Presidential Fellowship Nomination Guidelines

Competitively awarded, the Presidential Fellowship gives fellows one year of full financial support. This support is provided so fellows can complete their dissertations or terminal degree projects, and to graduate unimpeded by other duties.  The Presidential Fellowship is funded by the Elmer C. Rhoden Fellowship Fund, administered by the University of Nebraska Foundation.  

Fellowship Award

  • $24,000 fellowship stipend
  • Full tuition during the award period
  • All mandatory student fees during the award period
  • University-sponsored student health insurance
  • $1000 travel allowance

Student Eligibility

  • Must be a doctoral student or student in a full-time terminal degree program (e.g., MFA).
  • Have completed all degree coursework by the time the fellowship is activated.
  • Have entered Candidacy (for doctoral students) by the nomination deadline.
  • Have one academic year (at least fall and spring semesters) remaining in their program.
  • Have not accepted remunerative employment during the fellowship award period.

Nomination Process

  • Departments may nominate graduate students who meet the eligibility criteria.
  • A student who was previously nominated for the Presidential fellowship but was not an awardee can be nominated again provided they still meet the student eligibility criteria specified above.
  • A crucial part of the process is for departments to screen potential nominees carefully and submit nominations only for candidates deemed to be truly outstanding.
  • The selection committee will not review nominations that do not meet the eligibility criteria or follow the procedures.
  • Required Nomination Materials include the following:
    • Nominee’s Personal Statement
    • Nominee’s CV or Resume
    • One Recommendation Letter

Evaluation Process

Nominations will be evaluated by a selection committee; the committee will consider all the required information submitted in support of an individual nomination.  Evaluations will focus on the following:

  • Overall accomplishments to date given years in graduate school (accomplishments meaning the metric appropriate to the discipline – publications, patents, chapters, works of art, classroom innovation, etc.)  
  • Clarity of educational and professional development plans.  
  • Feasibility of education and professional development plans.
  • Overall strength of application, including letters of recommendation.  

Fellowship Requirements

  • Fellows must be admitted into a graduate major, with a specific degree objective.
  • Fellows must be registered full-time or eligible for full-time certification during the award period.
  • Fellowships awarded must begin the subsequent fall semester.
  • Presidential fellows may not hold any other type of employment or paid appointment.
  • For fellows graduating prior to their Presidential Fellowship expiration date, the fellowship and any benefits will terminate at the end of the semester in which they graduate.
  • If a fellow leaves the University prior to the Presidential Fellowship expiration date, the fellowship and any benefits will terminate immediately.