Student Awards and Grants

Dissertation Research Grant

The Dissertation Research Grant is a $750 award paid by The Graduate School to assist doctoral students with expenses associated with research necessary to prepare dissertations. The application cycle is currently open and the deadline to apply is September 19, 2014. Please see the guidelines below.

Please contact David Beck at  with any questions on current awards or future competitions.


Graduate Student Research and Creativity Awards

Sponsored annually by Florida State University's Graduate School and Office of Research, this awards program is designed to recognize the superior contributions of six graduate students to research and creative endeavors. Recipients of the Graduate Student Research and Creativity Awards are recognized at both the Celebration of Graduate Student Excellence Ceremony and the Research Recognition Dinner held each Spring. Awards are made to students in three disciplinary categories: natural and physical sciences including mathematics and engineering (STEM); social and behavioral sciences (SBS); and the humanities and arts (AH).

Information about the nomination and selection process is updated each year in October, with materials due in the FSU Drop Box by the first workday in February.

For more information about the nomination process, download the Nomination Instruction Form located in GradSpace (Funding and Awards > Student Awards and Grants). Blackboard log-in required.

The application cycle is currently closed. 


Graduate School Student Leadership Award

Sponsored annually by Florida State University’s Graduate School and the Congress of Graduate Students this award recognizes outstanding graduate student leaders who are making a positive difference in their scholarly/creative, campus, and wider communities. Graduate students who exhibit strong leadership skills through such activities as peer mentoring, teaching, research, publishing, creative work, service, and/or participation in professional association activities are encouraged to apply. The person selected for the prestigious Leadership Award and his/her department is recognized at the Celebration of Graduate Student Excellence held each Spring.

Instructions for the Leadership Award Application

Each applicant must provide the following to the FSU Graduate School:

  1. A one-page personal essay that includes a rationale for receiving the leadership award
  2. A Curriculum Vitae
  3. A letter from the Departmental Chair, Faculty Advisor, or Graduate Coordinator supporting the student for the leadership award

Completed applications are due in the Graduate School (314 Westcott). The application cycle is currently closed.


Graduate Student Teaching Associate Assistantship

The Graduate School appoints senior, experienced, teaching assistants (TA) as Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE) Teaching Associates to assist with academic departmental TA training and to serve as small group leaders and mentors during university-wide programs held by PIE. Associates are experienced teaching assistants nominated by their academic departments and selected and trained by the Program for Instructional Excellence. Teaching Associates receive a stipend of $2000 per academic year. This stipend is in addition to the TA stipend (and waiver) that will be provided by the department.

For more information regarding the Associate Program, please contact: (850) 644-3501 or email Lisa Liseno at


Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards

Sponsored annually by the Florida State University’s Graduate School these awards recognize outstanding graduate student teaching assistants (TAs) for their distinguished contributions to student learning through excellence in instruction. Recipients of the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards (OTAA) are recognized at the annual spring Celebration of Graduate Student Excellence event. Information about the nomination and selection process can be found at:

For more information regarding the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards, please contact Lisa Liseno at


Three Minute Thesis

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland. The exercise develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports the development of students' capacities to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience.

Doctoral students have three minutes to present a compelling oration on their dissertation topic and its significance. 3MT™ is not an exercise in trivializing or ‘dumbing-down’ research but forces students to consolidate their ideas and crystalize their research discoveries.

The 2013-2014 Three-Minute Thesis Winners

The 2013-2014 Three-Minute Thesis Finals were conducted February 25, 2014, with 12 Finalists competing. The first and second place winners were selected by a panel of judges while the audience selected the People’s Choice winner. They are as follows:

First Place: Neleen Leslie, Communication

Second Place: Jonathan Christian, Chemistry & Biochemistry

People’s Choice: Judy Hefren, Social Work

*Watch the videos here .


Currently enrolled doctoral students at Florida State University will be eligible to participate in the 2014-2015 3MT™. Graduates and master's students will not be eligible.


Winner: $500
Runner-up: $350
People's Choice: $250


  1. A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description).
  2. No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  3. No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  4. Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum, and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  5. The decision of the judging panel is final.

Judging Criteria

Communication style: Was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience?
Comprehension: Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
Engagement: Did the presentation make the audience want to know more?

To watch other universities’ winning presentations, please click here

Other U.S. schools with 3MT competitions

Emory University
Purdue University
University of Georgia