The George Washington Carver Matching Assistantship for Graduate Studies seeks to attract and support under-represented scholars into MS and PhD degree programs in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at MU. The recipients will be officially recognized as the “George Washington Carver Graduate Fellows”. The assistantship honors George Washington Carver, a native Missourian, who gained international recognition in the early 20th century for his teaching and research in agriculture.
The matching assistantship will be awarded on a competitive basis to U.S. citizens, newly accepted into a CAFNR graduate degree program and a member of an underrepresented ethnic minority population (African American, Native American or Alaska Native, Hispanic or Mexican American). The nominees must have outstanding credentials, including strong letters of recommendation to be competitive.
The Carver Assistantship will provide the following to be awarded in addition to the divisional or grant-based matching assistantship that is required as a condition of the award:
- $11,000/annum to the fellow for up to two years for MS students and $12,500/annum for up to three years for PhD students (subject to annual review of progress toward the degree).
- $1,500/annum to be provided to the fellow’s advisor to support the educational enhancement of the fellowship awardee (appropriate used for these funds would include travel to professional meetings, purchase of computers hardware/software, books and other educational materials, etc.)
The fellowship package will NOT cover tuition, waiver of Educational Fees, Graduate Medical Insurance Subsidy and other incidental costs (e.g., the student recreation center).
Candidates submitted for consideration will be evaluated by a selection committee. The Selection Committee will evaluate each nominee in terms of:
- Academic Performance
- undergraduate grades
- performance in last two years of undergraduate work that include research and scholarly experiences
- post-baccalaureate training, other relevant experience or graduate-level performance, if applicable
- three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the student’s academic performance and potential for graduate study
- Student’s commitment as shown in student’s personal statement and letters of recommendation.
- A nomination letter by the major advisor that addresses the student’s potential for academic success in the classroom and in research.
Selection Committee will be composed of a Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Director of Graduate Admissions from each of the college’s academic divisions. The individual will be appointed by the Division Director and serve until replaced by the Director.
Nomination: The student’s major advisor must forward nomination materials to the Associate Dean for Research by March 15. The nomination materials must be in electronic form and delivered by email. The nomination packet shall include:
- all pertinent academic transcripts
- three letters of recommendation
- a personal statement by the student not to exceed 500 words that addresses his/her academic accomplishments and professional interests
- a nomination letter by the major advisor, not to exceed 500 words
- verification by the Division Director that the student has been awarded a matching assistantship (at least 0.25FTE and equivalent in value as the George Washington Carver Award).
Evaluation of Candidates: The committee will evaluate each candidate and identify those deemed to have the potential to be an outstanding doctoral candidate. Those candidates will then be ranked by the committee. The Selection Committee will notify the Associate Dean for Research of its decisions and ranking of candidates by April 1. The Associate Dean will notify each nominee, their advisor and Division Director of the committee’s decision. Up to four awards will be given each academic year (to begin in the Fall) provided sufficient funds are available.
Annual Review of Academic Progress
By April 20, the DGS of the Division of a Carver Fellow shall forward to the Associate Dean electronic copies of:
- its annual review (required by MU)
- the Carver Fellow’s current transcript for review by the Selection Committee
- confirmation that Carver Fellow plans to continue full-time graduate study
- confirmation of that the Division’s commitment of a matching assistantship shall continue.
The Selection Committee reserves the right not to renew the fellowship in the event of unacceptable academic progress, insufficient course enrollment, insufficient research engagement, external employment or external fellowship. An example of this is failure to resolve academic probation within a semester. In case of questionable academic progress or other concerns, a transcript updated to include the most recent winter semester and Division’s plans to remediate the concerns will be required by June 1.