University Graduate Fellowship


The University Graduate Fellowship (UGF) directs institutional funding to support recruitment, retention, and timely degree completion for outstanding graduate students who are engaged in scholarship advancing the university's goals for research, scholarship, and creative activities (RSCA). 

The UGF is a two-year funding program for graduate students whose faculty mentor(s) have successfully attained external funding to support their students and is awarded through a merit-based, competitive process. Across both years, the student is appointed as an SDSU Research Fellow with a minimum stipend of $30,000*. For one of the two years, the College of Graduate Studies (CGS) provides the financial support. In the matching year, the faculty mentor’s grant (external funding through the SDSU Research Foundation) is billed for the financial support that they have committed to.

Effective 2024

In addition to the stipend support described above, Research Fellows will receive a UGF Scholarship^ each year of the fellowship that can be used towards tuition, fees, health insurance, etc.

In order for applications to be competitive upon review, faculty mentors are encouraged to commit to the cost of the UGF Scholarship, along with stipend support during the match year. Please note that this fellowship does not include tuition (in-state nor out-of-state) nor other mandatory fee waivers.

*Research Fellows may not be additionally employed in a Unit 11 position (TA, GA, or ISA).

^For the 2023-2024 academic year the cost of the UGF Scholarship was $3,200. (This cost will likely increase for the 2024-2025 academic year.)

Matching Commitment

The UGF invests institutional funding that is intended to supplement, not displace, external sources of support for graduate students. Therefore, a matching requirement is included in the design of the program. Submitted applications with matching commitments that include the required stipend along with the cost of the UGF Scholarship will be scored higher. Please refer to the scoring rubric to best position your application for funding.  Key details regarding the program, including nomination instructions, and scoring rubric are linked below. 

It is the faculty mentor’s responsibility to make sure the PI of the matching fund(s) communicates with their SDSU Research Foundation grant specialist regarding all costs associated with providing matching funds for the UGF (fringe costs/UGF Scholarship/etc.).

For flexibility, the matching year can be the first or the second year of the fellowship with the other year funded by CGS as described above. Teaching responsibilities are not permitted during the year on fellowship, nor as part of the matching commitment.

As part of the nomination, the faculty mentor (known as the co-sponsor) will submit a narrative that commits external funding for support during one of two fellowship years. External sources can be extramural funding or philanthropy that is managed through the SDSU Research Foundation. Importantly, the match cannot be made from state funds or partner campus funding sources.

The graduate program director may serve as the faculty co-sponsor in circumstances where a well-qualified nominee does not yet have a faculty mentor with financial responsibility but does have a readily identified source of external funding. For example, the program director may nominate an incoming student supported by a training grant, endowed scholarship, or external fellowship. 

Failure by the faculty mentor to honor their commitment could jeopardize further UGF funding.

Important Reminder

The Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities (CSRR) and the student’s home college will be consulted to ensure that the student is in compliance with the Student Code of Conduct and/or their program’s Graduate Professional Standards.

Award nominees: A potential awardee is subject to being deemed ineligible for an award if (a) it is determined by CSRR that the student is in violation of the Student Code of Conduct and/or (b) if the program notifies the College of Graduate Studies that the student has violated their program’s Graduate Professional Standards.

Current awardees: A current student awardee is subject to having their fellowship or scholarshiprescinded if (a) it is determined by CSRR that the student is in violation of the Student Code of Conduct and/or (b) if the program notifies the College of Graduate Studies that the student has violated their program’s Graduate Professional Standards. 

Nomination Process

Faculty co-sponsors will need to send the completed co-sponosr form (link below) and a copy of their nominee’s CV to the student’s program advisor/director before the deadline. Nominations that are not submitted by a graduate program advisor/director will not be considered.

Post-Award Report

If awarded, the faculty mentor and student must submit a short report detailing their accomplishments and project progress.

The 2024-2025 UGF award cycle opened on February 1, 2024 and nominations are due by 11:59 pm Pacific Time on March 31, 2024.

2024-2025 UGF Advisor/Director Nomination Google Form

2024-2025 UGF Advisor/Director Nomination Google Form pdf (for reference only)

2024-2025 UGF Faculty Co-Sponsor Nomination Form (fillable-pdf)

2024-2025 UGF Rubric

If you have questions, feel free to reach out to [email protected].