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UIC, U of I System, and Federal Opportunities

UIC Awards

Graduate students at UIC are eligible to apply for a number of awards provided for students just at UIC as well as students enrolled in the University of Illinois system. These awards are as follows – click the name of the award for further information.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT)

In order to submit an entry for the 3MT competition, please complete this two-part application process:

First, complete the application form found at

Second, upload your video submission to the following Box folder. Your submission can be either a text document with a link to a video-hosting website (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) or the video itself.

If you are unable to load to box send a YouTube or other hosting link to with 3MT Video and your name in the subject line.

Graduate Student Council Travel Awards and Project Grants

For UIC graduate students.  Travel Awards can be used for presentations at conferences; Project Grants are awarded for service projects.

Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship

For UIC students at all levels, based on ethnicity and academic merit. Applications are available online usually in January with an April deadline. Graduate students who receive the MLK award stipend also receive a tuition and selected fees waiver from the Graduate College.

Scholarship Association

The Scholarship Association of UIC provides a large number of diverse awards for UIC students, listed in alphabetical order on the page linked above. Not all awards are open to graduate students. Awards for which graduate students may apply include the following:

CCSGLBTI Graduate Award
John E. and Marguerite B. Corbally Award
Bassett, Chiswick, Kosobud and Stokes Award
Josephine Margraff Memorial Award
Sylvia L. Saffrin Memorial Award
Kathy Hill Cawthon Memorial Award
Chicago Bar Association Criminal Justice Graduate Award
Michael J. Piorkowski Award
Richard H. Ward Award
Sandra and Furio Alberti Memorial Award

Office of International Affairs (OIA) awards

The OIA offers a number of awards for both U.S. and international graduate students.  All awards are one-time-only and do not include a waiver from the Graduate College.  Deadlines vary by award.

U of I System Awards

The following are funding options for students enrolled in the University of Illinois system. Click the name of the award for further information.

CONACYT Graduate Fellowship Program

The U of I System (UIC, UIUC, UIS) has entered into an agreement with CONACYT (the National Science Foundation of Mexico) to support up to 10 Mexican nationals [annually] who have been admitted into PhD programs at one of the three UI System universities.

CONACYT has agreed to support these PhD students for the first four years of their study and the UI administrative core will support the fifth year, if applicable. This is a competitive program and students must apply for the CONACYT award after having been accepted into a UIC PhD program.

The Graduate College will periodically run queries in Slate, but PhD programs should specifically reach out to eligible applicants to inform them about this funding opportunity.

President's Research in Diversity Travel Award

For University of Illinois graduate and professional students who will be presenting papers, posters, or creative work at conferences related to issues of diversity or identity, such as those involving race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, and national origin. There are two competitions in year, during the fall and spring terms. This award requires that each student applicant has

The Paul D. Doolen Graduate Scholarship for the Study of Aging

For University of Illinois graduate students, in the second year of study or beyond, in either biological-biomedical sciences or behavioral-social sciences, whose research involves the study of aging.

The Doolen Scholarship is a one-time award and does not include a waiver from the Graduate College .

U of I children of employees, children of veterans, and senior citizens tuition waivers

As a state institution, the University of Illinois provides waivers for children of U of I employees, children of veterans of Illinois, and senior citizens.

Regional and Institutional Nomination Opportunities

The following are funding options for students that require departmental nomination, for Graduate College endorsement.

Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship Program

  • The campus deadline was October 3, 2019. The Graduate College can nominate three students annually.

Midwest Association of Graduate School 

The Midwest Association of Graduate Schools routinely has awards available that the UIC Graduate College will nominate applicants for, for consideration. Annoucements will be circulated related to these opportunities:

  • Thesis/Dissertation Award (closed)
  • Teaching Award (open - details forthcoming)

DAAD Study Scholarships and Research Grants

This award funds study and research in Germany. Since UIC has been invited to be a priority institution, it has an internal competition each fall to evaluate students before they are then put forward to DAAD for consideration. (Students apply on their own for short-term grants with a duration of 1-6 months.) Study scholarships and long-term research grants (7-10 months) have the following campus deadline (noon) by field:  Architecture (passed), Music (October 10), Performing Arts (October 15), Fine Art, Design/Visual Communication & Film (November 14), All other fields (October 25). Contact Benn Williams for more information (bwilli7<at>uic<dot>edu).

Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowship

The Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund was created for the purpose of funding advanced education and graduate study grants, which must be carried out entirely in the United States of America. The Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowships are to be awarded only to candidates who have outstanding undergraduate records, have demonstrated a need for financial assistance, are citizens of the United States of America, are enrolled in accredited colleges and universities in the United States and have received baccalaureate degrees. Graduate and professional students are eligible. The UIC campus deadline is January 11, 2019. For more information, click here.

US Federal Funding Opportunities 

U.S. Fulbright Student Program

Fulbright fellowships, through the U.S. State Department provides for teaching, research and study opportunities internationally for U.S. citizen students in various disciplines. Almost 200 countries are viable sites for placement. The national deadline is usually in mid-October of each, and UIC graduate students who are applying must pass through a campus evaluation first, and so must meet an internal UIC campus deadline of September 10, 2018. Graduate students and alumni from UIC's graduate programs should contact Benn Williams (, their dedicated university Fulbright Program Advisor. (Undergraduates and undergraduate alumni should contact Kim Germain in the Office of External Fellowships.) See updates here. For a quick overview, click here.

U.S. Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship

The Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship provides opportunities for U.S. early and mid-career professionals and practitioners to serve in professional placements in a foreign government ministry or institution in partner governments around the world. Fulbright Public Policy Fellows build mutual understanding and contribute to strengthening the public sector while cultivating public policy experience in their desired area of expertise. The Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship also includes an independent research component that focuses on an issue that is beneficial for the host ministry and the Fellow. 

The Fellows will have an opportunity to build their knowledge and skills, provide support to partner country institutions, and promote long-term ties between the U.S. and the partner country through this flexible and innovative Fulbright program.

Eligibility: Successful candidates will include early to mid-career entrepreneurial and self-starter professionals with a graduate degree in a public-policy related field (e.g., JD, MPA, MPH) and a minimum of three to five years of full-time work experience. Postdoctoral candidates and practitioners active in the academic, public, or private sectors with a record of experience and accomplishment in a public policy related area are encouraged to apply. Candidates with field-specific background applicable to public policy (e.g.., Energy, Agriculture, Engineering) are preferred. PhD is not required.  Doctoral degree holders are eligible as long as they have three to five years of public policy relevant experience – as a professional/practitioner outside of the classroom. Candidates enrolled in a PhD are eligible as long as they have a MA degree AND three to five years of experience.  Candidates who have gone directly from undergraduate to PhD and have completed the PhD, but do not have any work experience are not eligible. [Updated 1/7/19 - the next cycle should open in April, 2019 with a fall deadline.]

U.S. Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Fellowship

The Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship Program provides opportunities for full-time dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies. Students may request funding for a period of no fewer than six months and no more than 12 months. Funds support travel expenses to and from the residence of the fellow and the country or countries of research; maintenance and dependents(s) allowances based on the location of research for the fellow and his or her dependent(s); an allowance for research-related expenses overseas; and health and accident insurance premiums. Applicants should plan to have a teaching career in the U.S. after completion of the doctorate. A distillation of the FOA can be found here as well as the names of countries in which research is prohibited. The competition is open and the campus deadline is March 11, 2019.  Cf. the brochure.If interested, please contact Benn Williams immediately (bwilli7<at>

Boren Fellowship for International Study

This award provides for a structured language study component to graduate education, in areas related to U.S. National Security (broadly defined). Fellowships provide up to $24,000 for overseas study and immersion (minimum 12 weeks and maximum one year overseas.) Preference is given to proposals for 6+ months in duration for linguistic and cultural immersion, 3-6 months for applicants in the STEM fields. (The Boren scholarship is for undergraduates.) In exchange for funding, Boren Fellows commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation. Here are some of the possible federal agencies.

Graduate students apply for this fellowship through the IIE's Slate portal in January. The Fellowships and Awards Coordinator can assist with components of the fellowship application in the week before the deadline. The campus deadline is 11:59 p.m. on January 15, 2019. Please contact Benn Williams ( with further questions and submission. Be sure to save application elements; however, you do NOT need to hit "submit" before the campus deadline (as was previously noted). Application instructions can be found here; general guidelines are here. There is a new webinar on the National Security Education Program (NSEP) service requirement. Other webinars can be found here:  The time between the campus and national deadlines will be for fine-tuning and campus evaluation. You WILL be responsible for hitting "submit" before the national deadline.  (Updated 1/9/19)

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program

This is a very generious award that currently funds students at a level of $30,000 for up to three years. A variety of disciplines are eligible to apply, so please check out the website. Students apply at-large in October; the Fellowships and Awards Coordinator has more information on this award.

Smithsonian Institution Office for Fellowships and Internships

These are a number of fellowship and internship options, and not only for art history and museum studies students.

Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship

This is a great opportunity for students looking to enter the Foreign Service upon graduation.

U.S. Department of Education

While not the easiest sight to navigate, this outlines many of the federal options awarded to departments/programs that students can work under, along with individual grants available to students to apply at-large for consideration.

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.