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Abraham Lincoln Fellowship

Rules and Procedures

The goal of the Abraham Lincoln Fellowship program at the University of Illinois at Chicago is to increase the excellence and diversity of the graduate student body by attracting applicants who have overcome obstacles to achieve academic success, like President Lincoln himself, who by his words and actions forged the framework for America's pursuit of freedom, equality and justice.

There are two competitions.  The first is for the two-year recruitment award.  This competition is primarily for Graduate Students new to UIC.  Students previously admitted to the UIC Graduate College may be eligible for recruitment competitions IF they are being actively recruited to a new graduate program.  This includes students who have completed a Masters program in a discipline and are being recruited to a PhD program in the same discipline.  For questions about eligibility, contact the Graduate College.

The second competition is for both one-year recruitment awards and one-year retention awards.  The former is for students new to UIC (or students being actively recruited to a new graduate program).  The latter is for students already enrolled in a UIC graduate program who are at the advanced stage of their academic studies.  All applicants must be nominated by their departments.  Selection criteria for all Abraham Lincoln Fellowships will be based on academic achievement, promise and alignment with the goals of the fellowship.

Eligibility

Applicants for Recruitment and Retention Fellowships must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States who come from groups that have been historically underrepresented in graduate programs. Applicants must be enrolled as a degree-seeking student in a graduate program at the University of Illinois at Chicago or must have completed an application for fall admission to the UIC Graduate College.

Two Year Recruitment Awards

The first Abraham Lincoln Fellowship competition will be for the two-year recruitment awards.  These awards provide up to two years of Graduate College funding (two years for doctoral students, one year for masters students).  

In year one of the Lincoln Fellowship, the award recipient will receive from the Graduate College a stipend of $25,000 per academic year or $2083.33 per month. The recipients also receive a tuition and fee waiver from the Graduate College. The waiver covers all tuition (including differential, if any) service fee, health service fee, academic facilities maintenance fund assessment, library and information technology assessment, and part of the cost of coverage (see below) for Fall and Spring Semester towards Campus Care, if applicable. All other fees are the responsibility of the student.  

  • For Fall 2013 and Spring 2014, the University shall contribute $150 or 33%, whichever is higher, of the cost of Campus Care if the fellow chooses to be covered by the University plan.
  • For Fall 2014 and Spring 2014, the University shall contribute $175 or 35%, whichever is higher, of the cost of Campus Care if the fellow chooses to be covered by the University plan.

During the years that the Graduate College is providing funding, recipients may accept part-time assistantships or other awards related to their field of study up to a total of 50% time. Graduate hourly appointments are not permitted.

Under the terms of the award Doctoral students are eligible to receive a fellowship from the Graduate College in the first year and in the year after passing the preliminary examinations (typically the fourth year of their program).  In the years between the initial and renewal years, the student’s academic programs must provide a 50% nine month appointment or equivalent. The amount paid will be commensurate with the amount typically paid by a student's department.   In order to be eligible for renewal of the final-year stipend, the Graduate College must be informed, in writing, by April 15th of the year prior to receiving the fourth year of funding from the Graduate College, that the doctoral student has successfully completed their preliminary examination, but not past the student's fifth year. In the event that a graduate program has a mechanism for financial support for students during years one and two, the Abraham Lincoln Fellowship award could be deferred to years three and four.  In all cases, the following criteria must also be met: (1) The student must be making good progress in the program; (2) The student must have received a minimum of two years of funding support from their department. 
 
Masters students will be funded for year one. In year two the student’s academic program must provide a 50% nine month appointment or equivalent.  The amount paid will be commensurate with the amount typically paid by the student’s department.

Students supported by these fellowships are required to complete at least 12 semester hours each semester unless expressly authorized by the Dean of the Graduate College to carry a reduced load. Fellows are not required to register for the summer session by the Graduate College; however, individual departments may require summer registration.  Fellows who register in the summer must enroll in at least 6 hours to be eligible for a summer tuition waiver.  Fellows should check with the department to ensure that summer registration is not required for the degree program.

One Year Recruitment Award & One Year Retention Award

During the second competition, masters and doctoral students new to UIC, or being recruited to a new degree program at UIC (including students who have completed a Masters in a discipline and are being recruited to a PhD program in that same discipline) may be nominated for a one-year recruitment award. 

The general terms of this award are the same as those of the two-year recruitment award, except that both masters and doctoral students will be eligible for only one year of support from the Graduate College.  Departments will be obligated to fund one-year recruitment award winners for year two according to guidelines described above.  During this round of competition one-year retention fellowships will also be awarded.  Continuing masters and doctoral students who are advanced in their academic studies may be nominated for these awards.  Students may not receive more than two years of Abraham Lincoln Fellowship funding from the Graduate College.

Deadlines

Please visit the Fellowship and Awards Deadline page for pertinent dates.

NOTE:  Your department/program has to review all student requests for fellowships and submit nomination forms and supporting material to the Graduate College by the deadline.  Consult with your program to determine their deadline for you to submit required material to them.

Forms 

To apply for an Abraham Lincoln Fellowship, complete the Application for Graduate Appointment form and submit it to your program.  Be sure to complete the personal statement section of the form.  In addition, see the following for other required documents. Follow the requirements for the category of Lincoln Fellowship to which you are applying.  If you have questions on requirements or documents, consult with your program. 

Information and forms for use by Directors of Graduate Studies/program submitters(Bluestem protected)

Required Documents for Applicants/Students

To be considered for nomination, applicants/students need to submit the following documents to your department/program by the deadlines.  Consult with your Director of Graduate Studies in advance of the deadlines to determine if any other material is required.  Carefully follow the maximum word limits listed for certain documents.
 

 RECRUITMENT AWARD REQUIREMENTS  ONE-YEAR RECRUITMENT & RETENTION AWARD REQUIREMENTS
1. Completed Application for Graduate Appointment (with all question answered, including personal statement) 1. Completed Statement of Research Plan (max. 300 words)
2. Student Statement on How Goals of the Lincoln Fellowship Program are Aligned With Their Own (max. 300 words) 2. Student Statement on How Goals of the Lincoln Fellowship Program are Aligned With Their Own (max. 300 words)
3. Three Letters of Recommendation (written within the last 12 months) 3. Three Letters of Recommendation (written within the last 12 months)
4. Post-Secondary Transcripts (check with your program to determine if already on file) 4. UIC Transcripts (current - (check with your program to determine if already on file)
5. Standardized Test Scores, When Required (e.g. GRE, GMAT, etc.) - (check with your program to determine if already on file) 5. List of Awards, Presentations, and Publications (if any)
6. List of Awards, Presentations, and Publications (if any)  
7. McNair Participation Letter*
(if applicable)
 

*(7.)  If the student nominee qualifies as a McNair Scholar, s/he must obtain a copy of a letter that verifies their participation in a McNair Program. All verification letters must be written on program/university letterhead and signed by the McNair Program Director or Coordinator at their undergraduate institution. A copy of the letter used to qualify for the UIC Graduate College Application Fee Waiver for McNair Scholars is also acceptable.  

Fellowships and Student Loans  

A fellowship will affect federal student loan or work-study. Typically, students with fellowships may not be permitted to borrow small amounts of federal loans due to cost of attendance regulation.  Check with the Office of Student Financial Aid on eligibility requirements.

If you have already received a refund for the current year in federal loans and you accept a fellowship, you may be responsible to return this refund to UIC.  Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for further information.

If applying for loans and/or work-study a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed.  See the Graduate Student Guide from the Office of Student Financial Aid for more information.