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Fellowship Incentive Program

The ability to write a successful grant proposal is an important skill for success in many careers — it demonstrates logical thinking, clear writing, and understanding of a manageable scope of work. Receiving an external fellowship provides external evidence that a student has acquired these skills.

To encourage doctoral students to submit fellowship proposals, the College of Medicine has implemented this Fellowship Incentive Program.

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Fellowship Details

The College of Medicine fellowship incentive is described in the sections below.

Stipend Supplement Expand answer

The external award must provide a minimum of $45,000 total support (stipend, tuition, insurance) in order to qualify for the stipend bonus. The incentive will be distributed equally over the 12-month appointment.

The stipend of any student receiving a qualifying external fellowship will be supplemented with an additional 5 percent (approximate) of the current standard student stipend.

If the fellowship is greater than 105 percent of the current student stipend, (e.g., an NSF fellowship) the student receives the entire award.

Please note that the supplemental funds will be supplied by the PI/mentor for the student from the cost savings that they have realized from the student receiving the fellowship.

Eligibility Criteria Expand answer
  • Graduate students must be enrolled full-time at the College of Medicine and in good academic standing during the preceding two semesters to be eligible for this incentive program.
  • Fellowship awards must be in the student’s name from a source outside of Penn State and must be related to the research area of the student.
  • In cases where federal financial aid regulations or regulations of the external agency affect this incentive program, those regulations supersede the rules of this program.
Procedure to Receive Incentive Expand answer

After receiving the NIH Notice of Award (or similar document from other agencies or foundations), the student must send a single email stating they will be receiving an external fellowship and would like to initiate the paperwork to receive the College of Medicine Fellowship Incentive, to the following:

  • The financial manager for graduate education (currently Becky Yockey at
  • The financial coordinator for the student’s thesis adviser (typically this person is in the adviser’s departmental office; the adviser should know)

The following information must be included in this email:

  • A copy of the Notice of Award
  • A copy of the Fellowship Incentive Program description
  • The start and end dates of the award (if not recorded on the Notice of Award)
  • The name of the student’s thesis adviser
  • The name of the department in which the thesis adviser has their primary appointment

Failure to provide this information in a timely fashion may delay the start of the incentive.