R1 Distinguished Dissertation Fellowship Guidelines

2021-22 Fellowships

  • Fellowship Applicants: Submission deadlines vary by program. Contact your graduate representative for your internal application deadline.
  • Graduate Program Representatives: Submit your program’s nominations to the Graduate School by 4:30 p.m. (CST) on Wednesday, January 13, 2021.

Description of Award

The Graduate School R1 Distinguished Dissertation Fellowship award (R1DDF) is intended to support UWM’s R1 status by supporting PhD students who plan to finish and defend their dissertations and complete all the requirements for the PhD degree during the 2021-22 award year. Students are nominated for this award by their programs and compete with other nominees from across the university. Major advisors must certify that their nominees are expected to complete the degree by the end of the award year. Fellowship award decisions are made by a university faculty committee. Fellows will receive a stipend of $16,500, full coverage of resident tuition and remission of non-resident tuition and be eligible for low-cost comprehensive health insurance.


  1. Status: R1DDF applicants must be enrolled in a PhD degree program at UWM and must be able to finish their dissertation and complete the degree program during the award period
  2. Concurrent Fellowship/Scholarship Support: No other scholarship or fellowship may be held concurrently with a Distinguished Dissertation Fellowship with the exception of small monetary awards, the UWM Chancellor’s Graduate Student Award, or a philanthropic award.
  3. Maximum Dissertation Support: An R1DDF may be held for a maximum of one academic year. No awardee may be nominated for further fellowship support.
  4. Concurrent Employment: Concurrent employment of R1DDF recipients is limited to the following:
    • University employment of a maximum of 25% TA, PA, or RA.
    • Student hourly of up to 15 hours per week.

Selection Criteria

The R1DDF will be awarded on the basis of how well the combination of the applicant’s academic record, scholarly and other achievements, dissertation abstract, and advisor’s recommendation supports the expectation that the applicant will complete all requirements (including finishing and defending the dissertation) for the PhD by the end of the award year, 2021-22.

  • Evaluation is based on the totality of information available. No single factor is decisive.
  • It is understood that excellence takes many forms across disciplines.
  • Each application is considered holistically, and factors such as academic background, experiences, perspectives, aspirations, values, and accomplishments are taken into account.

Graduate Degree Program Nomination Instructions

Note: Both the students’ applications and your program’s nominations are submitted entirely online.

Before submitting your degree program’s online nomination, please make sure that you have followed the instructions and have included all the necessary documentation.

  1. Verify all information submitted by your nominee:
    • Application. This should be filled out completely. To see what information is requested of students, see the R1DDF section under Fellowships on the Types of Funding page.
    • One letter of recommendation from student’s major professor, who will certify that the student is expected to complete all degree requirements by the end of the award year.
  2. After the applicant’s information has been verified, use the online application to submit a summary statement explaining why the nominee is your best candidate for the R1DDF and to certify that the students will finish by the end of the award year.
  3. Students with all completed documents will be considered nominated for your degree program.

Program nominations for the 2021-22 award year must be submitted online no later than 4:30 p.m. (CST) on January 13, 2021. THIS IS THE DEADLINE DATE. No nominations will be accepted after this date and time. See programs for internal deadlines.

Degree Program Follow-Up to Applicants

After you submit your nominated applicant to the competition, please notify all of your degree program’s fellowship applicants (non-nominated as well as nominated applicants) of the status of their fellowship applications.

For questions regarding any of these procedures, please contact the Graduate School at gs-fellowships-distinguished@uwm.edu.