Reimagined fellowships increase departmental rankings, attract quality faculty, and enhance learning for all students.
Top-ranked academic departments require strong PhD programs that foster the educational ecosystem. Star professors pursue universities with the best graduate fellows, and at UVA, undergraduates work alongside graduate fellows producing critical research. Endowment funding for the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences is a vital priority in the Campaign. It is imperative to close the 20% stipend gap that draws doctoral recruits to competing universities and to shape the next generation of faculty with qualified, diverse PhD candidates.
Four innovative programs have generated impressive early results. Dean’s Doctoral Fellowships pay a premium to top underrepresented scholars, such as women in the sciences or Black and Latinx fellows in the humanities. The rate of graduate students accepting offers of admission is averaging an enviable 50%, with UVA winning students over top Ivy League and elite public universities. In the last year, A&S’s highly rated English department landed its most competitive and diverse PhD class ever. The Inter-School Fellowship provides an extra year for doctoral students to earn a master’s degree outside of A&S to enhance their research and skills. Degrees have been awarded in Data Science, Public Health, and Historical Preservation and Urban Design. Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowships recruit up to five applicants into faculty proposed research clusters. These collaborations across departments and schools deepen UVA’s strength in strategically important emerging research areas. Bridge Fellowships bring a cohort of prospective PhD candidates from underrepresented populations for a fully funded two-year master’s degree program that prepares them for the rigor of doctoral study and provides unprecedented access, mentoring and community. We anticipate welcoming successful Bridge Fellows into UVA’s PhD programs in Fall 2023.
These fellowship programs are helping A&S attract the best doctoral candidates and raise departmental rankings. With initial seed funding expiring in 2023, A&S must secure endowment gifts to sustain and expand our success.
"The Dean’s Doctoral Fellowship was a signal... that the faculty and the institution believed in my potential as a future scholar.” - Humanities PhD student and Dean’s Doctoral Fellow