All students must submit their application to the Graduate School ONLINE


The Graduate School will be awarding ten new Graduate Council Fellowships (GCFs) for exceptionally qualified incoming doctoral and MFA students for Fall of 2008. We expect to make offers to about 35-40 applicants to fill these ten positions. The fellowships are available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only.

As in prior years, the Graduate Council fellowship offers $50,000 additional support to attract our best domestic applicants. Historically, the fellowship is paid as a supplement to program-level support (assistantship stipend, tuition scholarship, etc.) at the rate of $10,000 per year for five years - thus creating a five year support package which coupled with TA/GA or RA support from the nominating graduate program (minimum of half line per year for 5 years), a full tuition scholarship, a Graduate School funding to provide competitive offers.

We have some concerns that, in light of recent base stipend increases (which significantly reduce the margin between a standard TA ($15,145) and a minimum GCF package (1/2 TA @ $7,573 + 10,000 = $17,573) and stipend levels offered by peer institutions, the historical GCF package may no longer be sufficient to attract the best students.

In light of these we are recommending that programs rethink how best to use the $50,000 GCF supplement after considering standard funding streams in your program. For example, in the Humanities and Social Sciences where the standard support package for Fall 2008 doctoral admits will be approximately $17,000 ($15K TA stipend plus supplemental funds), we suggest that the program maintain its full TA line support to GCF awardee and supplement that TA funding with GCF funding as follows:
  • Years 1-4 Full TA at $15,145, plus stipend supplement (from GS, what used to be Presidential and University fellowship money and this piece is still pending approval from Provost Kaler) of $2000 + GCF supplement of $6,500. Total stipend $23,645.
  • Year 5 (could be earlier if that suited program better, so either a research or dissertation year). $24,000 pure fellowship year, no stipend cost to program.
This change would keep the cost to the GCF fund at $50K and would increase the program's investment of TA support from 2.5 lines to 4 lines over the five years. In the sciences, we recommend "topping off" year 1 & 2 standard stipends with a $10,000 GCF supplement, fully supporting the GCF as an RA in years 3 & 4 (at comparable level to the year 1 & 2 funding) and then providing a dissertation (year 5) award comprised solely of the GCF stipend of $30,000. In this manner, a GCF award could potentially provide 5 years of support at, or near, the NSF fellowship level of $30K.

As always, students nominated for GCF's must have been admitted (evidenced by an offer of admission and full support issued prior to the date of nomination) to the relevant doctoral or MFA program and offered full support. Each program may nominate up to five candidates. Submission of a nomination by the program implies agreement, in the event the nomination is successful, that the program will honor its financial obligations in each academic year of the fellowship and will provide a full tuition scholarship from the program's tuition scholarship allocation.

  • Identify the applicant in the Apply Yourself (AY) system. You must have an AY account to accomplish this (detailed instructions are below).
  • Submit a letter of nomination. The letter must be written or endorsed by the Graduate Director. The nomination MUST include (1) specific reasons why the nominee is considered a top applicant, (2) a statement describing the criteria the program employs in making admissions decisions and an evaluation of the nominee against these criteria.
  • Provide a detailed description of the proposed GCF offer. Specifically, identify the extent and timing of programmatic support and the timing and amount of GCF support (not to exceed $50,000 total over 5 years). (see example below). Nomination packages that do not include this information cannot be considered.
  • Submission of relevant transcripts in electronic (pdf) format.
  • Submission of the existing offer of admission and support issued to the applicant by the nominating graduate program.
All nominees must be identified within Apply Yourself by Thursday, January 31, 2008. All other nomination materials (#2, 3, 4 & 5, above) must be submitted electronically, via email, by the close of business on Friday, February 1, 2008.

All nomination materials must be submitted electronically - via Lotus notes and must be submitted by the Graduate Program Director or, if submitted by another person then the Graduate Program Director must be copied on the email. If you encounter problems compiling or sending the electronic nomination package, please contact Barbara Byrne at 2-7039.

These fellowships are an important and effective means to attract the best and brightest students to Stony Brook. The selection committee will review the nominations during the week of February 4-8, 2008 and meet during the week of February 11th to finalize its decisions. The Graduate School anticipates announcing the results no later then February 15th, 2008 .

Instructions for nomination an applicant for a GCF within Apply Yourself