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SROP Early Admissions Fellowship


The Graduate College [GC] at the University of Illinois at Chicago has hosted the Summer Research Opportunities Program [SROP] for over 35 years serving over one thousand outstanding underrepresented minority college students. The eight-week faculty-supervised experience introduces students to academic research, graduate admissions, graduate study, and careers in academia. More than two-thirds of the SROP alumni enroll in graduate and professional programs across the U.S. The GC aims to increase the number of SROP alumni enrolling in UIC graduate programs. The Graduate College has established the SROP Early Admission Graduate Fellowship to recruit and support SROP alumni in our graduate programs at UIC.


Students eligible for the SROP Fellowship must have successfully completed SROP at UIC in the same year in which they apply to the graduate program. SROP participants from previous years may also be nominated and are considered on a case-by-case basis. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States who come from groups that have been historically underrepresented in graduate education. Historically underrepresented groups include Black, Latinx, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islanders. Applicants must be (a) US citizens or, per the Illinois RISE Act, (b) undocumented (DACA) residents of the State of Illinois and a member of an historically underrepresented group listed above. Applicants must already be admitted to the nominating PhD program.

Selection Criteria

Composed of UIC faculty who have served as mentors, the SROP Faculty Advisory Committee will select winners. The Committee will evaluate academic excellence and potential for success in graduate study based on the post-secondary record, letters of recommendation, the personal statement, and other criteria as deemed appropriate by the committee, e.g., the recommendation from the nominating program/department.  in the absence of the Committee, the Graduate College Deans may also review and select candidates

Terms of the Award

The target population is UIC SROP alumni applying to UIC PhD programs. The SROP Fellowship is structured similarly to the Access and University Fellowships. The SROP Fellowship is a four-year commitment shared by the Graduate College and the department in which the awardee is admitted/enrolled. The SROP Fellowship Schedule of Support (assuming satisfactory academic progress) is as follows:

  • 1st Year: SROP Fellowship stipend of $30,000 tuition and partial fee waivers
  • 2nd Year: Assistantship and GC support totaling $30,000 tuition and partial fee waivers
  • 3rd Year: Assistantship and GC support totaling $30,000 tuition and partial fee waivers
  • 4th Year: SROP Fellowship stipend of $30,000 tuition and partial fee waivers

 During the years that the fellowship is fully funded by the Graduate College, recipients may accept part-time on-campus employment. The Graduate College discourages on-campus employment exceeding 50% FTE for fellows. Recipients may not hold the Access, Dean’s, nor University Fellowships simultaneously with the SROP Fellowship, nor any external award where it is prohibited by that external funding agency. Other external awards may be held simultaneously if the award granting agency allows it; however, the Graduate College must approve of the student holding simultaneous awards. It is the student’s responsibility to know and understand the regulations of the SROP Fellowship and those of any other award (see Policies below).

SROP Fellowship recipients also receive a full tuition and partial 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 for Fall and Spring Semester towards CampusCare student health coverage, if applicable. All other fees are the responsibility of the student.

Students supported by these fellowships are required to register for 12 or more credit hours each semester unless expressly authorized by the Dean of the Graduate College to carry a reduced course load. The Graduate College does not require Fellows to register for the summer session; however, individual departments may require it. Fellows who register in the summer must enroll in at least 6 hours to be eligible for a summer tuition waiver. Fellows should contact their department regarding summer registration requirements.

Nomination Procedures

Graduate departments may nominate students who are newly admitted to Ph.D. programs under the auspices of the Graduate College at the University of Illinois at Chicago. UIC SROP Faculty Mentors are made aware of the UIC SROP Early Admissions Fellowship Program before their SROP student begins the summer experience.  Faculty Mentors also assess the student’s suitability for graduate study at UIC and this Fellowship with their mentee during the summer.  Departments and programs must be willing to waiver the GRE requirement and admit the students to the graduate program before departmental deadlines.  The nomination process and procedures are as follows:

  • October 13, 2023 – The candidate formally applies to a Ph.D. Program at UIC.
    • The UIC SROP Faculty Mentor submits a recommendation letter for student’s admission to the Ph.D. Program and a recommendation to the department to nominate the student for the SROP Early Admission Fellowship.
  • November 17, 2023 – The department decides whether to admit the candidate;
    • The academic program’s DGS submits the SROP Early Admission Fellowship Nomination to the Graduate College for candidates who have been officially admitted. The candidate should be notified of the department’s admission and nomination decision.
  • December 15, 2023 – The Graduate College announces the names of the SROP Early Admission Fellowship winners for the 2022-23 academic year.

Selection Procedure

Winners are selected by the SROP Faculty Advisory Committee, which is composed of UIC faculty from across the disciplinary colleges who have served as SROP Faculty Mentors. Only faculty from academic departments who are not nominating students may serve on the committee. The SROP Faculty Advisory Committee and program leadership select students who are (1) former UIC SROP participants, (2) underrepresented minorities, (3) graduating seniors, (4) who have excellent academic records, and (5) who applied to a UIC PhD program.

The Graduate College notifies both the candidate and the department about the results of the competition by December 15, 2023. The committee may consider making more offers than slots available considering that not all students will accept. By agreement, students are not required to accept, or decline offers until April 15th. However, if we have candidates turning down offers early, we may be able to “revisit the list” of our original applicants to make additional offers. In addition, the accepted applicants who are not chosen for the SROP Early Admission Fellowship are eligible to be considered for the Access to Excellence Fellowship (formerly the Abraham Lincoln) and University Fellowship competition that does not occur until the spring semester. Programs, if they so desire, would submit new applications for these funding mechanisms for each candidate.

Required Documents

Incomplete applications will not be considered.  The following documents are required:

  1. Transmittal and Statement of Financial Support Form [See link below]
  2. Nomination Letter from the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) on letterhead
  3. Personal Statement (document used for admission to your program)
  4. Student Statement on Alignment with Goals of the Fellowship (1-page max.)
    1. Research interests: What research project do you plan to begin or continue as you enter your first year of graduate school? Was this research interest developed during your tenure in SROP at UIC, or is this a new research concept or project you wish to explore? With which faculty in that department are you planning to work? Will you work under your SROP faculty mentor or will another department faculty member supervise you?
    2. How has SROP enhanced and developed you as a scholar?
      1. Please report within this statement of how SROP contributed to your interest to attend graduate school and developed your research proficiency. Please discuss what you learned in SROP and how that increased your interest in research and graduate school. What lessons did you learn and what individuals were instrumental in your progress in SROP?
    3. What are your career plans after receiving your PhD?
      1. Whether it be academia, non-for-profit work, entrance into industry or other pursuits: please discuss what your career plans are after you earn your PhD. What are your short term and long-term career goals in your research and non-research related initiatives?
  5. Three Letters of Recommendation
  6. CV (maximum 3 pages)
  7. Transcripts of Post-secondary Degrees (copies of official)

SROP Early Admissions Fellowship Transmittal Form

Submission Instructions

The Director of Graduate Studies reviews the application package that was electronically submitted to the program. The DGS completes the Transmittal Form (fillable PDF), adding it as the cover page. Save the forms/documents listed above as one single PDF per nominee. Combine multiple PDF documents using the following naming convention:


Do not use spaces in the pdf name. Here is an example: Jean DuSable’s application from Chemistry:


The PDF file must be emailed to the Graduate College using the relevant secure Box folder below.

*NOTE:  The department/program must review all student requests prior to submitting the documents to the Graduate College by the deadline of 4 p.m. (CST) on November 17, 2023. Winners will be announced by December 15, 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

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