Graduate School Dean's Fellowship Guidelines

Each year, the Graduate School offers up to ten Dean’s Fellowships to assist with the recruitment of highly talented applicants to Michigan Tech’s PhD programs. Dean’s Fellowships provide partial support for the recipient’s first year in a PhD program. The support includes a stipend supplement of $2,000 per academic-year semester (fall and spring) as well as full summer support (stipend plus minimum full-time tuition [one-credit] and fees).

The primary goal of the Dean’s Fellowship program is to support Michigan Tech's strategic plan goal of being an inclusive and welcoming campus for faculty, students, and staff who bring rich, diverse perspectives to our teaching, learning, and research. The Dean’s Fellowship is intended to contribute to the development of a diverse academic community, which includes future faculty and others who will be leaders throughout their professional careers.

Eligibility

Students are eligible to be nominated for the fellowship if the following conditions have been met at the time of nomination:

  1. Student has applied to and been accepted into a PhD program at Michigan Tech.
  2. Student is a US citizen or permanent resident.
  3. Student has been offered at least three years of support by the accepting department or graduate degree program. Support can be from a combination of internal and external sources. Funding provided through the Dean’s Fellowship program will supplement funding from another source (including internal funds) for the fall and spring semesters of the student’s first year but will provide full support (at the minimum level) during the summer semester following the student's first academic year of study. Support may be terminated at any time if the student fails to make satisfactory progress toward their degree.
  4. Student has been assigned a faculty mentor who will provide guidance as soon as the student enters Michigan Tech. The faculty mentor need not necessarily be the student’s research advisor, but the mentor must be able to provide guidance that will assist the student in making good progress toward their degree from the time that the student matriculates at Michigan Tech.
  5. The department or program has a formal peer-mentoring program in place. Peer mentors should provide new students with information about the graduate experience at Michigan Tech. Peer mentors should make new students feel “at home” in graduate school at Michigan Tech and in the local community.

Nomination Procedure

Students must be nominated for the Dean's Fellowship by the chair of the department or the graduate program director of the unit that has accepted the student. Nominations are due by March 15 each year. Nomination files will consist of the following:

  • The student's M-number. The Graduate School will pull a copy of the student's application file from ImageNow.
  • A copy of the student’s acceptance and offer of support letter.
  • A statement by the department chair or graduate program advisor identifying the name of the faculty mentor and peer mentor that will be assigned to the student once s/he matriculates at Michigan Tech.
  • A statement of how the student will contribute to the goals enumerated in Michigan Tech’s Strategic Plan.

The deadline for nominations of students is March 15 by 4 p.m. In 2014, this is a Saturday, so the deadline will be March 17, 2014 by 4 p.m. Submit complete applications to Debra Charlesworth (electronic copies in PDF format are preferred).

Evaluation

The credentials of nominees will be reviewed by a faculty panel convened by the dean of the Graduate School using the criteria listed below. Each nomination will be reviewed on an individual basis using a holistic approach. The goals of Michigan Tech’s strategic plan will guide the evaluation process. Additional criteria will also be considered during the evaluation of nominees. These include:

  • Is the nominating department taking steps to encourage applications from and participation by members of groups that are currently underrepresented on the Michigan Tech campus?
  • Are PhD students in the nominee’s graduate program publishing in peer-reviewed journals and making presentations at national and international professional conferences?
  • Is it likely that the nominating department or graduate program will continue to supplement the student’s stipend and provide summer support using funds obtained from external sponsors, research incentive accounts, the Michigan Tech fund, or departmental funds?
  • Does the nominee have an outstanding academic record?
  • Does the nominee have an ethnic/cultural background that is underrepresented in their discipline and/or is the applicant a first-generation college student?
  • Has the nominee demonstrated a commitment to diversity in their professional, personal, or educational endeavors (for example, by participating in activities that address racial and gender disparities and/or race relations in the US).
  • Does the nominee have family or individual financial status that would make it difficult to continue in graduate school without financial support from the University?
  • Will the nominee’s background, life challenges, or life experiences bring a unique prospective to the academic program to which s/he is applying?

Notification

Following review of the nominees’ qualifications, the panel will recommend to the dean of the Graduate School that each student 1) receive a Fellowship, 2) receive a Fellowship if sufficient funds are available, or 3) not receive a Fellowship. The dean of the Graduate School will review the panel’s recommendations and make the final decision about each nominee. The number of Fellowships ultimately awarded will depend on the size and quality of the pool of nominees and on the funds available to support the Dean’s Fellowship program each academic year.

The dean of the Graduate School will announce the recipients of the Dean’s Fellowship by April 2 each year.