MFA Summer Fellowship

This fellowship program provides an opportunity for MFA students to benefit from a mentored summer experience. Students are encouraged to develop their own projects and/or pursue the development of professional skills.

The fellowship will help position graduate students to pursue innovative ways of thinking about, executing, and/or sharing their creative endeavors. Students will devote at least 20 hours per week on their projects plus hours required for the credits the student is enrolled in. Fellows will be mentored by a faculty member and in some cases, an additional external professional.

Value

The Graduate College provides a stipend of $5,000 for the summer plus a tuition scholarship for up to two credit hours and 50 percent of the mandatory fees. Summer fellows will be required to be registered (1 or 2 credits of independent study, internship or similar course).  Students are responsible for the remaining mandatory fees and any course fees.

Typically fellowships cannot be used in combination with any other source of support (e.g. fellowship/scholarship, grant, graduate assistantships, or employment outside the University of Iowa) since the fellowships are meant to provide protected time for the student to advance their studies. Failure to report additional employment can be considered in future applications/nominations/continued Graduate College funding for both the student and the department. For more information or to ask for a possible one-time exception, contact the Graduate College.

Minimum Requirements

Awards will be based on consideration of the student’s proposed projects/ learning objectives, prior experience (work/coursework), fit with the student’s academic and career goals, degree progress, graduate academic record, and a letters of support.

The number of fellowships is limited and awards are competitive.

  • Typically fellowships cannot be used in combination with any other source of support (e.g., fellowship/scholarship, grant, graduate assistantships, or employment outside the University of Iowa) since the fellowships are meant to provide protected time for the student to advance their studies.
  • Anyone awarded the fellowship must be registered for a minimum of one credit during the summer they are receiving the fellowship. The credit will typically be independent study, internship credits or something similar offered by the department.
  • We seek a diverse pool of applicants.

Award winners will be required to submit a report outlining the ways in which they used the funds by August 13, 2021.

Application

Online applications must include the following items as separate PDF files:

Student materials (single spaced, 12 pt. type, 1" margins):

  • Description of (1) a student’s proposed project/learning objectives, (2) related experience, and (3) how the experience fits into the student’s academic and career goals (maximum 500 words)
  • Transcript (unofficial acceptable)
  • A resume or CV of educational and professional experience, honors and awards, and publications/creative works.

Two required letters of support:

  • One letter from the nominee's advisor/ that includes: an assessment of the student's qualifications for carrying out the planned summer activities and how it will impact the student’s academic and career goals, and an explicit statement of the advisor’s (or another faculty member’s) willingness to help mentor the student in this summer experience.
  • One letter from the Director of Graduate Studies to describe and assess the student’s level of distinction when compared with their peer cohort. This letter must also include a rank ordering of the candidates

If the project involves working with a community and/or professional partner, an additional letter from that organization should be included.  This letter should include:

  • An explicit willingness to work with the student on the project as described
  • An indication of whether or not the organization has funds to support the student, and if so, in what capacity.

Applications must be submitted online. Students must submit their part of the application materials to their department at least two weeks prior to the Graduate College deadline. Students should check with their department as soon as possible for departmental deadlines as well as inform them they intend to apply. Applications submitted by the student (and not someone in the department such as the DGS, DEO or grad coordinator) will be voided and not considered.

Deadline

Applications are due February 18, 2021 for summer awards. Departments may nominate (in rank order) one student for every seven students in their MFA programs, up to a maximum of seven students. Students may only receive the award one time during their MFA program.

Additional Information

Please direct any questions to Executive Director of Operations Donna Welter (335-2145) or Associate Dean Shelly Campo (335-2136) or via email at grad-fellowships@uiowa.edu.