Call for Nominations, Spring 2021
Self Graduate Fellowship Information for University of Kansas Departments
The Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship (SGF) offers a unique opportunity for students seeking a Ph.D. at the University of Kansas. SGF supports outstanding doctoral students in business, economics, engineering, mathematics, pharmaceutical science, and physical science fields. SGF seeks student nominations from eligible departments for those who will begin work on a Ph.D. in the fall semester of 2021. First-year doctoral students may also be nominated for this award by their department. Contact the SGF office if you have questions regarding eligibility.
In order to ensure department support and collect all necessary admission documents, students are required to work with departments when completing and submitting a fellowship nomination. Departments are responsible for nominating potential students from their admissions pool, as well as current first-year students in an eligible Ph.D. program.
Nominations must be submitted by 12:00p.m. CST on February 3, 2021.
Please note that all nomination materials will be sent directly to departments for compilation and final submission. Nomination materials should not be emailed to SGF. Fellowship nominations are submitted by department staff using the Admit System.
Award and Program Overview
Self Graduate Fellows receive a support package that in total exceeds $180,000. New Self Graduate Fellows for 2021-2022 will receive $32,000 each year for four years. Payment is through appointment as a graduate research assistant. The fellowship covers tuition, fees, and the employer’s share of student health insurance costs. Fellows will also have access to a $5,500 professional development award over the course of four years as a fellow.
The Fellow Development Program is a distinctive feature of the fellowship and serves to compliment the specialized education and training provided by a Ph.D. program. This unique development program provides training and instruction in communication, management, innovation, and leadership to assist Self Graduate Fellows in preparation for future leadership roles. Fellow Development Program topics include oral and written communication, negotiation, teamwork, advocacy, ethics, leadership, business planning and development, financial management, human resources management, project management, and more. The topics listed above occur over a four year sequence throughout the fellowship.
Program activities include two week-long skill sessions, biweekly luncheons, communication coaching workshops, lectures on public policy topics, an alumni mentor program, and a government and science policy seminar 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.
Department Nomination Guidelines
Who to nominate
SGF seeks individuals whose academic preparation, vision, and commitment to career goals match the Self Graduate Fellow profile. SGF guidelines direct the SGF Board of Trustees to select an entering class with a variety of career goals in the private sector, government, or higher education.
Fellowship nominees must:
- Be U.S. citizens
- Have been admitted into one of the SGF eligible disciplines
- Received their first bachelor’s degree within the last eight years (Jan. 2013- 2021)
- Be an incoming or first-year Ph.D. student at the time of nomination
Self Graduate Fellow profile
Please read this paragraph thoroughly because the success of nominations - both the written portion and the oral interview - depends on the nominee’s response to how the nominee fits these traits.
"The Ideal candidate possesses unusual motivation, passion, and potential to make significant contributions to their profession and to society. In addition to a strong academic record, the candidate has leadership, communication, and decision-making skills. The candidate should display personal attributes including self-awareness, emotional maturity, initiative, tenacity, energy, vision, risk-taking, and interpersonal effectiveness. The ideal candidate is interested in personal development and lifelong learning and is committeed to participation in the Fellow Development Program."
How to nominate
Please send the “Prospective Fellow Information” document to your student nominees as soon as they have been identified by the department as potential candidates. This will allow students to begin preparing their nomination materials that are to be submitted alongside the department nomination materials. It also contains directions for the SGF personal statement, (which is one of the most important documents in the nomination process). An outline of the student materials required for nomination and the “Prospective Fellow Information” document can be found on the “Faculty/Staff Resources” tab on the SGF website.
The nomination file must be formally submitted by the department and should include: the SGF cover sheet provided at the end of this document, a letter of nomination from the department, copies of the candidate’s KU graduate school application, transcripts, application statement (to the department), plus any other supporting materials from the department required for admission. * The SGF Nomination in Admit should autopopulate the student’s graduate admissions information if they have been accepted into the department program. Finally, the department must attach the student’s nomination materials such as the SGF personal statement, letters of recommendation and waiver form.
Selection process overview
Nominations are due by noon CST on February 3, 2021. Please note that nominations will be submitted electronically through the Admit System by the nominating department. Nomination files are reviewed by a team of faculty members and SGF staff. A thorough nomination file is very important. The SGF Board of Trustees reviews recommendations from the evaluation team and decide who to invite for an interview.
Students selected for interviews will receive invitations by mid-February 2021.
Interviewees will be invited to interview for the Self Graduate Fellowship during the week of March 1-5, 2021. Interviews are one hour long. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, interviews will be conducted via Zoom. Campus visits will not be coordinated or funded by the Self Graduate Fellowship.
The Self Graduate Fellowship aims to interview approximately 25 nominees. The fellowship currently has 43 Self Graduate Fellows, however interview invitations and formal offer size varies from year to year.
The deadline for student acceptance of offers is April 15, 2021. Students are strongly encouraged to notify SGF and departments of their decision as soon as possible as this may affect other student offers. Departments should maintain communication and regularly update SGF with nominee information or decisions collected within the department.
For more information, visit the SGF website www.selfgraduate.ku.edu or contact the Self Graduate Fellowship office.
Outline of the Required Student Nomination Materials:
Please note that all student materials will need to be collected and then submitted by the department electronically through the Admit System. Departments may set their own deadlines for requesting student materials. Nominations are due by noon CST on February 3, 2021.
- Self Graduate Fellowship Personal Statement
The SGF personal statement is critical to student success in the Self Graduate Fellowship selection process. This is the student nominee’s opportunity to demonstrate how they fit the profile of a Self Graduate Fellow. The statement should be authentic and should tell the student’s story in their own words. The SGF Personal Statement should be two to three pages long and in 12-point type. Nominees must include the following points:
- The academic and professional choices you have made to date and why
- Your career goals, both short-term and long-term (Do you plan to pursue a career in government, the private sector, or higher education?)
- How you envision yourself in a leadership role?
- How you match/fit the Self Graduate Fellow profile (see below)
Self Graduate Fellow Profile:
“The ideal candidate possesses unusual motivation, passion, and potential to make significant contributions to their profession and to society. In addition to a strong academic record, the candidate has leadership, communication, and decision-making skills. The candidate should display personal attributes including self-awareness, emotional maturity, initiative, tenacity, energy, vision, risk-taking, and interpersonal effectiveness. The ideal candidate is interested in personal development and lifelong learning and is committed to participation in the Fellow Development Program.”
- Student Resume
All nominees for 2021 must submit a resume. This should be distinguished from a traditional academic vita, as this document should highlight a variety of leadership experiences and significant achievements from work, school, volunteer projects, and extracurricular activities. Awards, honors and research experiences should also be listed. Memberships and offices held should be noted as well.
- Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation are not required, however, students are strongly encouraged to include SGF specific letters in their nomination. These letters provide additional materials for reviewers to refer when determining student fit to profile. It also provides students with the option to include letter writers who may not traditionally be included in graduate admissions, but can offer information on SGF attributes and program fit.
Departments are encouraged to contact students early who apply to the Ph.D. program in order to prepare students for the SGF specific documentation required. Departments may choose to ask the student to contact someone outside of higher education to write a letter of recommendation. The person being asked to write the letter may be given the following:
“Outstanding Ph.D. students may be nominated for the prestigious Self Graduate Fellowship. Please describe this individual’s motivation, passion, and potential to make significant contributions to their profession and to society. A successful nominee will have a strong record of leadership and decision-making skills. They will display personal attributes that include self-awareness, emotional maturity, initiative, tenacity, energy, vision, risk-taking, and interpersonal effectiveness.”
Departments may also choose to add a similar statement on their own application forms.
- Access/Waiver Form
A completed access/waiver form from the student is required. A signed form can be scanned and submitted to the department via the student’s email address and will be accepted in lieu of a signed hard copy. The access/waiver form is the last page of the “Prospective Fellow Information” document on the SGF website, located in the resource block.
Final Nomination Submission
Please note that all files are submitted electronically through Admit. The nomination file must accurately reflect the student’s fit for the Self Graduate Fellowship and alignment with the fellowship mission.
We thank you for your efforts.
Please direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SGF Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
As a department that supports graduate students at the University of Kansas, the Self Graduate Fellowship is committed to recruiting, retaining, and equitably supporting the diverse needs and identities of all students. The interdisciplinary nature of the fellowship recognizes the inherent value that comes from having fellows across a variety of disciplines, intellectual viewpoints, values, cultural backgrounds, and life experiences. The Self Graduate Fellowship also recognizes that it plays a critical role in reducing the barriers that many students face when pursuing a doctoral degree, and will continue to work towards instilling leadership skills and professional development that supports students well beyond their degree.
The Self Graduate Fellowship will continue to uphold the University of Kansas mission by providing opportunities for intellectual growth and professional development, regardless of a person’s social, cultural, and economic background.