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A $4 million fellowship program will help UT recruit the best and brightest graduate students from around the world.

The Tennessee Fellowship for Graduate Excellence, administered by the Graduate School, will debut in the fall of 2017 as the university’s premier graduate fellowship program. It will provide four-year $10,000 annual fellowships for up to 100 graduate students. Over the course of their studies, fellowship recipients will receive $40,000 on top of their college-funded graduate research assistant or graduate teaching assistant stipends.

“Improving graduate education is a priority of our university’s Vol Vision 2020 strategic plan,” said Dixie Thompson, dean of the Graduate School. “This new program phases out our old top-off program that spread available dollars too thin, diluting the impact of the funding for everyone. This new program provides game-changing awards that will help us recruit the highest caliber graduate students.”

The top-off program—which this year is providing $4 million to graduate students campuswide—will be phased out over the next four years. As that money is freed up, it will be shifted to the Tennessee Fellowship for Graduate Excellence.

“By the 2020 – 21 academic year, the Tennessee Fellows program will have helped us recruit an elite group of 400 graduate students,” Thompson said. “By monitoring their progress and work, we’ll not only document the impact of this investment but also have success stories that will aid in future recruitment of graduate students while enhancing the reputation of our graduate programs.”

C O N T A C T:

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,