SROP Early Admissions Fellowship
The Graduate College [GC] at the University of Illinois at Chicago has hosted the Summer Research Opportunities Program [SROP] for nearly 35 years and served 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 African American, Latinx, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islanders. Due to state and federal funding restrictions, DACA students are not eligible. Applicants must already be admitted to the nominating PhD program.
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 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.
Terms of the Award
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 $25,000 tuition and partial fee waivers
- 2nd Year: Assistantship and GC support totaling $25,000 tuition and partial fee waivers
- 3rd Year: Assistantship and GC support totaling $25,000 tuition and partial fee waivers
- 4th Year: SROP Fellowship stipend of $25,000 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.
Graduate departments may nominate students who are newly admitted to PhD programs under the auspices of the Graduate College at the University of Illinois at Chicago. UIC SROP faculty mentors are made aware of the program before their SROP student begins the summer experience. and assess the student’s suitability for graduate study at UIC and this fellowship with their mentee during the summer. The departments and program must be willing to waiver the GRE requirement and admit the students to the graduate program prior to departmental deadlines. Nomination process and procedures are as follows:
- At the conclusion of the SROP program in August, eligible SROP graduating seniors initiate an application for Graduate Admission to the UIC graduate program of their choice and automatically receive a UIC Diversity Program Participation Application Fee Waiver. If a SROP research mentor and their SROP mentee [candidate] agree to move forward with an early admission fellowship application, the timeline for nomination for 2020 is as follows:
- The candidate formally applies to UIC and their SROP mentor submits a nomination to the graduate program Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) by December 1, 2020
- The department decides whether to admit the candidate by December 30th; 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.
- The Graduate College announces the names of the SROP Fellowship winners by January 15, 2021.
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 January 15, 2021. 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.
Incomplete applications will not be considered. The following documents are required:
- Transmittal and Statement of Financial Support Form [See link below]
- Nomination Letter from the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) on letterhead
- Personal Statement (document used for admission to your program)
- Student Statement on Alignment with Goals of the Fellowship (1-page max.)
- 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 2019 SROP faculty mentor or will another department faculty member supervise you?
- How has SROP enhanced and developed you as a scholar?
- 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?
- What are your career plans after receiving your PhD?
- 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?
- Three Letters of Recommendation
- CV (maximum 3 pages)
- Transcripts of Post-secondary Degrees (copies of official)
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 December 30, 2019. Winners will be announced by January 15, 2020 (the deadline will likely be a month earlier next cycle).
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]
Q: Is the nominating department required to waive the GRE?
A: Yes. Firstly, the Graduate College does not require the GRE for graduate admissions. Secondly, because the nominees have spent 8 weeks conducting research with a UIC faculty member over the summer, departments have an opportunity to consider this as an alternative qualification to admit students early and nominate them for the SROP Fellowship.
Q: Is the nominating department required to admit the student prior to nomination?
A: Yes. As with all GC recruitment fellowships, programs must admit students prior to nomination.
Q: As a faculty mentor I am committed to taking the student on as a graduate student?
A: All SROP recommending faculty mentors must be willing to take that student they are nominating as their selected student to work with, advise, and nurture during that student’s tenure in the department. Or, in the event they do not, they should have a documented and committed faculty colleague who agrees to serve as that student’s P.I.
Q: Would this commitment stand even if they do not receive the fellowship?
A: Yes. Departments should only nominate those students whom they are committed to accepting.
Q: When would the department will be notified if our nominee receives the fellowship?
A: The department will be notified by December 15, 2019.
Q: Will the Graduate College top off the SROP Fellowship in year 1 and year 2?
A: Yes. The GC will top off the program’s RA or TA stipend up to $6000 or a combined support package of $25,000 from the GC and department.
Q: If our nominee does not receive the fellowship, can they subsequently submit their GRE scores, if normally required, and have their application considered with the general December 1 applications