Fellowships and Scholarships

***The SCBI Fellowship will not be offered for Fall 2014***

Provost Award
Presidential Scholarship

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Environmental Science and Policy Department Provost PhD Program Award

Students applying to the Doctoral Program in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy for Fall 2014 admission will be considered for three, newly established Graduate Research Assistantships in the amount of $19,000-$20,000 per year for three years. In addition, these GRAs will come with $2,000-$3,000 in research support funds.  Criteria to be considered for the awarding of these GRAs include undergraduate and graduate GPAs, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and a statement of research interest required for the admission application as well as the potential for additional funding by the student’s faculty advisor following year three. The Provost’s award also allows us to supplement some GTA positions with stipends, tuition waivers and research support. If you have questions, please email Dr. Albert P. Torzilli at atorzill@gmu.edu

The deadline for Fall admission is January 15. For details, see Graduate Admissions. It is advisable to have your application submitted by then for full consideration. Given the short lead-time for these awards, the ESP department may exercise some flexibility regarding this deadline if applications are at least initiated, if not fully completed, by this time.

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Presidential Scholarship

What is this scholarship?

The Presidential Scholarship is a program of support for first- time Ph.D. students. It is intended to assist George Mason in recruiting doctoral students of the highest caliber, and is offered and administered by the Office of the Provost.

Who can receive this scholarship?

This scholarship is offered to students by the Office of the Provost. Students are nominated for this scholarship by the department they have applied to.

A. SCHOLAR NOMINATION:
• Each Ph.D. program may have up to two Presidential Scholars (Scholar) per academic year.
• Nominations are to be submitted for a fall semester start. If a spring semester start is necessary in order to recruit a high-potential student, accommodations can be made, with restrictions*.
o Only the Office of the Provost may award this scholarship
• Scholarship requirements:
1. First-time Ph.D. student, and
2. Minimum GPA of 3.5 in the most recently earned degree, and
3. Minimum combined math and verbal GRE score of 1,200 on exams taken prior to August 1, 2011; combined score of 310 on the new revised GRE scale for exams taken August 1, 2011 and beyond. Scores must have been earned within the last five years.
• Steps for nomination:
1. The Ph.D. program must identify one eligible applicant.
2. The Ph.D. program may choose to advise the applicant that they are being nominated for this prestigious scholarship.
3. Doctoral Coordinators (or one designated appointee), should provide to Akitta Robertson (via fax: x3-8871, email: arober17@gmu.edu or intercampus mail: MS 3A2):
• A document officially nominating the applicant, and
• The applicant’s Graduate Admissions Profile (obtained from Banner)
4. The Associate Provost for Graduate Education will review the nomination and the Doctoral Coordinator will be contacted if there are any questions/concerns.
• If the nomination is approved, an offer letter will be emailed to the student via all email addresses provided by the student in Banner (cc: Doctoral Coordinator and the Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS), if applicable), as quickly as possible
• Original hard copies can be mailed to the student upon request. An address and phone number must be provided
5. Nominations must be received, at the very latest, two weeks prior to the first day of fall semester classes (contact Akitta Robertson at arober17@gmu.edu for this year’s exact date)!
• Nominees are granted a maximum of three weeks to respond to the offer letter (exact date will be specified).
• If the nominee declines the scholarship in writing (or via email), the Doctoral Coordinator may submit another nomination, provided that it is received by the deadline noted in step 5 above.

B. ESTABLISHING THE SCHOLARSHIP:
• Necessary steps:
1. Scholar returns the signed offer letter (via traditional mail or email) to Akitta Robertson within the time-frame specified on the offer letter.
• Akitta Robertson will email the Scholar to confirm receipt, the Doctoral Coordinator will be cc’d as notification of the acceptance of the scholarship
2. The academic unit’s Graduate Admissions Office must “accept” the student in Banner as quickly as possible.
3. The Department is to assign a faculty member to supervise the Scholar’s GRA assignment.
4. Scholars must complete the hiring paperwork with their department unless the hiring dept has made other arrangements with HR & Payroll. See Graduate Student Hiring and Support Guidelines on the Provost website for additional information.
5. Department: the original hiring paperwork must be sent to Human Resources (MS 3C3).
• Email Akitta Robertson at arober17@gmu.edu when hiring paperwork has been completed.
• A copy of the hiring paperwork must be kept with the Department
6. Upon notification that hiring paperwork is complete, Akitta Robertson will:
• Complete the Electronic Approval (EA)
• Post the tuition grant
• Code eligible students for subsidized health insurance

What is provided by this scholarship?

THE PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLARSHIP:
The scholarship provides:
o A Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) from August 25 through May 24 (dates for spring appointed scholars are from January 10 through May 24), and
 This involves 20-hour-per-week research-based work requirement
o A salary of $22,000 from August 25 through May 24 ($11,000 for spring appointed scholars), and
o A tuition grant covering nine credit hours in the fall and nine credit hours in the spring (9 credit hours in spring only for spring appointed scholars), and
 Scholar must be enrolled in nine credit hours each semester of this scholarship (contact Akitta Robertson if this is not possible)
 The tuition grant will also fund the Educational Resource Fee
o Subsidized health insurance (provided that eligibility is met: http://provost.gmu.edu/graduate-student-health-insurance/subsidized-graduate-student-health-insurance-eligibility/).
• The term of the scholarship is four years (eight semesters). Students cannot receive more than one term of this scholarship.
Scholarship restrictions:
o The scholarship may not be used to support a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA)
o Students holding the Presidential Scholarship may not engage in other on- or off-campus employment (including additional assistantships), without explicit written approval from the Associate Provost for Graduate Education and the Department Chair, Program Director, or Dean
 The maximum additional appointment for a student holding the Presidential Scholarship is 10 hours (for international students, consult OIPS for restrictions)
o If a graduate program supports a Scholar on a grant after the first year (under terms comparable to those of the Presidential Scholarship), the Doctoral Coordinator may nominate applicants for two new four-year scholarships for the following fall
o The Office of the Provost will not offer partial scholarships: if a Scholar does not consume the full four years of the scholarship, the remaining scholarship is not available to another student
Tuition grant restrictions (as related to the Presidential Scholarship):
o Tuition grants will not be awarded for courses taken in any summer term
o Tuition grants may not be used for noncredit courses, undergraduate courses, or course work taken through audit
o The Scholar will be responsible for paying for course work taken in excess of nine credit hours in any given semester
o Tuition grants do not cover the new student fee, course or lab fees
o Scholars are required to pay full or partial tuition for courses they drop after the last day to drop with full tuition refund

SCHOLARSHIP RENEWAL:
• Scholars do not have to request the renewal of their scholarship.
• Renewal requirements (verified post spring semester by the Office of the Provost):
o Cumulative GPA of 3.5
o Departmental support for the renewal
• The Office of the Provost will distribute an offer letter prior to the fall semester each year of the scholarship. Each letter must be signed and returned within the time frame specified on the offer letter.

SCHOLARSHIP TERMINATION:
• Scholars desiring to terminate their scholarship should speak with their advisors. If it is decided that the student will terminate his/her Presidential Scholarship, notify Akitta Robertson in the Office of the Provost (via fax: x3-8871, email: arober17@gmu.edu, or intercampus mail: MS 3A2).
• Scholars in noncompliance of the terms outlined within the offer letter are subject to termination (initiated by the Office of the Provost).

* SPRING APPOINTED SCHOLAR RESTRICTIONS:
• Upon the Scholar’s acceptance of the offer letter, Doctoral Coordinators must make it clear to Akitta Robertson in the Office of the Provost whether the program chooses to support the student for seven or eight semesters. This decision will likely have implications on the program’s recruitment schedule. Please contact Akitta Robertson at arober17@gmu.edu with questions.