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Matching Commitments

Matching Commitment Policy

External fellowships and grants provide a valuable source of financial support, often enabling a graduate student to have considerable freedom to pursue his or her own research interests. Developing proposals for external support also offers valuable professional development opportunities and successful proposals enhance the CV of the student. For these reasons, the Office of Graduate Studies strongly encourages graduate students to obtain external support in the form of fellowships, research funding and dissertation writing grants.

Consistent with the objective of increasing the numbers of students who apply for and receive external fellowships, the Office of Graduate Studies has instituted an expanded matching commitment policy. In this context, a matching commitment represents the use of institutional funds to supplement the tuition and fee support that is provided by an external sponsor. Matching commitments act as incentives for graduate students and program faculty to seek external funding and support the ability of students to complete their programs of study.

Types of Matching Commitments

With increasing frequency, external agencies are limiting the amounts of the fee and tuition payments that are provided. Thus, the primary purpose of the Graduate Studies matching commitment policy is to address this shortfall. UC Davis will apply any “institutional allowance” or “cost of education allowance” that is intended by the external agency to pay fees and/or tuition for that intended purpose. Matching commitments from Graduate Studies will generally be provided to cover the balance of fees and tuition not paid by the external agency.

Graduate Studies provides matching commitments in several categories. The amount of the matching commitment is specific to the terms and conditions of the fellowship as determined by the awarding agency. These terms and conditions may be changed by the agency year-to-year and only the current version will apply. To simplify the match request process, common fellowships are grouped into three categories below. These lists are expected to be dynamic and suggestions may be directed to the External Fellowship team. In cases where the matching commitment from Graduate Studies is limited, the graduate program is expected to contribute funds to ensure that each fellowship recipient is fully supported at a level comparable to that of their peers enrolled in the same degree program.   

Graduate Studies provides matching commitments on selected external fellowships awarded to UC Davis graduate students. The following criteria determine which fellowships are eligible:

  • The fellowship is awarded directly to a graduate student and not to a program, department or faculty member;
  • The fellowship is awarded by an agency, foundation or institution external to UC Davis

Student Eligibility

Students are responsible for ensuring that they meet the criteria to receive fellowship funding each quarter. Please see Regulations for Graduate Students Receiving Fellowships. Students in professional and self-supporting degree programs are ineligible. Education Credential/MA students are only eligible once they have been awarded the credential and have begun their master’s year of study.

Please note that employment during the award period at 25% time or greater, even if permitted by the awarding agency, could make the student ineligible for matching commitment support.  For example, a graduate student researcher (GSR) with fee & tuition remission and nonresident supplemental tuition remission would be ineligible. A graduate student with a teaching appointment (TA/AI/Reader) may be eligible for nonresident supplemental tuition remission when applicable.

Students Simultaneously Awarded External and Internal Fellowships

It is frequently the case that students who are competitive for external fellowships are also competitive for internal UC Davis fellowships and are simultaneously awarded both. Due to the limited availability of internal fellowship funds and the need to be fair in awarding them to students, some restrictions may be imposed on the awarding of simultaneous large internal and external fellowships. Furthermore, the funding agency may restrict an applicant from holding another fellowship award.  If a student receives a substantial internal and a substantial external fellowship at the same time, the internal restriction of funding is at Graduate Studies’ discretion on a case by case basis. As an alternative, it is possible to defer an internal fellowship to the following year in some cases.

Application Procedure

Matching commitments are arranged by having program staff contact Graduate Studies on the student’s behalf. Program staff are asked to complete the Matching Commitments for External Fellowships Form (GS517) and attach a copy of the award letter and any applicable terms and conditions of the award. The form and award documents may be emailed to  

For multi-year external fellowships, a new matching request must be submitted each academic year. Electronic signatures are acceptable. If fellowship is not listed below, it is possible to submit a request for the fellowship to be reviewed by the External Fellowship team for eligibility for matching funds.

Fellowship Categories

Category 1: Major External Fellowships

Category 1 fellowships are nationally or internationally competitive, prestigious, and open to students in multiple fields of study. They normally provide significant and often multi-year funding. For students who receive these awards, Graduate Studies will award 100 percent of the shortfall between the award for fees and tuition and the amount due for the duration of the fellowship tenure period. Graduate Studies will also provide a nonresident supplemental tuition fellowship (NRSTF) for the first year of graduate study if needed. In the case of fellowships that support research outside of California, students must register In Absentia and the matching commitment will cover the reduced fees and tuition.

Category 2: Split Matching Commitment External Fellowships

Category 2 fellowships are also competitive and prestigious, but some are limited to single fields of study. These awards provide students with partial support for a stipend or research activity. Many are intended to support students who will spend the entire award period conducting research outside the United States. For students who receive these awards, Graduate Studies and the graduate program are expected to share in the responsibility to pay the balance of fees, tuition and nonresident supplemental tuition (the latter only for the first year of study) on behalf of the student. In cases where the award is intended to support research in another country or state, the matching commitment is limited to sharing the expense of In Absentia registration.

Category 3: External Agency or Home Government Awards to International Students

Category 3 includes competitive and prestigious awards to international students from their home governments or external agencies and foundations. In general, these awards provide support for multiple years. Often, they do not provide for payment of nonresident supplemental tuition. Graduate Studies will provide two years of nonresident supplemental tuition for doctoral students and one year for master’s students.