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WVU Foundation Distinguished Doctoral Scholarships

WVU Foundation Distinguished Doctoral Scholarships offer $5,000 to doctoral students who have been admitted to doctoral candidacy and who are working toward the completion of their dissertations during the Spring 2024 term.

Submission Deadline: October 20, 2023

These scholarships can be used to defray educational and research costs (including travel), and are reserved for Ph.D. students who have been admitted to candidacy and whose dissertation proposals or plans are approved prior to October 13, 2023.

If selected, you will receive a one-time lump sum scholarship refund to your WVU student account. Scholarships are considered as part of students’ overall WVU financial aid package and cannot be transferred to another institution. Any balance owed to WVU will be automatically deducted from the award refund. WVU does not withhold taxes from scholarship refunds, but this scholarship may be considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service based on individual tax circumstances.

Graduate assistants and graduate students who hold fellowships are eligible to apply for this scholarship.

Apply Today

Please contact the Office of Graduate Education and Life at or (304) 293-7173 for additional information about this scholarship opportunity.


The WVU Distinguished Doctoral Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship for Ph.D. level students. To be eligible for this scholarship, you must be:

  • Enrolled in an on-campus Ph.D. program.
  • Fully admitted to candidacy.
  • Post-completion of a dissertation prospectus/proposal, approved no later than October 13, 2023. (Please note: If your program has unique procedures for candidacy/approving proposals/clearing students for dissertation research, this can be certified in the Dissertation Chair’s portion of the application.)
  • Enrolled in at least 1 credit hour for both the fall and spring terms (per the catalog, Ph.D. students must be registered to maintain candidacy).
  • In good academic standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.7.


Eligible doctoral level students must complete the online application form by October 20, 2023, no later than 11:59 p.m. The online application requires you to:

  • Complete the application in one sitting (it cannot be saved and returned to).
  • Submit a current resume or C.V.
  • Write and submit a brief synopsis (500 words, maximum) of your dissertation research that clearly articulates your dissertation research for non-specialist reviewers (e.g., someone outside of their discipline).
  • Upload a current unofficial transcript.
  • Write and submit a brief essay (250 words, maximum) that outlines your long-term professional goals, as well as how your research will contribute to your professional field.
  • Request your dissertation chair to write a letter of support and request they confirm that the student’s dissertation proposal has been approved no later than October 13, 2023. An email request for this letter will automatically be sent to the your dissertation chair once you submit your application. The deadline for the dissertation chair’s letter of support is October 25, 2023, no later than 11:59 p.m. It is your responsibility to ensure that your chair submits the letter of support by the deadline.


Each application will be reviewed by the WVU Graduate Student University Fellowship and Scholarship Committee. Award selections will be based on the quality of your:

  • Application essay
  • Dissertation chair’s letter of support
  • Synopsis of dissertation research
  • Academic record
  • Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.