Doctoral Fellowships for tomorrow's leaders

The Self Graduate Fellowship

The mission of the University of Kansas Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship is to identify, recruit, and provide development opportunities for exceptional Ph.D. students in business, economics, engineering, mathematics, biological, biomedical, pharmaceutical, bioinformatics, and physical sciences who demonstrate the promise to make significant contributions to their fields of study and society as a whole.

The Self Graduate Fellowship Graphic

Profile of a Self Graduate Fellow

Self Graduate Fellows are selected for their vision, career goals, and achievements. They are able to set and attain goals, show leadership potential and motivation, and possess a strong work ethic. Self Graduate Fellows also demonstrate initiative, passion for achievement and lifelong learning, and make a commitment to participate in the Fellow Development Program.

2015-2016 Award

New Self Graduate Fellows for 2015-2016 will receive annual support of $29,500 for four years. Payment is through appointment as a graduate research assistant, or occasionally as a graduate teaching assistant. The fellowship covers tuition, fees, and the employer's share of student health insurance costs. All fellows must actively participate in the Fellow Development Program. The total value of the four-year doctoral fellowship exceeds $165,000. The 31 current Self Graduate Fellows are among 154 students who have benefited from the fellowship since it was established in 1989.

The Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship offers a special opportunity for U.S. citizens seeking a Ph.D. at the University of Kansas. We seek students with the attributes we believe will put them on track to make a difference in the world and in their professions.

Departments identify and nominate admitted Ph.D. students in late January. Interested students should contact prospective departments early and complete a graduate school application during the fall semester.


The Fellow Development Program provides general education and training in communication, management, and leadership to assist Self Graduate Fellows in preparation for future leadership roles, complementing the specialized education and training provided in the Ph.D. programs. Fellows interact with nationally prominent experts to gain broad knowledge of public policy issues. A capstone of the development program is an intensive public policy seminar held in Washington, D.C.

Fields of Study


Accounting, Decision Sciences, Finance, Human Resources Management, Information Systems, Marketing, Organizational Behavior, Strategic Management


Aerospace Engineering; Bioengineering; Chemical and Petroleum Engineering; Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering; Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Mechanical Engineering

Liberal Arts and Sciences

Bioinformatics, Chemistry, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Economics, Geography (Physical), Geology, Mathematics (Applied), Molecular Biosciences, Physics


Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences, KU Medical Center, Kansas City. The IGPBS provides the first-year core curriculum for seven Ph.D. programs.


Medicinal Chemistry, Neurosciences, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmacology and Toxicology

Fellow Development Program

The Fellow Development Program is a distinctive feature of the Self Graduate Fellowship. It provides general education and training in communication, management, and leadership to assist Self Graduate Fellows in preparation for future leadership roles, complementing the specialized education and training provided in Ph.D. programs.

Fellow development program topics include oral and written communication, media communication, negotiation, teamwork, advocacy, ethics, leadership, business planning and development, financial management, human resources management, and project management and support.

Program activities include week-long skill sessions, held during the summer and winter breaks; biweekly luncheons; communication coaching sessions; lectures on public policy issues; and a government and science policy seminar held in Washington D.C. Fellows are expected to participate in the Fellow Development Program for four consecutive years. The time commitment is approximately 80 hours each year, plus preparation and travel time.

The University of Kansas is committed to excellence in graduate and professional education. Learn more about Graduate Studies.

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times