Presidential Doctoral Research Fellowships should be utilized for finding the best and brightest students to attract to our graduate programs. This is not intended as a program to reward existing graduate students or to fund students already intending to complete a graduate degree at USU (for example, students in a combined bachelor’s/master’s track). Success in recruiting high-quality candidates for the fellowship is absolutely critical. The timing of the allocation (i.e., early fall semester) is designed to encourage colleges, departments, and individual faculty members to recruit—and secure a commitment—early, by leveraging the fellowship to identify, recruit and enroll world-class doctoral students.
Given the importance of recruiting, the Office of Research and the School of Graduate Studies have several key resources available:
Graduate School Recruitment Resources
Recruitment resources are designed to help departments increase the quality, quantity or diversity of graduate students in their programs. Recruiting is best done by faculty, alumni and current graduate students because they are able to provide the most detailed description of a program’s curriculum, participant experiences and career choices, and answer other questions prospective students may have.
These resources includes a summary of best practices compiled from other research universities, a guide for creating a sustainable recruitment strategy and details on specific USU resources to find and recruit the right students.
Graduate Student and PDRF Recruiting Grants
The School of Graduate Studies offers graduate student recruiting grants of up to $1,500 to support program activities that directly contribute to the recruitment of high-quality graduate students.
An additional pool of recruitment funds has been set aside for PDRF recruiting. Each PDRF position will have access to $500 of funds (requiring a 1:1 match from the college, department, center, or faculty member) for identifying and/or recruiting outstanding candidates for the program.
A wide range of activities is eligible for support. Examples include (but are not limited to):
- Travel for faculty or current graduate students who will give recruiting talks at out-of-state recruitment fairs, professional conferences, or “feeder” institutions.
- Bringing prospective students to the USU campus. The annual Graduate Recruitment Weekend takes place in February and is organized by SGS. Students must be invited to participate, and recruitment grants can help cover the cost of travel.
- Development or distribution of recruiting materials (e.g., conference program ads, video podcasts of current student research for a program’s website or program brochure development, posters for distribution at conferences or by mail, etc.).
Application instructions for a Graduate Student Recruitment grant are available online.
To apply for PDRF-specific recruiting funds, departments should provide:
- A brief (no more than one page) statement that describes the planned recruiting activities and the anticipated outcomes.
- A budget that details:
- All expenditures involved.
- Source of matching funds.
Please email your request for PDRF recruitment funding to Alexa Sand (email@example.com). The request will be processed within a week. There is no deadline for these recruiting grants funds; they can be accessed on demand.
Research Office and Graduate School Publicity Resources
The Project Management Team, which serves both the Office of Research and the School of Graduate Studies, can provide some assistance with aspects of the creation of recruiting materials (brochures, flyers, web resources), from writing, to graphic design and print management. Requests for materials should be made well in advance to facilitate an effective production process.
The team can also consult on other marketing channels for recruiting, including placed ads, graduate fairs and social media.