Dissertation Year Fellowship

This program is intended to support doctoral students who are advanced to candidacy at the time of nomination by their department to the Division of Graduate Education.  Applicants should be within one year of completing and filing the dissertation and planning to start teaching or research appointments soon after the end of their dissertation fellowship year. Approximately 160 fellowships awarded under this program yearly.

For additional information on the DYF program, please see the Graduate Student Financial Support publication.



The program is open to UCLA doctoral students in all fields of study who:

  • Are officially advanced to doctoral candidacy at the time they are nominated by their departments (for 2023-24, by March 24, 2023). “Officially” means ATC documents have been received by the Division of Graduate Education’s Academic Services;
  • Will file their dissertations within 12 months of beginning their fellowships. The thoroughness with which nominees have provided details in their application for completion of their dissertation is an important element in assessing their candidacy for a Dissertation Year Fellowship;
  • Are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, international or registered California AB540 students. For international students, funding is subject to fellowship eligibility in regards to visa type. For those under AB540, funding will be provided only if AB131 is still in effect for the duration of the fellowship.

DYF awardees are not eligible to receive Division of Graduate Education funding of any kind after the last DYF payment has been issued. Students who have previously received any dissertation fellowship from Division of Graduate Education funds (such as, but not limited to, a Distinguished TA Dissertation Year Fellowship) or have received dissertation funding from other sources specifically for the last year of write-up also are not eligible.

Students may apply for the DYF in only one doctoral degree program.


Award Amount

Program participants will receive a $20,000 stipend plus standard tuition and fees (excluding nonresident supplemental tuition and professional degree supplemental tuition).



Final date of application is determined by your home department.

Applications that are not submitted on time, fail to follow the submission procedures listed below or forwarded as an incomplete application will be disqualified and not reviewed.  Applicants/departments will not be notified  Revisions to applications after submission are not allowed; no exceptions.



By applying, students understand that they are giving their consent to disclose application information to University officials and to relevant funding committees.

Applicants must be nominated by their department, IDP or school. To apply for nomination, students must:

Complete and submit the Online Application Form.

Upload the following documents (except the letters of recommendation) in the order listed as a single, combined PDF file and upload the single, combined PDF. If you upload multiple, separate documents, each upload will overwrite the previous file, and thus your application will be incomplete. If there is a document that should be in landscape position and it is in portrait position, please rotate the document before you combine it into the single, combined PDF.

  1. The student’s proposed plan for completing the dissertation. Evidence that the student can successfully complete the dissertation in the year of the award is an important factor in the selection process. The student’s name and Proposed Plan for Completing the Dissertation should appear at the top of each page. The document must be a maximum of four pages double spaced. The abstract, image captions, graphs, tables, notes and/or references may be single spaced but must be included within the four pages.  Minimum font size 11 pt., with at least 1-inch margins. Pages in excess of four pages will not be forwarded for review. The plan should describe or include:
      • A brief abstract that summarizes in a manner appropriate to the subject or discipline (typically, the abstract is about 150 to a maximum of 300 words in length. It is essential that it be written for faculty who may not be expert in the student’s field of research.):
        • motivation, context and/or foreground for the research;
        • question or hypothesis being addressed;
        • theoretical framework, experimental approach or research methodology;
        • preliminary findings;
        • innovation, significance and/or impact of the work
      • A brief introduction that provides background and context for the work.
      • A research plan that describes the current status of the research and the plan for addressing the remaining research aims/goals to complete the dissertation. This section may include images, graphs, and/or tables, if appropriate. If applicable, the plan should include information on sampling, instrumentation, data sources and collection, analyses and expected results. A synopsis of preliminary results or analyses may be incorporated as space permits.
      • A detailed timeline with projected monthly progress for the remaining research, writing, revision and defense of the dissertation (see Activation Term Selection section below).
  2. An unofficial copy of your Graduate Transcript with Fall 2022 grades posted. The transcript printed from MyUCLA is acceptable. A Degree Progress Report (DPR) is not. If Fall Quarter is your first graduate term at UCLA, please include an unofficial transcript from the last university attended (even if the last university attended was UCLA).
  3. The student’s personal statement of career goals after receiving the degree (maximum two pages, double-spaced).
  4. The student’s resume or curriculum vitae that includes the following, as appropriate to the discipline:
    • Education (degrees earned and in progress, with dates; date of advancement to doctoral candidacy)
    • Extramural, departmental and Division of Graduate Education awards, prizes and fellowships (include year and amount)
    • Published and submitted manuscripts, if any, while a doctoral student at UCLA. Provide full citations, including start/end pages. Do not include manuscripts in preparation.
    • Conference presentations, if any, while a doctoral student at UCLA. Indicate the conference date and place, and whether it was a poster or oral presentation. If there are multiple authors, place an asterisk by the name of the presenter.
    • Other creative, academic and professional contributions in the student’s field, such as performances, exhibits, community and public service.
  5. Two signed letters of reference, one of which must be from the dissertation chair. References should emphasize academic accomplishments, degree progress and feasibility of completing the dissertation within the 12-month period proposed by the applicant.
    • In Step 3 of the online fellowship application process, provide the name and email address of the recommender. The system will then send your recommender an email with instructions as to how to submit the letter online as a PDF document. Repeat this process for the second recommender.
    • The recommenders will not need to email anything to the department Student Affairs Officer.
    • The letters of recommendation are due on or before the DYF application deadline.  Applications with missing letters of recommendation will not be reviewed. It will be the student’s responsibility to ensure that the letters have been submitted on time. The online site will provide information about the status of the letter’s upload.

NOTE: Applications that are not submitted on time, fail to follow the submission procedures listed above or forwarded as an incomplete application will be disqualified and not reviewed.  Applicants/departments will not be notified  Revisions to applications after submission are not allowed; no exceptions.



Award recipients should complete all degree requirements within 12 months of beginning their dissertation fellowships and will be asked to submit a report of their progress at the midpoint.
Failure to submit a progress report by the deadline will result in suspension of payment for subsequent terms.

Recipients must be registered and enrolled in at least 12 units during the entire academic year. Registration/enrollment is not required for summer payments. Awardees starting their DYF on July 1 must have been registered/enrolled in the previous Spring and must plan to register/enroll in the following Fall. If not, their summer funding will be cancelled, and it will have to be repaid.

Awardees may not work more than 50% time nor exceed the maximum limit of merit-based support.

Activation Term

Activation Term

Awardees will have the option to select one of three DYF start dates: July 1, October 1 or January 1. Whichever start date is selected, the awardee will have 12 months during which to complete and file the dissertation. In the application, please propose one of these activation dates. This is essential information for reviewers to evaluate the likelihood that the work will be completed within the proposed time frame.

Hints to Prepare a Strong Application

The proposal should be written so that the work will be understandable and its significance appreciated by faculty who may not be expert in the applicant’s field.

The proposal should outline, in a manner appropriate to the subject or discipline:

  1. question(s), thesis or hypothesis that will be developed;
  2. scope of the research and the research approach, plan or methodology;
  3. significance, originality and/or and anticipated impact of the work.

An important review criterion is whether the applicant has provided substantial and compelling evidence that the dissertation can be completed within the funded year.

Each letter of recommendation should address the merits (e.g., quality, originality, significance) of the scholarship or research, as well as the distinction of the applicant. The letter must clearly state the likelihood the applicant will complete the dissertation within the time frame described in the applicant’s proposal.


Fellowships and Financial Services, 1228 Murphy Hall