Bridging Funds for Externally Funded Fellowships

The Graduate School provides supplemental funds for the recognition of outstanding students who successfully compete for selective national or international fellowships.

In 2018-19, bridging funds can be used to augment external fellowships to ensure coverage of Graduate School tuition for the academic year (two terms) and twelve months of health insurance on the Graduate Assistant plan for eligible students.

Graduate School Deadline:

Fellowships for Fall 2018 through Spring 2019:  Bridging Funds Requests are due on August 1, 2018

Fellowships for Spring 2019 through Fall 2019:  Bridging Funds Requests are due on January 10, 2019

Requests received after the applicable deadline will be reviewed on a case by case basis if any funds remain available.

Eligibility (all criteria must be met)

  • The award is from a selective competition, external to the University of Minnesota.
  • The recipient applied directly for the award, and is the named recipient of the award.*
  • The stipend is administered through the University of Minnesota, not paid directly to the student.
  • Award tenure is for at least one academic year (two semesters).
  • The combined value of award benefits (stipend, tuition, and health insurance) is equal to at least U.S. $15,000.**
  • The student will be registered for credit in the University of Minnesota Graduate School during both semesters of the fellowship tenure.

* Training grants and fellowships awarded to faculty PI are not eligible for bridging funds.

** Fellowship benefits such as student fees, travel, research grants, or other benefits are not included in the qualifying minimum calculation.

Students with 50% assistantships are not eligible since the assistantship already covers full tuition and health insurance.

Application Process

The DGS or designated program support staff will need to complete an electronic request and upload the award letter detailing the terms and conditions of the external award.

Note: Recipients of NSF, Ford Foundation, GEM, and CIC Smithsonian Fellowships are automatically provided tuition and health insurance benefits by the Graduate Fellowship Office.  There is no need to complete  a request for recipients of these awards.

Accessing the Electronic Request Form

  1. Create a Program Login to access the bridging funds request form:
  • Create one username/password to upload all program requests.

Review Process

The program will be notified of the outcome by email.  Students receiving Bridging funds will also be notified that they have received a Graduate School Excellence Grant.  Students may include the award on their CV, with the expectation that they forward a copy of their successful proposal to the Graduate School Fellowship Office to make available to future applicants.

For questions about the application or conditions for receipt of bridging funds, please contact the Graduate School Fellowship Office,, or call 612-625-7579.

Award Details

Approved funds for health insurance will be transferred directly to the program.  The student will be responsible for the 5% health insurance premium, and any additional charge for spouse or family coverage.  Tuition will be processed by the Graduate School Fellowship Office.