The University of Iowa

Ballard and Seashore Dissertation Fellowships

This fellowship program provides an opportunity for Ph.D. students to benefit from a final semester of protected and supported time to focus on completing their scholarly research activities and the writing of their dissertations. A one-time fellowship award will be given for $10,000.

Typically fellowships cannot be used in combination with any other source of support (e.g., fellowship/scholarship, grant, graduate assistantships, or employment outside the University of Iowa) since the fellowships are meant to provide protected time for the student to advance his/her studies. Failure to report additional employment can be considered in future applications/nominations/continued Graduate College funding for both the student and the department. For more information or to ask for a possible one-time exception, contact the Graduate College. Please direct any questions to: Executive Director of Operations Donna Welter (335-2145) or Associate Dean Shelly Campo (335-2136) or via email at grad-fellowships@uiowa.edu.

It is expected that students, their mentors, and Director of Graduate Studies will have met and concluded that the students are concluding their dissertation work. The date the committee approved the dissertation topic/proposal (whichever is required in your department) must be provided as part of the workflow application. It is anticipated students are well into the writing process and able to provide an abstract of the dissertation work.

One-semester fellowships will be made annually. Priority will be given to students who have not received other dissertation fellowship support (e.g. CLAS dissertation writing fellowships) and who are expected to graduate in the semester they are receiving this fellowship. An additional dissertation fellowship opportunity will be extremely rare. If the student being nominated has already received a dissertation fellowship, the recommendations letters must make a compelling case for why more protected time is critically important in this case as opposed to nominating another student.

The Graduate College provides a $10,000 fellowship for one academic semester. The fellowship includes a tuition scholarship for two credit hours, 50 percent of the mandatory fees, and a contribution towards their health and dental insurance. Students will be responsible for the remainder of their mandatory and course fees as well as any additional required credit hours.

Recipients of the Post-Comprehensive Fellowship may also be considered for Ballard and Seashore Dissertation Fellowships; however, a minimum of one year must elapse following the Post-Comp Research Award period.

Please consult the Office of Student Financial Aid regarding how the award may affect financial aid packages.

Students must be nominated by their departments or programs. Applications for spring 2021 will be accepted from September 10, 2020 to September 24, 2020.

NOMINATION PROCESS

Because this is a final semester fellowship, a student may be nominated only once, when there is a high likelihood of completion within one semester of the fellowship period. The number of fellowships is limited and awards are highly competitive.

  • Successful dissertation completion by a department's previous fellowship recipients and by its general doctoral student cohort will be heavily weighted in award decisions. Departments/programs will become ineligible if students do not complete in a timely manner (e.g., within one semester of receiving the award).
  • Departments may nominate one student for every eight Ph.D. students admitted to candidacy, up to a maximum of four students. Nominations are to be rank ordered.
  • Nominees must have successfully completed the comprehensive examination at least one semester prior to being nominated.
  • Typically fellowships cannot be used in combination with any other source of support (e.g., fellowship/scholarship, grant, graduate assistantships, or employment outside the University of Iowa) since the fellowships are meant to provide protected time for the student to advance his/her studies. Failure to report additional employment can be considered in future applications/nominations/continued Graduate College funding for both the student and the department.

NOMINATION REQUIREMENTS

Online nominations must include the following items as separate PDF files:

STUDENT MATERIALS (SINGLE SPACED, 12 PT. TYPE, 1" MARGINS):

  • An abstract describing the dissertation (maximum 500 words). The abstract must be written in lay, language and the value of the research to the student's field (to be understood by the public) terms that addresses the purpose of the research, how the research will be carried out, and the value of the research to the student's field. Do not include references.
  • A two-page document containing 1) a descriptive list of chapters and 2) a timetable with major deliverables for completion of the dissertation (e.g., completion dates by each chapter).
  • A one-page CV of educational and professional experience, honors and awards, and publications.
  • A transcript (unofficial is acceptable).

TWO LETTERS OF SUPPORT

  • One letter from the nominee's dissertation director that includes:
    • how long the student has been working on the Ph.D.
    • confirmation the student will have successfully completed the comprehensive examination by the nomination deadline.
    • the student's qualifications for carrying out this research.
    • how much work has already been accomplished on the dissertation.
    • the value of the research topic to the specific field.
    • the likelihood that the degree will be completing in the semester in which she/he receives the award or at most within one semester of receiving the award.
    • if the student is being nominated for the semester before she/he is graduating, please provide justification for why the fellowship benefits the student earlier than the last semester.
  • One letter from a committee member or other faculty member familiar with the student's work.

DIRECTOR OF GRADUATE STUDIES BRIEF ENDORSEMENT

  • A brief endorsement that assesses the student’s academic progress, research potential and the likelihood that the degree will be completing in the semester in which she/he receives the award or at most within one semester of receiving the award. Please note that priority will be given to students who are on a clear timetable to finish their degree in that semester or very soon after (e.g., spring fellowship but will complete in summer). Deferring the award is only possible under unusual circumstances (e.g., health problem, an external funding opportunity).
  • In the case of multiple nominations from a department, the DGS letter must rank the nominees.

Nominations must be submitted online (link is external)by the department or program, with all materials prepared as PDF documents. Students must submit their part of the application materials to their department at least two weeks prior to the Graduate College deadline. Check with your department as soon as possible for their deadlines as well as inform them that you intended to apply. Applications submitted by the student (and not someone in the department such as the DGS, DEO or grad coordinator) will be voided and not considered.

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