Diversifying Faculty in Illinois (DFI)

2018-19 Diversifying Faculty in Illinois Fellowship 

New Applications, Internal Deadline: Friday, February 9, 5pm CST:  Online Application Here

Renewal Applications, Internal Deadline: Friday, February 15, 5pm CST:  Renewal Application Here

This program supports graduate work of under-represented minorities who are residents of Illinois. Upon graduation or separation from the DFI institution, an award recipient must agree to actively seek and accept when offered a teaching or non-teaching full-time appointment at an Illinois postsecondary educational institution, or accept a position as an employee of this state in an administrative, educational-related position equal to the number of years for which he or she receives the DFI fellowship. Students failing to fulfill this condition of the award shall be required to repay 20 percent of their cumulative award amount, subject to revision by the DFI Program Board.


  • Illinois Residency: To be classified as an Illinois resident, an applicant must have received a high school diploma or postsecondary degree from an accredited educational institution in Illinois or have three or more years of residency in Illinois.
  • Underrepresented Groups: “Traditionally underrepresented minority group” means any of the minority groups designated in the Act which are represented in Illinois post-baccalaureate enrollment at a percentage rate less than the percentage of the minority group’s representation in the total Illinois population.
  • Academic Ability: Applicants must possess a minimum grade point average of 2.75 (scale 4.0 = A) in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work or over a 3.2 (scale 4.0 = A) in at least 9 hours of graduate study;
  • Applicants in all academic disciplines are eligible. Candidates pursuing degrees in any of the sciences, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) fields are encouraged to apply, and will receive priority consideration. Applicants must be pursuing a doctorate, terminal master’s or master’s degree.
  • Financial Need: Applicants must demonstrate financial need. A FAFSA must be filed each year to maintain eligibility

Application Instructions: 

The following must be submitted to Karen Rosenthall (UChicago's DFI Institutional Representative) by February 9, 2018, 5pm CST: 

  • Official acceptance letter (for degree program for which funding is being sought); 
  • Completed application form submitted through your Institutional Representative. All questions on application form pertain to the degree program for which funding is being sought, unless otherwise indicated; 
  • Completed financial form (and FAFSA, February 14, 2018, deadline met) 
  • The Professional Goals Statement
  • Voter Registration Card, if required (copy) 
  • The Statement of Underrepresented Status
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Only official transcripts (no copies)


UChicago Institutional Representative: Karen Rosenthall

Illinois Board of Higher Education