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Uiuc Grad College Dissertation Completion Fellowship

The Graduate College offers several fellowship and grant programs to support University of Illinois graduate students. Students do not apply directly for these awards. Instead, departments submit nominations according to the competition schedule shown below. Students wishing to be nominated should contact their department’s Director of Graduate Studies for details.  

Major Awards:

Illinois Distinguished Fellowships

Recruitment fellowships for the University’s top incoming graduate students.


Graduate College Fellowships for Underrepresented Students

Recruitment fellowships for the University’s top incoming URM students.


Travel Grants for Master’s Projects AND Dissertation Research

Grants for students who need to travel off-campus to complete a master’s project or conduct dissertation research.


Dissertation Completion Fellowships

Fellowships supporting doctoral students as they finalize their dissertations.


Specialized Awards: 

Conference Travel Awards

Small grants supporting students traveling to professional conferences to present papers, posters, or other creative work.


Sloan Scholarships

Professional-development awards for underrepresented students in select STEM fields.


Diffenbaugh Fellowships

Fellowships supporting students from Missouri.


Marion Morse Wood Fellowships

Fellowships supporting research in interpersonal communication.


Dewson Fellowships

Fellowships for underrepresented students facing acute and unexpected financial distress.


Emergency Grants

Small grants for students facing acute and unexpected financial distress.


Competition Schedule for 2017-2018



Anticipated Notification
of Results
Travel Grants - Dissertation / Master's (Fall)Sept. 29, 2017Oct. 30, 2017
AspireDec. 15, 2017Dec. 22, 2017
Illinois Distinguished (Round 1)Jan. 16, 2018Feb. 13, 2018
Graduate College (Round 1)Jan. 18, 2018Feb. 15, 2018
DiffenbaughJan. 23, 2018Feb. 20, 2018
Sloan (Round 1)Jan. 24, 2018Feb. 21, 2018
Marion Morse WoodJan. 30, 2018Feb. 22, 2018
Illinois Distinguished (Round 2)Feb. 16, 2018Mar. 16, 2018
Graduate College (Round 2)Feb. 20, 2018Mar. 16, 2018
Sloan (Round 2)Feb. 23, 2018Mar. 12, 2018
Travel Grants - Dissertation / Master's (Spring)Mar. 12, 2018Apr. 9, 2018
Dissertation CompletionApr. 11, 2018May 9, 2018


Fellowship Board & the Selection Process

The Fellowship Board selects recipients of the Graduate College’s main grant and fellowship programs.  The Board consists of faculty members and graduate students from across campus.  See details on the selection process and the Board’s current membership.  


Contact Information


Champaign, IL – The Graduate College is pleased to announce the awardees of the 2016-17 Graduate College Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Master’s Project Travel Grant, and Dissertation Travel Grant. They are:


2016-17 Dissertation Completion Fellowship Awardees

Barlaz, Marissa (Linguistics)

Bian, Lin (Developmental Psychology)

Chen, Jing (East Asian Languages and Cultures)

Chen, Wan-Ting (Agricultural and Biological Engineering)

Chipman, Melissa (Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology)

Eager, Christopher (Spanish Linguistics)

Greene, Daniel (Kinesiology and Community Health)

Hsu, Ning (Speech and Hearing Science)

Irwin, Katie (Communication)

LaLonde, Priya (Education Policy, Organization and Leadership)

Li, Weiwei (Atmospheric Sciences)

Lin, Chunfeng (Institute of Communications Research)

Liu, Liang (Civil and Environmental Engineering)

Makowski, Martha (Curriculum and Instruction)

Mayhew, Emily(Food Science and Human Nutrition)

Mekawi, Yara (Psychology)

Metzner, Emily (Anthropology)

Nicholas, Jessica (French)

Pan, Yung-Tin (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)

Sattari, Negin (Sociology)

Smart, Devin (History)

Suppakittpaisarn, Pongsakorn (Landscape Architecture)

Truran, Wendy (English)

Tse, Pui-Sze Priscilla (Music)

Wang, Zhangyang (Electrical and Computer Engineering)

Wu, Hong-An (Art Education)

Wu, Wei (Atmospheric Sciences)

You, Yizhi (Physics)

Zhou, Peiyun (Educational Psychology)


2016 Master’s Project Travel Grant Awardees

Choi, Kyung Yun (Aerospace Engineering)

Decker, Brenna (Entomology)

Hornik, Kaitlyn (Natural Resources and Environmental Science)

Keep, Miriam (Urban and Regional Planning)

Lee, Sungmin (East Asian Languages and Cultures)

Leopold, Lilah (Art History)

Montag, William (Entomology)


2016 Dissertation Travel Grant Awardees 

Bliss, AnnaMarie (Architecture)

Catedral, Lydia (Linguistics)

Chereson, Peter (Political Science)

DeFlamingh, Alida (Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology)

Guner, Ezgi (Anthropology)

Jones, Jennifer (Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology)

Kim, Myeong Hyeon (Linguistics)

Maitreemit, Lassamon (Landscape Architecture)

Minefee, Ishva (Business Administration)

Updyke, Erin (Entomology)


 “These fellowships and travel awards are a critically important component of Graduate College support for our students,” says Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, dean of the Graduate College. “The quality of submissions from this year applicant pool was truly remarkable.  We congratulate the winners of this year’s awards and are confident that these funds will help them take maximal advantage of their graduate education at Illinois.”


Graduate College Dissertation Completion Fellowships help students complete the doctoral degree by providing one year of financial support and allowing these fellows to devote themselves to the completion of the dissertation. Forty-five departments from across campus submitted a total of 74 nominations for the Graduate College Dissertation Completion Fellowship. Of those, 29 nominations from 27 departments were selected for awards. 


Master’s Travel Grants provide funding for short term projects where travel for research or creative work is required for degree completion. Dissertation Travel Grants support travel and associated costs necessary for doctoral dissertation research, whether for exploring a potential dissertation topic or for conducting dissertation research. This year, twenty-four departments submitted a total of 54 nominations for Master’s and Dissertation Project Travel Grants. Seventeen nominations from 13 departments were selected for travel awards.  


The competition for these awards includes a rigorous two-stage of review process. Each nomination is first reviewed by one of the Graduate College Fellowship Board’s four Area Committees, which are comprised exclusively of faculty members. Finalists are then reviewed by the Fellowship Board’s Executive Committee, which includes faculty and two graduate students.


“The Fellowship Board gives every nomination a very thorough review,” says Ken Vickery, director of External Fellowships and Campus Competitions. “It constitutes a major time commitment, but it results in our competitions manifesting the highest level of integrity. I congratulate all the students who’ve won an award, and I also thank the Fellowship Board for their phenomenal devotion to the process.”   


For more information about these awards visit the listings in the Graduate College’s Fellowship Finder database.


Graduate College Dissertation Completion Fellowship

Graduate College Master’s Project Travel Grant

Graduate College Dissertation Project Travel Grant