The University of Iowa

Fellowship Incentive Program

The Graduate College is pleased to offer a stipend incentive for currently enrolled UI graduate students to apply for approved nationally competitive grants and fellowships after receiving feedback from faculty and fellowships advisors. The 2020-2021 Fellowship Incentive Program (FIP) cycle offers a $400 incentive and is open July 2020 through early June 2021 (if you are applying in June 2020 or June 2021, please contact to confirm program cycle timing.)  For questions, please contact



Eligibility and Instructions

Example Eligible Fellowships

Payment Timeline and Information



Eligibility and Instructions:

  1. Confirm that your national fellowship of interest (example fellowships) and current graduate program (degrees conferred by the Graduate College) are in scope for the program. 
    • If your fellowship is not listed, please contact in advance to check if it is eligible.
    • Dual-degree students are eligible as long as you are enrolled in at least one Graduate College-conferred degree program (e.g., MD/PhD) at the time of your fellowship/FIP application.  Certificate-only students are not eligible at this time.
  2. Get feedback on a written draft from a faculty advisor before submitting your nationally competitive fellowship application.
  3. Get feedback on a written draft from a fellowships advisor from the below list before submitting your nationally competitive fellowship or grant application.
    • Current fellowships advisors in scope for FIP (and programs they serve) include:
    • If you are working with another fellowships advisor in your department who fills a similar role, please have them contact us in advance of FIP submission at to ensure coordination with the Fellowship Incentive Program. 
  4. Submit your national fellowship application to the funding agency and keep proof of submission.
    • Proof of submission files must include: (A) your name, (B) the date and year (not "today" or "yesterday"), and (C) text confirming the submission of the specifically named fellowship to the funding organization.
    • Example proof of submission files can include (but are not limited to): a confirmation email; a screenshot of an online submission page; notification of the funding decision from the organization (you are eligible for FIP regardless of whether you won the national fellowship); and/or confirmation that DSP has submitted your proposal to the funding agency for NIH, American Heart Association, or NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant applications.
  5. Fill out the online FIP application form.
    • Note A: if you worked with a fellowships advisor other than the Grad Success Office, please (1) check the application box confirming fellowship advisor feedback and (2) email with the name of your fellowship advisor--we will follow up with the fellowship advisor to confirm their feedback.
    • Note B: If you are in a graduate program that spans multiple departments (e.g., Neuroscience, Molecular Medicine) and your program isn't listed, please select your home department.
  6. After you submit your form, an email notification will be sent to your faculty advisor for verification in the Workflow system, then sent to the Graduate College for final confirmation with fellowships advisors. You will receive an email with instructions if there are any complications.
  7. You will receive a confirmation email from UI Grad Success ( when all required steps are completed ("Fellowship Incentive Program Award Confirmation and Payment Information.")  


Example Eligible Awards:

STEM (and related Social Sciences)

Humanities (and related Social Sciences)


Open Across Disciplines

Other awards of comparable scope may be considered with approval in advance--please contact



  • If you are enrolled and receiving federal financial aid through the Office of Student Financial Aid, please contact that office (, 319-335-1450, 208 Calvin Hall) to discuss any possible impacts of this award on your financial aid.
  • For the 2020-2021 cycle, FIP applications submitted during Summer 2020 or Fall 2020 will have payment disbursed in December 2020 (end of fall semester); FIP submissions submitted during Spring 2021 will have payment disbursed in June 2021 (end of fiscal year.)  We will send follow-up emails with the specific dates to notify you when disbursement happens.
    • If you have a financial emergency and need to receive your FIP payment sooner than the listed disbursement times, please contact
  • The incentive stipend will be paid by UI Billing direct deposit.  If you do not have a direct deposit refund account set up, please add a refund account on myUI under FINANCES & BILLING > Bank Information - Refund Account. 
    • Please note that if you have an unpaid charge on your UBill at the time of payment, the FIP funds initially will be automatically applied toward that balance.


Frequently Asked Questions

How many times can I apply for the Fellowship Incentive Program (FIP) in a year?

Graduate students are limited to 1 FIP award per fiscal year (e.g., June 2020 - May 2021). The fellowship/grant application must be submitted to the funding agency during the same fiscal year that the FIP award is made.


If I received a Fellowship Incentive Program (FIP) award in a previous fiscal year (e.g., 2019-2020 or earlier), can I apply again?

Yes, you can apply again in other years as long as you are applying for another eligible nationally competitive fellowship. You will also need to obtain both faculty advisor and fellowships advisor feedback for the new proposal(s) before submitting them to the funding agency.


Are postdocs (or fellowships that would take effect as a postdoc) eligible for the Fellowship Incentive Program (FIP)?

No; at this time, FIP awards are available only for graduate students applying for large, nationally competitive grants or fellowships that would be in effect during your graduate program.


Are NIH resubmissions eligible for FIP?

For your first FIP application, either an NIH new submission or an NIH resubmission can be eligible as long as you meet all feedback eligibility requirements.

If you received a FIP award from your NIH original submission in a previous fiscal year (e.g., 2020-2021 or earlier), an NIH resubmission in a new fiscal year (e.g., 2020-2021 or later) also can be eligible for a new FIP if (A) all feedback requirements are met for each FIP submission (i.e., feedback for an original submission's FIP does not carry over for the resubmission's FIP) and (B) the resubmission must have made substantive changes from the original submission.  Students cannot receive more than 1 FIP award within the same fiscal year, and the fellowship must be submitted within the same fiscal year as the FIP application (e.g., an April 2020 submission/resubmission during FY2019-202 is not eligible for a FY2020-2021 FIP.)


I already submitted my fellowship, but I didn’t get feedback on my proposal from the Grad Success office before I submitted it to DSP/the funding agency. Am I eligible for the Fellowship Incentive Program (FIP)?

Only if you worked with a comparable fellowships advisor (such as those listed in eligibility step 2) to get feedback from an outside perspective in addition to faculty mentor advising. If you have a comparable fellowships advisor/specialist in your department who fills a similar role, please have them contact us at to coordinate with the Fellowship Incentive Program.


I submitted an application for a large, nationally competitive fellowship in a previous academic year (2019-2020 or earlier), but I didn’t work with a fellowships advisor at the time. Can I still be eligible for the Fellowship Incentive Program (FIP) for that submission?

Unfortunately, no. The fellowship/grant application must be submitted to the funding agency during the same fiscal year that the FIP application is submitted (example: an April 2020 submission during FY2019-2020 is not eligible for a FY2020-2021 FIP.)


Do I need to win the national fellowship to receive a FIP award?

No; while applicants are expected to make their national fellowship proposal competitive to the best of their abilities, FIP awards are independent of whether you win the national fellowship.


I have another question not answered here.

Please email