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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 547 Ph.D. students have submitted new individual fellowship applications. To date, 143 fellowships have been funded. Excluding applications still pending, the success rate for these applications has been 26 percent.

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.


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 $500 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 $500 award is given for first submissions only.

If a student’s application is funded, the student will receive an additional financial reward:

  • 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 $1,500 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 $1,500 more than the current base stipend in the student’s program, the student is entitled to receive the full amount of the stipend. Apply for provision of the supplement from Graduate School resources.
  • 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 $34,000 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 $1,500 supplement until the student completes his/her degree requirements.

Eligibility & Requirements

This plan is available to students in any graduate program discipline in which extramural individual fellowship funding is available (including students in CAS and the School of Engineering, beginning July 1, 2016). 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.

To receive the application incentive of $500, the following materials are required:

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

Individual Fellowship Incentive Application

Graduate Program-Theme
Please attach advisor's letter
Please attach fellowship stipend documentation
Please attach a PDF of the application
Please attach funding agency's verification.
Please attach notice of award.
Mentor Name
Mentor Primary Department
Title of Fellowship Application
Type of Fellowship
Fellowship Funding Start Date
Fellowship Funding End Date
Graduate Program-Theme Stipend Amount
Fellowship Funded Stipend Amount
Invalid Input

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