Dean’s Fellowships

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2023-2024 Competion is closed

The award competition is closed for the 2023-2024 academic year. New competition will open in early Spring 2024.

Fellowships are competitive awards given to current URI graduate students in recognition of achievement and promise as scholars. They are intended to enable students to pursue graduate studies and research without their rendering any service to the University.

Candidates are nominated by their faculty, department/program, or students can self-nominate. Domestic and international students in on-campus and online graduate programs are eligible. Dean’s Fellows cannot hold any additional URI fellowship, assistantship, scholarship, or hourly employment during the same academic year.

Fellowship Timeline

  • December 2: Call for nominations
  • January 13: Nominations Due
  • Early February: Fellowship awardees announced

Eligibility and Terms

Graduate Fellows must be current full-time students (taking 9-15 credits per semester, three credits per semester for students with ABD status, or up to six credits per session for up to four consecutive sessions for students in accelerated online programs) and may not engage in remunerative work at URI during the academic year unless specifically approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. Graduate Fellowships provide a nine-month (academic year) stipend at the appropriate level (I, II, or III), health insurance, dental insurance, the remission of tuition and a waiver of the graduate standard student fees (registration fee, health services fee, technology fee, student services fee) for the fall and spring semester.

Graduate fellowships will be held by students for one academic year only and students will subsequently be supported by grant funding, departmental, or college resources for such time as may be necessary for them to complete their degrees.

Students who have previously held URI graduate fellowships in the prior academic year are not eligible.

Criteria for nomination:

  • Demonstrated ability and promise of academic achievement
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Cumulative grade point average
  • Personal statements of professional objectives and contributions to the University mission
  • Other evidence of promise (e.g., publications, professional participation, etc.)

All of the above will be reviewed and evaluated by the committee in making its decision.

Nomination Submission Instructions

Submission may be made by department/program, faculty or self-nominations by students. Nominations will be submitted via InfoReady and will include the following elements:

  • Two letters of recommendation and supporting information. The two letters may be written by any combination of the following sources: department chair, director of graduate studies, the student’s major advisor, or other faculty member.
  • Nominee’s Statement of Professional Objectives (maximum of 1000 words).  This statement should describe the nominee’s aspirations, challenges in achieving those goals, and how their record of excellence at URI will equip them for success. The statement should also include how the student contributes to one or more aspects of the university mission:
    • Creativity and scholarship
    • Diversity, fairness, and respect
    • Engaged learning and civic involvement
    • Intellectual and ethical leadership
  • Curriculum vitae (maximum of two pages)
  • Unofficial transcript (downloaded from e-Campus)
  • Statement from the department chair detailing the type and extent of support the department will provide to the nominee should they receive the award but not complete all degree requirements within the award year.


Selection Criteria

Nominees are evaluated based on their academic progress and their merits. The criteria used by the committee to make their selections are as follows:

  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of professional objectives
  • Other evidence of achievement

Announcement of Fellowship Awardees

Awards will be announced in February via email to the recipients, with copies sent to their respective department chairs. The initial notice of intention to award a fellowship for the Fall 2023 semester will specify that it is contingent upon the availability of budgetary resources and the recipient’s satisfactory completion of the current academic term.

For questions, please contact Jessica Coyle, Executive Assistant, at

Level of Appointment and Stipend Rate

Levels of Appointment for Graduate Pay:

  • Level I: All Graduate Assistants in Master’s programs and those in Ph.D. programs who have fewer than 30 graduate credits.
  • Level II: All those who have completed at least 30 graduate credit hours (exclusive of entrance deficiencies, language research tools and research) certified by the Dean of the Graduate School as creditable towards their program of studies before the date of appointment or have a Master’s degree.
  • Level III: All Graduate Assistants who are enrolled in a Ph.D. program and have passed BOTH the oral and written portions of the Ph.D. comprehensive examinations prior to the date of appointment.

Stipend Rates:

Level I: $20,000

Level II: $20,225

Level III: $20,500