CSE graduate fellowship nomination instructions

Nomination Deadline

Nominations are due by Noon on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023.


The purpose of the fellowships is to recruit outstanding graduate students to the College of Science and Engineering. The fellowship consists of a stipend of $27,600 for the academic year (September-May), tuition of up to 14 graduate credits per semester (fall and spring), and subsidized health insurance for the academic year and the following summer. Fellows are responsible for all student fees and other charges, and tuition beyond 14 credits.

The college awards one-, two-, and three-year fellowships. Only the most exceptional nominees will be offered a multi-year award. Fellows with a two-year award have up to five additional years in which to take the second year of support; fellows with a three-year award have up to six additional years. (Note that the extra time is not provided because of any expectation that degrees should take an excessive amount of time; rather, it is to avoid creating a disincentive to apply for other awards/fellowships that may be available to individuals early in their studies.)


Applicants to doctoral programs in the College of Science and Engineering for fall semester 2023 are eligible. Applicants to master’s programs should only be nominated if they plan to continue on to a Ph.D. immediately after completion of the master’s degree. Students who have already been admitted to a graduate program are not eligible.

Nominating procedures

In late fall each year, programs will receive a memo indicating the number of nominations they may submit. Each nomination consists of one PDF file labeled with the candidate’s name.

Nominations must include the following with the cover sheet first:

  • CSE graduate fellowship nomination cover sheet (PDF)
  • The application PDF - downloaded from the Slate admissions system - containing the following parts:
    • Biographic/Personal Information
    • Academic History and Transcripts
    • Employment History and Resume
    • Recommendations
    • Materials/Uploads (Statement of purpose and/or diversity statement only. Do not include publications or writing samples)

DGS Statement

The nomination cover page contains a section for the DGS to enter a statement about each nominee. The statement should cover information about the undergraduate institution and the candidate's record there, the candidate's research experience and/or potential, the candidate’s goals/interests and fit within the graduate program, and any important personal attributes of the candidate, taken from letters or from direct knowledge of the nominee. The DGS should refrain from quoting extensively from the nominee’s letters of recommendation. The following should be addressed, when applicable:

Discipline-specific information Information that may not be apparent to those outside the field, such as department reputations or publication norms. For example, you might state that a lesser known school is excellent in some particular area.

Diversity or uniqueness Highlight a nominee who will add diversity to the program, or has a unique attribute or background that will bring a different perspective to the program.

UMN undergraduates If you nominate an undergraduate from your own program, it would be helpful to the reviewers for the DGS to explain why it’s beneficial for the student to remain at UMN.

International nominees Programs should not be discouraged from nominating candidates with non-U.S. degrees. The DGS may elaborate on the program’s direct knowledge of the student (e.g., from visits or calls), the institution, the major program, the identity and reputation of the letter writers, and so forth. Programs are advised not to nominate a student for whom thorough information is lacking.

Potentially negative factors Explain any deficiencies the nominee may have, such as fluctuating grades, recommendation letters that are not credible or that are conflicting, discrepancies or inconsistencies in credentials, etc.

Review criteria

The review will be conducted by the CSE Fellowship Committee, composed of four faculty from across the college representing a mix of science and engineering disciplines. Each nomination will be independently reviewed and rated by all four committee members. All aspects of the file are considered together, and no one factor alone decides the outcome. The Committee will select recipients based on the strength of the following elements:

  • Nominee’s undergraduate academic record and research experience— in the context of the rigor and reputation of the undergraduate college and major (and the graduate record, if applicable)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • The nominee’s goals/interest statement and fit within the program

Submission process

Programs will receive a link to a private folder in Google Drive to which they will upload the fellowship nominations. The DGS and graduate program coordinator will be given access to the folder.