Skip to main content

Graduate College Fellowship & Grant Competitions

The Graduate College offers several fellowship and grant programs to support University of Illinois graduate students. Students do not apply directly for these awards. Instead, departments submit nominations according to the competition schedule shown below. Students wishing to be nominated should contact their department’s Director of Graduate Studies for details.  

Major Awards:

Illinois Distinguished Fellowships

Recruitment fellowships for the University’s top incoming graduate students.

Graduate College Fellowships for Underrepresented Students

Recruitment fellowships for the University’s top incoming URM students

Travel Grants for Master’s Projects & Dissertation Research

Grants for students who need to travel off-campus to complete a master’s project or conduct dissertation research

Dissertation Completion Fellowships

Fellowships supporting doctoral students as they finalize their dissertations

Specialized Awards: 

Conference Travel Awards

Small grants supporting students traveling to professional conferences to present papers, posters, or other creative work

Sloan Scholarships

Professional-development awards for underrepresented students in select STEM fields

Diffenbaugh Fellowships

Fellowships supporting students from Missouri 

Marion Morse Wood Fellowships

Fellowships supporting research in interpersonal communication

Dewson Fellowships

Fellowships for underrepresented students facing acute & unexpected financial distress 

Emergency Grants

Small grants for students facing acute & unexpected financial distress 

Competition Schedule for 2016-2017



Travel Grants - Dissertation / Master's (Fall) Sept. 14, 2016 Oct. 25, 2016
Aspire Dec. 12, 2016 Dec. 19, 2016
Illinois Distinguished (Round 1) Jan. 6, 2016 Feb. 9, 2016
Graduate College (Round 1) Jan. 10, 2016 Feb. 14, 2016
Sloan (Round 1) Jan. 17, 2017 Feb. 3 2017
Diffenbaugh Jan. 24, 2017 Mar. 15, 2017
Marion Morse Wood Jan. 31, 2017 Mar. 7, 2016
Illinois Distinguished (Round 2) Feb. 14, 2017 Mar. 16, 2016
Graduate College (Round 2) Feb. 20, 2017 Apr. 4, 2017
Sloan (Round 2) Feb. 24, 2017 Mar. 15, 2017
Travel Grants - Dissertation / Master's (Spring) Mar. 14, 2017 Apr. 19, 2017
Dissertation Completion Apr. 11, 2017 May 12, 2017


Fellowship Board & the Selection Process

The Fellowship Board selects recipients of the Graduate College’s main grant and fellowship programs.  The Board consists of faculty members and graduate students from across campus.  See details on the selection process and the Board’s current membership.  

Contact Information