Funding Opportunities for Graduate Student Recruitment 2022-2023

Who Should Apply: Department (head or director of graduate studies)

Deadline: Jan. 24, 2023

Contact for Inquiries: Kate Capshaw, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Dean’s Office will offer two opportunities again this year for departments to support graduate student recruitment.

For each of the opportunities below, please submit materials to by Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. We will confirm receipt of submitted materials within 48 hours. Please let us know if you do not receive confirmation.  

Strategic Priority Graduate Assistantships

Nominations are open for the Strategic Priority Graduate Assistantship program, for new Ph.D. students entering in fall 2023. The program is designed to help departments recruit Ph.D. students who advance particular priorities outlined in the CLAS strategic plan.

The Dean’s Office will offer up to 10 Strategic Priority Graduate Assistantships across CLAS based on a competition. We will create a waitlist if we receive more than 10 qualified nominations, so that we can quickly inform departments of their ability to extend another offer as recipients decline.

Specifically, we are offering support for selected new Ph.D. students who have demonstrated significant academic achievement, research potential or research experience, and a commitment to enhance a diverse and inclusive community in higher education.

Conditions and Terms

  • Departments will be provided with five-year assistantships to support the awardees.
  • Students will be funded at the level of a 20 hour/week graduate assistant during the academic year (fall and spring semesters).
  • In their first year (2023-2024), students will be free of teaching responsibilities and will focus on fulfilling degree requirements and launching their research.
  • In years two through five, students will be employed as full time (20 hour/week) teaching assistants unless they are on external funding, in which case they may be employed as research assistants.
  • Students must teach for at least two semesters during their graduate program.
  • In cases in which the awardee is supported on external funds, CLAS will continue to provide funding to the department for the extra graduate assistantship for the five-year period.

In addition to their academic achievement and research potential or experience, students should demonstrate a commitment to enhancing diversity and inclusion in higher education through participation in organizations or activities that directly broaden access, inclusion, and retention of all students in institutions of higher education or through experiences at a HBCU or other minority serving institution. Examples of such experiences might include participation in TRIO programs, work with cultural/affinity centers, volunteer experiences, or membership on college or university committees focused on these goals. Students will provide evidence of this commitment through the educational experiences reflected in their applications to UConn, including in their personal statement and/or letters of recommendation. In accordance with state law, the selection process for your nominee may not exclude consideration based on age, sex, ancestry, color, race, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, cultural background, marital status, disability, religion, or status as a veteran.   

Departments may nominate up to three students they have admitted to their Ph.D. program who are graduates of an institution of higher education in the United States. Only students domiciled in the United States are eligible. Departments must submit a letter of support that explains the suitability of the applicant(s) to their program and this funding initiative, along with the student’s application materials.  

Ph.D. Early Starts 

The CLAS Ph.D. Early Starts program is aimed at assisting departments in recruiting outstanding diverse graduate students. The program provides the opportunity for newly admitted Ph.D. students to spend up to three months during the summer immediately preceding their first year of graduate study. The goal of the early start is to introduce the students to UConn and their department’s graduate programs. 

We anticipate funding up to 10 students per year across CLAS at a rate commensurate with their first-year stipend. Units should submit proposals that articulate the goals and objectives, as well as the experiences planned for the students. The proposals may be focused on cohorts or individuals, within or across departments.