Graduate Student Funding and Awards

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In addition to your assistantship and/or fellowship, you will find below Information on additional funding and enhancement opportunities. For example: research and tuition support, submission deadlines, and also awards and recognition of our graduate students and faculty.

Deadlines for Various Awards, Nominations, and Reports

Access the Graduate School's External Awards Database. The Graduate School is often made aware of individual funding opportunities for graduate students. When the Office of Fellowships and Awards Administration receives information on funding prospects, it compiles the information into a database of external awards. This database, however, is limited to the information that is received by the office; therefore, it should not be considered inclusive. Your advisor, department faculty and staff are knowledgeable sources of additional information and should be consulted directly.

Enhancement and Miscellaneous Funding Opportunities

Below you will find a listing of College, University level, and external agencies enhancement and funding opportunities for graduate student dissertation, research and tuition support.

College Level

RGSO Dissertation Support - For support of research-related expenditures associated with a dissertation or for release time.
(September 30 and March 3 - Application Deadline)

External Funding Incentive Award - Is designed to catalyze the development and successful submission of competitive applications to external agencies for research funding or fellowship support for Liberal Arts graduate students.  Applications are accepted at any time during the year (i.e., there is no specific call for nomination or deadline).  Applications received after June 1st cannot be awarded until the next fall semester.

Superior Teaching and Research (STAR) Award - Scholarship award to recognize students who have excelled in all aspects of their graduate program including teaching, research, and service. Funding is provided for specific research and professional enhancement activities.  Nominations are due from Graduate Directors by November 1st and April 1st of each year.  Applications received after June 1st cannot be awarded until the next fall semester.

Humanities Dissertation Release - To expand support for dissertation writers providing releases from teaching or related service to humanities students who are supported on assistantships.
(November 1st for spring releases and May 1st for fall releases)

Center & Institute Fellows Program-Students eligible to receive a Humanities Dissertation Release may also apply to be designated a Center/Institute Fellow with a specific College of the Liberal Arts Center or Institute. 

HI Summer Residency Program - Provides advanced students the opportunity to devote a summer session to work on their thesis, dissertation or final creative project.

Summer Tuition Assistance Program - Provides tuition assistance to graduate students for a summer session.
(February 1 - June 30)

Travel Support - Enables graduate students to present results from their research at the leading professional conference in their field and to present creative work in professional venues. Students who wish to apply for a travel grant should contact their department.

University and Other

Academic Computing Fellowship - The program is for doctoral students who have a background and strong interest in computing applications and who will help develop and disseminate new methods for problem solving within their disciplines.

For more information please contact the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards Administration

Council of Graduate Schools (CGS)/UMI Dissertations Publishing Distinguished Dissertation Award - Penn State nominations are solicited annually from the colleges by the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Award Administration. Eligible students must have completed all degree requirements including their dissertations. Click on the link for further information.

For more information please contact the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards Administration.

External Research Support - This link will direct you to potential funding sources; numerous Internet-based informational services and databases; software; funding priorities and recent awards made by private sector sponsors.

External Coordinated Programs - The Office of Graduate Fellowships and Award Administration serves as the coordinating office for several state and national funding programs (e.g., Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowships, Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program, Juran Fellowship, etc.).

Fulbright-Hays-Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) - The Office of Graduate Fellowships and Award Administration oversees funding for this program. This Fellowship is intended for Individual doctoral students in the fields of foreign languages and area studies to facilitate full-time dissertation research abroad.

Graduate School Teaching Certificate- Recognition of students commitment to college teaching that will provide an avenue to enhance their teaching skills.

Office of Student Aid- Provides information about available aid programs, applying for student financial aid, and costs.

College and University Awards

Honorary and Recognition Awards

Alumni Association Dissertation Award - provides funding and recognition to outstanding full-time doctoral students and is considered to be among the most prestigious available to Penn State graduate students that recognizes outstanding achievement in scholarship and professional accomplishment.

Denise Haunani Solomon Liberal Arts Outstanding Teaching Award for Graduate Students - to recognize graduate students in the College of the Liberal Arts whose accomplishments in the classroom are deemed to be exceptional and who have thus made a significant contribution to the educations of our undergraduate students.

Distinguished Master's Thesis Award - recognizes excellence in master’s-level thesis research in any of the disciplinary areas of Arts and Humanities

Graduate Faculty Teaching Award - meant to recognize faculty members for their outstanding teaching performance and for their advising of doctoral students.

Graduate Program Chair Leadership Award - meant to recognize faculty members for exemplary leadership benefiting graduate students and faculty.

Graduate Student Excellence in Mentoring Award - recognizes senior doctoral students for exemplary and effective mentoring of undergraduate and/or new or junior graduate students that significantly contributes to the student’s personal growth, professional development and/or academic success. 

Graduate Student International Research Award - promotes and supports graduate student international research and scholarship that has potential for global impact. 

Harold F. Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching Award- to recognize and reward graduate assistants for outstanding teaching performance.

Howard B. Palmer Faculty Mentoring Award - is presented to a full-time faculty member who demonstrates "effective mentoring through guiding and nurturing the collegial and professional development of junior faculty."

Lynn M. Sebulsky Memorial Award - recognizes a second-year graduate student who has done particularly well in their first year at Penn State without having received addtional support from RGSO or the Graduate School

Raymond E. Lombra and Roberta Lombra Outstanding Graduate Research Award - Recognizes high quality contributions to the humanities and the social sciences working toward their advanced degrees.

Penn State Alumni Association Scholarship for Penn State Alumni in the Graduate School - provides recognition and financial assistance to students who have been admitted to the Graduate School at The Pennsylvania State University as candidates for a graduate degree and who received their undergraduate degree from the University.

Professional Master's Excellence Award - recognizes individual student excellence in a professional master's degree program under the Graduate School, in any discipline, based upon the student’s academic record in the graduate program and the quality and impact of the student’s culminating experience, including creative works, performance, and projects conducted in a professional setting. 

W. LaMarr Kopp International Achievement Award - is granted in recognition of contributions to the advancement of the international mission of the University in four categories: Faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students.

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