Promising Scholar Award


Round Nomination Deadline for programs Notification by
1 February 1, 2023 by 5p PST February 10, 2023 by 5p PST
2 February 22, 2023 by 5p PST March 3, 2023 by 5p PST


The purpose of the Promising Scholar Award is to recruit highly qualified incoming graduate students from diverse backgrounds who enhance and advance the academic and scholarly excellence of the university.

The award is administered by the Division of Graduate Studies in partnership with programs, schools and colleges, and the Office of the Provost to leverage our collective resources in support of our shared goals to increase the number of outstanding UO graduate students of diverse backgrounds and experiences.

2022-2023 Promising Scholars

Forty-five prospective graduate students were awarded this prestigious award for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Award Details

$6,000 top off stipend from the Division of Graduate Studies with flexible distribution options:

  • Three installments in student's first year (i.e., $2,000 in Fall, Winter, and Spring terms)
  • Lump sum in first term of study (e.g., first Fall term to defray the cost of relocating)
  • Lump sum in first summer of study as a research, travel, or cost of living supplement
  • Two installments in student's first and second summer

Award funds are distributed directly to students' UO billing account. Any outstanding balance may be deducted automatically from award funds. Students who opt for summer distribution do not need to be registered for Summer courses.




  • Offer at least two years of GE support at minimum .40 FTE -or- the typical FTE of the program, if higher
  • Round 1: May nominate up to six admitted students
  • Round 2: May nominate up to six admitted students, including any admitted student not selected in Round 1


  • Shows evidence of strong academic promise
  • Identifies as underrepresented in graduate education and the program of admission (Click here for support on defining "underrepresentation")
  • Pursuing a doctoral -or- terminal degree in fields where doctoral degrees are not offered (e.g., MFA in Creative Writing)


Program Eligibility

Programs must offer students admission prior to nominations in combination with at least two years of Graduate Employee (GE) support or comparable funding. GE support must be at minimum .40 FTE -or- the typical FTE of the program, if higher. Programs are responsible for securing this funding.

Programs may nominate up to six admitted applicants per round. Any nominee not selected for funding in the first round may be resubmitted again for consideration in the second round.

Because the function of the award is to diversify the learning environment and advance the scholarly excellence of programs, programs must provide a Letter of Support from the Department Head for each nominee detailing the way(s) in which a nominee has the potential to contribute a new or different perspective to the learning environment and therefore field. Please use the template provided here (pdf) -OR- here (docx). For support on defining social identities, click here. Unsure of how to identify "underrepresentation" -or- what to prioritize in the 250-word limit? Click here for a general guide. 

Programs are encouraged to notify recruits of nominations. A template is provided here

Awards are not transferable to other admitted students in the same program, and awards cannot be deferred. 

Student Eligibility

The following is required for all nominees:

  • Student must be admitted to the program
  • Student shows evidence of strong academic promise
  • Student identifies as a member of an underrepresented population within the program
  • Student must be pursuing a doctoral -or- terminal degree in fields where doctoral degrees are not offered (e.g., MFA in Creative Writing). Students in programs that initially classify their doctoral students as master's students qualify.

Award Process


Award selections will be made by the Graduate Council.


  • Click here for nomination instructions
  • Letter of Support templates provided here (pdf) and here (docx)
  • Click here for Slate support to view candidate's info


The Round 2 submission window is now open.

Nominate a Promising Scholar

For questions about the submission process or funding components, contact the Division of Graduate Studies.


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