Graduate School Individual Fellowship Incentive Program

The Graduate School has established an incentive plan designed to encourage more students to apply for individual fellowships. Since May of 2007 when this incentive plan was announced, more than 300 Ph.D. students have submitted new individual fellowship applications.  To date, 79 fellowships have been funded, representing a 718% increase in the number of individual fellowships that were held by predoctoral students when the program was initiated.  Excluding applications still pending, the success rate for these applications has been 28 percent.

If you are a graduate student interested in the Incentive Plan, please read the eligibility requirements located below.

Graduate School Incentive Program to Promote Individual Fellowship Applications

Rationale and Goal:  Many UAB graduate students would be competitive for individual fellowships, but many who are eligible to apply for a fellowship do not apply. The Graduate School has established an incentive plan designed to encourage submission of applications from students enrolled in disciplines in which individual fellowships are available.

Plan Description:

  1. The Graduate School will provide a monetary incentive for students to APPLY FOR individual fellowships funded by extramural agencies or foundations. Graduate students who apply for an individual fellowship (e.g. NSF Individual, NIH NRSA, or other) will be awarded $250 from the Graduate School through the UAB Financial Aid office as a reward for submitting the application. To qualify for this award, the application must be reviewed prior to submission by the student’s program director or mentor, who must provide a written verification to the Graduate School that the application is considered to be competitive. After submission of the grant application, the student will provide a PDF of the application to the Graduate School and the incentive reward will be authorized when the student provides evidence that the application has been received by the granting agency. The $250 award is given for first submissions only.
  1. If a student’s application is funded, the student will receive an additional financial reward. Please note: after October 1, 2013, students enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering should contact their respective graduate programs for this additional award as they will no longer be eligible for support from the Graduate School. 
    • For an NIH NRSA or other grant that provides less than the base stipend currently being offered to all students in that student’s program, the student will receive supplementation of the fellowship stipend to an amount equal to the base stipend plus $1,000 per year for the term that the grant is funded. The supplemental funding will be provided by the Graduate School.  If the stipend amount from the external award is equal to or greater than the equivalent of $1,000 more than the current base stipend in the student’s program, the student is entitled to receive the full amount of the stipend. The form used to apply for provision of the supplement from Graduate School resources can be downloaded from the Graduate School web site at: http://www.uab.edu/graduate/images/acrobat/forms/funding/gsincentive.pdf
    • If a student receives an NSF predoctoral fellowship, he/she will receive no supplement to his/her stipend during the three year term of the NSF fellowship. This stipulation is necessary because the NSF stipend of $32,000 exceeds the current maximum stipend recommended by the Graduate School. After the NSF grant terminates, the student’s mentor or department will be responsible for providing the current base stipend in that student’s program and the Graduate School will provide the $1,000 supplement until the student completes his/her degree requirements. 

Eligibility:  This plan is available to students in any graduate program discipline in which extramural individual fellowship funding is available. To be eligible for both the reward for submitting the application and the supplement to a student’s stipend, the award must provide more than half the current base stipend in the student’s program. Applications for and receipt of travel and other small grants will not be eligible for an incentive award under this program.  
Additional details for students and faculty concerning the Graduate School-sponsored Fellowship Incentive Plan follow below.

To receive the application incentive ($250) the following materials are required:

  1. A letter from the student’s advisor verifying that the advisor reviewed the application and believes that it is competitive.
  2. Documentation that the amount of the fellowship provides greater than half of the student’s current base stipend.
  3. An electronic or hard copy PDF of the application.
  4. Verification of receipt of the application by the funding agency.

These materials may be submitted to:

  • Thomas Harris, Executive Assistant to the Dean, LHL G03, 996-4062, tharris@uab.edu   (Graduate Dean’s Office), or to
  • Cyndi Ballinger, Graduate School Business Officer, LHL G03, 975-7188, cknight@uab.edu (Graduate Dean’s Office)

If the application is successfully funded, the student should provide a copy of the award notice and the Request for Individual Fellowship Supplement Funding Form to one of the individuals above (Thomas Harris or Cyndi Ballinger in the Graduate School Dean’s Office) in order to receive the additional financial reward as described in the Plan Description.

We strongly encourage our graduate students and faculty to participate in this incentive program.