Graduate College Dissertation Completion Fellowship

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Western Michigan University Graduate College Dissertation Completion Fellowships

The Graduate College offers Dissertation Completion Fellowships to WMU doctoral students for up to one year (two semesters and two sessions) awarded in open competition, on the basis of superior scholarly achievement and quality of proposed dissertation project, to assist full-time doctoral students with the completion of their dissertations. 

The DCF, the Frostic Fellowship and the Thompson Fellowship are exclusive of each other. While you are encouraged to apply for more than one fellowship in any award cycle, you cannot hold concurrently. Do note, applications for each fellowship should be adapted given the award amount varies and therefore the scope of the project may need to be modified.

Award Period

  • One-year Fellowships typically begin in Summer II and extend through the following Summer I.
  • Half –year Fellowships typically begin in Summer II and extend through Fall only.
  • If the Fellow graduates during the fellowship period, the award terminates upon graduation.

Deadline to Apply: Feb. 19, 2025

The online application will open closer to the deadline


Recipients must be full-time doctoral candidates within one year of graduation who can demonstrate at the time of application the completion of the following requirements:

  • Superior academic achievement
  • Admission to Doctoral Candidacy: The designation of “candidacy” means that students have an approved dissertation committee; approved dissertation proposal; completed all courses and program requirements, with the exception of the dissertation; completed all research tools; completed all qualifying or comprehensive examinations.
  • Fellows may not hold any other additional graduate appointments or paid positions at Western Michigan University during this appointment.

Award amount

  • Salary per fall/spring semester:TBD
  • Salary per summer session: TBD
  • Tuition award: Tuition to cover 1 dissertation credit (7300) of resident/non-resident tuition each semester and/or session of your award

Important note about financial aid 

Any award you receive on your student account will reduce the cost of your educational expenses and may reduce the amount of other financial aid or loans for which you are eligible. If there is a change in your loan eligibility, the Office of Financial Aid will notify you. The tuition portion of your award may not be subject to tax, but you need to rely upon your own tax advisor as to the taxability of what you receive from WMU. Also, please check with your loan provider to see if being enrolled in one credit per semester will require you to begin repaying your loans due to under-enrollment.

Guidelines for the application process

Access the online application, once posted.

Letter of Nomination

Important: A Letter of Nomination must be uploaded in InfoReady by the student's dissertation advisor or the department/graduate program advisor or the department chair, on university letterhead. The letter should also include the name of one additional faculty member who may be contacted during the application process. 

The Letter of Nomination must clearly address the following elements:

  1. The student's name and the name of the fellowship
  2. Please ensure the student is currently enrolled
  3. Indicate the likelihood that the student will complete the dissertation within or by the following time period: Summer II 2024 - Summer I 2025
  4. Significance of the dissertation research as it is situated in the respective discipline
  5. The student’s academic/scholarly accomplishments
  6. The scholarly scientific promise of the student
  7. Any other elements that will distinguish the student’s nomination
  8. A specific time line for each chapter of the dissertation that indicates the percentage of completion for the following elements:  Research, Writing, Committee review, and a time line for completion of the dissertation leading to date of defense and graduation. 


If you have questions about the application process for this award, please contact Diana Berkshire-Hearit