’s dissertation advisor.

The expectation is that recipients will produce superior scholarship that enhances the reputations of their programs, departments, and the University of Cincinnati, and that enables them to finish all graduation requirements and receive their degrees by the end of the award term.

Nominations will be due to the Graduate School by 5 p.m. on December 13, 2021 (extended deadline). Submit materials electronically to via email or shared OneDriver folder. The programs and nominators are responsible for submitting all requested materials for the fellowship. Programs will NOT be notified if materials are missing and the nominee will NOT be allowed to add anything missing or update materials after the deadline. Announcement of awardees will be made by February 1, 2022. Please direct questions to

Submission Requirements

  1. Letter of nomination by the graduate program director. The letter must include: (a) verification that the dissertation is proceeding on schedule for graduation by the summer 2023 term, (b) what funds are currently supporting the applicant, and (c) when the applicant passed the qualifying examination.
  2. Separate statement from program providing the student’s total earned graduate credit hours (as of the end of the fall semester, 21FS) and the number of credit hours the student is planning to take for the 2022 spring and summer semesters.
  3. A recommendation letter from the student’s dissertation chair verifying the status of the dissertation research and writing and attesting that the student will complete the thesis and receive the degree by the end of the fellowship term.
  4. At least one other letter of recommendation from a professor familiar with the student’s academic and creative or research/scholarly accomplishments.
  5. Student submission of a statement (up to two pages) describing creative and/or scholarly accomplishments, especially the significance in the discipline.
  6. A curriculum vitae that includes current contact information for the student.
  7. Student submission of plans (up to two pages) for the dissertation work during the fellowship year, including (a) approximate date of dissertation defense and graduation term and (b) number of credits still required to complete the degree before the start of the proposed academic year.
  8. The actual dissertation completed to date (e.g., in the humanities and social sciences, the actual dissertation chapters already written; in the natural and applied sciences, other evidence of research and writing that substantiates the student’s promise to complete the degree by the end of the fellowship term). Note that the committee is not asking for a writing sample, but rather for actual dissertation work that has already been completed, which the committee will use to assess the persuasiveness of the candidate’s and the program’s promise to graduate within the award term.
  9. A completed, signed agreement (docx file) in which the student, mentor, and graduate program director acknowledge the fellowship requirement to complete the degree by the end of the award term, along with the understanding of loss of eligibility for any future university (including departmental) funding should the recipient not achieve this goal.

By 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, submit fellowship applications and supporting documents identified with authorship and nominee’s name to Megan Tischner. Whenever possible, submit all materials electronically as a single PDF in the order listed above. Applications may be emailed or submitted via shared cloud folder to

Fellowship Responsibilities

  • Register full-time (12 credits or more) for fall and spring semester, 2022–23.
  • Register for ENGL 9010, Interdisciplinary Dissertation Workshop course, in summer 2022 or fall 2022. 
  • No teaching or research employment at UC or elsewhere.
  • Participation in the annual UC Graduate School Three Minute Thesis competition in February 2023. With suitable justification and documentation of a timing conflict (to be adjudicated by the Graduate School’s Director), the student may replace this requirement with an alternative presentation of research results in another venue.
  • Acknowledgement of the Graduate School Dean's Fellowship in publications resulting from work done during the fellowship year.