Student Awards and Grants

A variety of awards are offered to graduate students throughout the academic year. Click on the various links below to view each award's application guidelines, minimum requirements, deadlines and contact information. 

Dissertation Research Grant

The Dissertation Research Grant is an award paid by The Graduate School to assist doctoral students with expenses associated with research necessary to prepare dissertations.Awards will be $1,000 for top tier awardees and up to $750 for second tier awardees. The tiers will be determined by the rankings of the review committee. The applicant must complete the online application and submit their CV as well as the major professor's statement form to The Graduate School prior to the deadline.

The application cycle for this award is closed. 

Application Guidelines

Document explaining the guidelines associated with the award.



Questions about eligibility, the process, application instructions, etc. should be directed to the Graduate School.



The application cycle for this award is closed. 



Master's in Four (Min4) Competition

Competition Details and Deadlines

Master's students who have earned 18 hours of graduate coursework toward the degree may compete in the Master's in 4 Competition during which they have four minutes, and four slides, for them to explain their research to a diverse audience. 

The M4 Preliminary Rounds are conducted each January while the M4 finals are held in February. Monetary prizes are provided for the four Master's in Four (Min4) winners. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winners are selected by judges while the "4 the People" prize is selected by the audience's vote. 

*The Finalist Competition was held at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, February 25th in the Askew Student Life Center. 

Click Here For More Info on This Competition and to Watch the Finalist Videos

Competition Rules

  • A master's student with at least 18 hours of graduate coursework earned toward the degree.
  • Four minute time limit.
  • A maximum of four slides that have no animation, embedded video, audio, or movement of any kind.
  • A solo, non-technical oral description of the student's research or creative endeavors.
  • No props, notes or costumes are allowed.
  • A clicker will be provided.


  • A maximum of 14 points may be earned. 
  • The effectiveness of the following will be rated by the judges:
    • Opening captured the audience's attention.
    • Strength of the introduction.
    • Organized, evidence-based body.
    • Appropriate for a diverse audience.
    • Presenter demonstrated a strong personal interest.
    • Conclusion summarized the main points and referred to the opening.
    • Delivery was well-prepared and confident.
    • Presenter maintained good eye contact.
    • Slides enhanced the presentation.
    • The presentation was masterful!

Research and Creativity Award

The Florida State University Graduate School requests nominations for the Graduate Student Research and Creativity Awards Program. This awards program is designed to recognize the superior scholarship of FSU graduate students. Nomination materials (with endorsement letters) were due in the FSU Dropbox no later than 5:00 P.M., Friday, January 31, 2020

FSU graduate students will be recognized for their outstanding contributions to research and creative endeavors at the Celebration of Graduate Student Excellence held each spring. Awards of $1,000.00 will be made to students in three disciplinary categories: natural and physical sciences including mathematics and engineering; social and behavioral sciences; and the humanities and arts.


  1. Must be an FSU degree-seeking graduate or professional student in good academic standing;
  2. Must show evidence of outstanding scholarly/creative productivity as a graduate/professional student at FSU; if the effort is part of a team the nomination materials must clearly delineate the contributions of the applicant;
  3. Must show evidence of national visibility in research/creative activity (e.g., publications, presentations, juried exhibits or performances). This could also include evidence of recognition and honors in endeavors related to the research and/or creative activities.
  4. Winners of the award will be required to complete and submit three-minute videos showcasing their research/creative endeavors for the Graduate School’s GradWorld FSU website. Instructions will be provided to the award winners.

*The application cycle for this award is now closed!

Nomination Instruction Form

Please download the Instruction Form here.  



Questions about the nomination process, materials preparation, etc. should be directed to Dr. Judith Devine. 



The application cycle is now closed! 



Graduate Student Leadership Award

Sponsored annually by Florida State University’s Graduate School and the Congress of Graduate Students (COGS), the Leadership Award recognizes outstanding graduate student leaders who are making a positive difference in their scholarly/creative work, campus, and wider communities. Graduate students who exhibit strong leadership skills are encouraged to apply. The person selected for the prestigious Leadership Award and his/her program will be recognized at the Celebration of Graduate Student Excellence held each spring semester in April. All nominees are recognized at the event. The Leadership Award recipient will also receive a $1,000 award.


Each applicant must be an enrolled, FSU degree-seeking or professional graduate student in good academic standing and must provide the following to the FSU Graduate School:

  1. A personal essay that includes a rationale for receiving the Leadership Award. The essay needs to explicitly address the evaluation criteria noted in the Instruction Form. Maximum Length is 1 page, 12 pt. font.
  2. An up-to-date Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  3. A letter of recommendation supporting the student for the Leadership Award. The letter should be provided by a faculty or staff member who can address the leadership skills and efforts of the student in light of the evaluation criteria.

*The application cycle for this award is now closed!

Instruction Form

Please download the Instruction Form here!

Click Here


Questions pertaining to the Leadership Award should be directed to James Beck. 



The application cycle for this award is now closed. 



Graduate Student Excellence in Visual Arts

Art Website

The Graduate School is pleased to announce a revision to the art competition that was established last year to recognize the artistic talents of graduate students at Florida State University. Cash awards will be coupled with an exhibition of the selected works in the Honors, Scholars and Fellows House on the FSU Campus for one year (April 2020-April 2021).

We are looking for high quality works of art that clearly show excellence in visual arts. In addition, the artist’s statement will be assessed for its success in conveying to the judges (and a broad, general audience) why the artist was moved to create the piece, what the artist is trying to convey to the viewer and how successful the statement was in creating a deeper understanding and connection to the specific work presented. Consider the combination of the art work and the statement about the work to be a type of visual “Three Minute Thesis” combo…. bringing to life what the artwork is about.

In the statement, we are looking for the “so what factor.” Questions to consider addressing are: What is this?; Why does this piece matter?; Why is it important?; What is the connection to your field of study and what broader connections can one see in the work?, etc.

Art Website

While all mediums will be considered, there are limited exhibition spaces in the Honors, Scholars and Fellows House as noted below. The graduate awards will be presented at the Celebration of Graduate Student Excellence held each spring in the month of April. Up to eight applicants will be selected as finalists whose works will be exhibited at the Honors House. From that group, another jurying will select three graduate student winners each of whom will be awarded $500. In addition, there will be a $250 People’s Choice Award that will be determined by the votes cast by the attendees of the opening exhibition. The award winners must agree to display their “winning” art work in the Honors, Scholars and Fellows House and the installation must remain up for one year (April 2020-April 2021). Please note that the three or four winners will be invited to exhibit 2-3 additional works in the Graduate School offices and 4th Floor Gallery Hall. The other finalists will each be recognized with an Honorable Mention designation and receive a $50 award and are encouraged to provide their artwork for display in the Honors, Scholars, and Fellows House.

The competition is open to all currently enrolled, degree seeking graduate and professional students in good academic standing. Applicants should consider the criteria for submitted artwork noted below under Guidelines.

The identification of the award recipients will be a two-step process. First, a diverse panel of judges (faculty, staff, students) will identify a group of up to eight finalists. The judges will consider technical/artistic merit, personal appeal, as well as the artist’s statement. Second, three graduate student winners will be chosen from this group by a committee of faculty and staff from the Honors, Scholars and Fellows House, and the Art on Campus Director.

*The application cycle for this award is now closed!

Application/Submission Process

Applicants must complete the form. This will ask for:

  • your contact info
  • student status info.
  • image of your work in jpeg format, 1-3 no larger than 2MB
  • work specifications and completion date
  • Technical description of work (Materials used, size, date made)(Max: 100 words),
  • Artist’s statement about the work that includes the conceptual background of work and the ideas/meaning/story of the work. The purpose is to have a broad audience understand the work and create in the viewer a strong connection to the work. Note that while visual quality of the work is an important element, a major part of the award is for the the abilty of the artist to convey an Understanding and Appreciation of the Visual Arts to the audience. Artist’s Statement must be MINIMUM:300 words, MAXIMUM: 500 words

If you have questions regarding artwork eligibility or installation, please contact the Art on Campus Director, Professor Lilian Garcia-Roig at

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 for the academic year. This stipend is in addition to the TA stipend (and waiver) that will be provided by the department.

The application cycle for the academic year is now closed!

For more information regarding the PIE Teaching Associate Program, please see the PIE website or contact 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 on the PIE Website.

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

The application cycle for the 2019-2020 academic year is now closed!

Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) Competition


The Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland, Australia. 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.

All 3MT™Finalists will receive a certificate and a $100 award and are eligible for one of the three awards: 1st Place ($1,000), 2nd Place ($750), and the People’s Choice ($500) selected by the audience.

Important Dates & Deadlines


Registration for the 2019 Three Minute Thesis is now closed.


Preliminary Rounds

Preliminary Rounds were held the week of Oct. 21 - Oct. 25, 2019 in room 3009 of the Honors, Scholars and Fellows House.

Finalist Competition

The Finalist Competition was held on Tuesday, November 19, 2019  in the College of Medicine Auditorium at 2:00 PM. 

3MT™ Eligibility

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

Preparing for the 3MT™ Competition

Prior to the 3-Minutes Thesis (3MT™), the Graduate School hosted a workshop for graduate students intending to enter the competition. 

3MT™ Prizes

* Each finalist receives a certificate and a $100 award. 

  • Winner: $1,000
  • Runner-up: $750
  • People's Choice (selected by audience): $500

3MT™ Rules

  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

  1. Comprehension and Content: Did the presentation help the audience understand the research and was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate for an intelligent but non-specialist audience? 
  2. Engagement and Communication: Did the oration make the audience want to know more? 

Other U.S. schools with 3MT™ competitions

  1. Emory University 
  2. Purdue University  
  3. University of Georgia 

Fall 2019 Winners

  • First Place- Alyssa Henderson (Arts and Sciences- Physics)
  • First Place- Sara Jones (Medicine- Biomedical Sciences)
  • Second Place- Bryan Keller (Arts and Sciences- Oceanography)
  • People's Choice- Grace Kennedy (Arts and Sciences- Psychology)

Videos of  Past 3MT™ Finalists

3MT™ Finals 2015- Overview Video
3MT™ Finals 2015- Aniket Ingrole (First Place)
3MT™ Finals 2015- Frank Annie (Second Place)
3MT™ Finals 2015- Austin Schwartz (People's Choice Award)
3MT™ Finals 2016- Madhuparna Roy (First Place)
3MT™ Finals 2016- Shaleen Miller (Second Place)
3MT™ Finals 2016- Tania Reynolds (People's Choice Award Winner)
3MT™ Finals 2017- FSU News Finalist Overview Video
3MT™ Finals 2018- All Finalist Videos
3MT™ Finals 2018- FSU News Finalist Overview Video
3MT™ Preliminary Rounds for 2019 Contestants
3MT™ Finals 2019- Radio Story
3MT™ Finals 2019- News Article and Video

Fall 2019 3MT™ Winners

Judges selected Alyssa Henderson, a doctoral student in the Department of Physics, and Sara Jones, a doctoral student in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, as this year’s first-place winners. They each earned a $1,000 prize and advance to a regional competition. It is the first time dual winners have been selected at the competition, which The Graduate School has organized since 2014.

Henderson explained her work developing quantum materials, which are substances that behave differently than normal materials and for which quantum mechanics — the physics that govern subatomic particles like protons, electrons and others — are essential to understanding their properties.

From the centuries-old creation of bronze to the inventions of today that build solar panels, spaceships and more, “Humans are always making better materials,” Henderson said. “That’s what I do.”

She works with materials in which the arrangement of atoms has a special geometry that gives them unusual qualities.

Jones explained her research on how the artificial sweetener aspartame could cause anxious behavior that fathers may pass down to their offspring. She studies how exposure to aspartame affects whether certain genes are turned on or off, and how those changes are passed to descendants, a concept known as transgenerational transmission.

“I hope this research gets us thinking about that concept,” she said. “It has global implications for today and for generations to come.”

Bryan Keller, a doctoral student in the Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Science, won second place for his presentation on how sharks use the Earth’s magnetic field to navigate. He received a $750 prize.

Grace Kennedy, a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology, claimed the “People’s Choice” award and a $500 prize for her presentation about weight stigma in anti-obesity campaigns.




Fall 2018 3MT™ Winner

Florida State University doctoral student Eve Humphrey left judges and attendees with a smile as she closed her Three Minute Thesis speech at the annual competition, Tuesday, Nov. 27.

“When under pressure, just keep swimming and getting it on,” she said.

Humphrey, a biological science student, took home the $1,000 prize and will represent Florida State at a regional competition in Knoxville in February.

Humphrey’s prize-winning presentation, “Under Pressure: Stress and Coloration as Mediators of Behavioral and Physiological Variation,” highlighted how differences within and between populations of Least Killifish and Eastern Mosquitofish influence their behavior, reproduction and stress responses with predators.


3 minute thesis 2018.jpg



Fall 2017 3MT™ Winners

An education doctoral student took home the first-place prize for the Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) competition at Florida State University, Wednesday, Nov. 29.

Shannon Gooden, a doctoral student in FSU’s School of Teacher Education, won the $1,000 prize and the opportunity to represent Florida State at a regional competition in February.

“It’s so humbling,” Gooden said. “There were so many amazing talks and pieces of research. This is the first time the College of Education or the School of Teacher Education has had a winner to my knowledge, so it’s not only humbling to be representing them, but to represent the university as well. I can’t take that for granted.”



From L- R: Xin Shan, Jessica Cusick, Shannon Gooden and Interim Dean Mark Riley. 


Fall 2016 3MT™ Winners

Florida State doctoral student Madhuparna Roy is the winner of the university’s 2016 Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) competition. Roy confidently walked on stage and without a hint of nervousness, explained to the crowd in the allotted three minutes how her research would make planes safer in stormy weather. She aced it. Roy’s clear, succinct “elevator speech” won the competition in the Durell Peaden Auditorium in the College of Medicine Research Building on Nov. 29. READ MORE

3MT Winners- Fall 2016 - V2- Smaller Size.jpg


From L-R: Dr. Judith Devine; Madhuparna Roy (Winner); Shaleen Miller (Runner-Up);
Tania Reynolds (People's Choice)

Fall 2015 3MT™ Winners

Aniket Ingrole, who is earning his doctorate from the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at the Florida A&M University-FSU College of Engineering, won first place in the 3MT™ competition that challenges doctoral students to present their voluminous dissertations in three minutes. Ingrole — “You don’t want to get nervous when you get in front of a crowd this big,” he said. “It took some time because English is not my mother tongue.” READ MORE

Fall 2015 3MT Winners
From Left-Right (Frank Annie, Aniket Ingrole, Austin Schwartz)



Fall 2014 3MT™ Winner

Kimberly Smith, a doctoral candidate in the neuroscience program, won the first place $500 prize for her thesis presentation on “A Behavioral and Molecular Examination of ‘Umami’ Taste.” Smith’s thesis examines taste receptors in both mice and humans and whether it’s possible to harness the “umami” taste in things like children’s medicine, for example.“My research, I think everyone can relate to because everyone loves food,” Smith said. Michael Mitchell (Computer Science) won second place and J. Hendry Miller (History) won People's Choice. READ MORE

Kimberly Smith- Fall 2014 3MT Finalist
Kimberly Smith



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