Clifford D. Clark Diversity Fellowships, named after Clifford D. Clark, a former president of Binghamton University, are highly competitive fellowships that are offered to qualified students who have been newly admitted to graduate degree programs at Binghamton University.
Funded by New York State, Binghamton University, and an endowment fund, these merit-based fellowships provide a full array of support, including competitive academic-year stipends, full-tuition scholarships, health insurance, and opportunities for research and travel funding. Clark Fellows are guaranteed to receive this support for a specific period, assuming satisfactory academic progress.
To be eligible, you must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident and a new graduate student planning to enroll full-time during the award period. The Clark Fellowship is awarded to outstanding graduate students from historically underrepresented groups in higher education. There are many reasons why a candidate might have encountered barriers to access to a higher education. Applicants should demonstrate how they can contribute to the diversity of the student body by meeting one of these criteria:
- Candidates from groups underrepresented in graduate education, for example defined by: race, age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, first generation college attendance, and/or disability status.
- Candidates who have a history of overcoming disadvantage
Although membership in a group historically underrepresented in higher education is considered, it does not form the full basis for the awards. Each applicant will be evaluated on their own merit. Each applicant's economic situation, as determined through Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), will also be considered. Preference will go to incoming doctoral students.
Stipend: Clark Fellowship stipends are competitive against national benchmarks from other doctoral institutions. Stipend levels vary by academic discipline. Summer awards may also be available.
Tuition scholarships: Awardees will receive full-tuition scholarships, though tuition will only be paid at the in-state rate after the first year. As a result, awardees must establish New York State residency as soon as they arrive on campus.
Guaranteed award periods: As long as awardees make satisfactory progress toward their degrees, they are guaranteed stipends and tuition scholarships for a specific period. Fellows entering PhD programs with a bachelor's degree will receive up to 5 years of support, while fellows entering PhD programs with a master's degree will receive up to 3 years of support. Fellows entering master's programs with a bachelor's degree will receive up to 2 years of support.
Other benefits, including health insurance: Awardees can enroll in an optional health insurance plan at a subsidized rate and receive reduced on-campus parking rates.
Research and travel opportunities: Funding for research purposes or participation in professional conferences is available on a competitive basis. See the Research and Funding webpage for details.
Professional experience: The Clark Fellowship is designed to give students as enriching of a graduate experience as possible. Clark Fellows will not be required to complete any duties their first semester: their tasks will be to get grounded in their programs. Awardees will be appointed as teaching assistants, graduate assistants or research project assistants at one half of the normal workload in order to develop professional skills that will help distinguish them on the job market. Usually, this means they will have a full teaching or research assistantship during one semester and a full fellowship during the other semester.
Expectations and limitations: Clark Fellows receiving tuition scholarships are required to abide by the Terms and Conditions for Acceptance of the Tuition Scholarship. In addition, Clark Fellows are expected to devote themselves full-time to the pursuit of their graduate degrees. Thus, Clark Fellows are not permitted to hold other employment or positions, including fellowships such as the Provost's Doctoral Summer Fellowships.
Fellowship Application Process
- Complete and submit a graduate degree program application. Answer "yes" to the Clark Fellowship question on the graduate degree program application.
- Complete the Clark Fellowship Application form. The application includes an essay. The requirements for the essay are outlined in the application form. To access the Clark Fellowship Application form, log in to your graduate application status page with the email and password that you used to create your graduate degree application. The Clark Fellowship Application form is available under the Forms section of your status page.
- Before submitting the completed materials please speak with the department about receiving a nomination.
- Graduate departments will review applications and make recommendations to the Graduate School for admission and Clark Fellowship funding. Applicants must be admitted to the program before they can be nominated for Clark Fellowships.
- The Graduate School will review complete Clark Fellowship nominations. A complete nomination will contain the application essay as well as the nomination from the academic department. The Graduate School will notify the student awardees and graduate programs of the award between March 31 and April 30.
For Department Faculty and Staff
- Review Clark Fellowship applications within Slate and determine which applicants you will nominate for Clark Fellowships. Applicants must be admitted to the program before they can be nominated for Clark Fellowships.
- Complete a Clifford D. Clark Diversity Fellowship for Graduate Students Nomination form (PDF, 614 KB) for each applicant. The memorandum requires the graduate director to assess the nominee's strengths and weaknesses relative to the graduate program and specify a faculty advisor. If the nominee's application is weak in any area, the graduate director must specify how that weakness will be addressed.
- Upload the completed nomination forms to Slate via batch acquire. Please make sure to select the material type Clark Fellowship Department Nomination Form. Instructions for using batch acquire can be found online. Submit nomination forms by November 15 (when applicable) for Spring semester admits, and February 1 (for the first round of awards) or March 1 (for the remainder of awards) for Summer and Fall semester admits. Given the competitive nature of these awards, early nominations of strong applicants are encouraged.
- The Graduate School will review complete Clark Fellowship nominations. A complete nomination will contain the application essay as well as the nomination from the academic area. The Graduate School will notify the student awardees and graduate programs of the award between March 31 and April 30.
NOTE FOR GRADUATE PROGRAMS REGARDING GRADUATE PROGRAM SUPPORT:
Applicants entering a doctoral program with a bachelor's degree are eligible for 5 years of funding. Students are fully funded by the Clark Fellowship for the first year, and graduate programs must guarantee 1 semester of tuition and stipend for each year after the first year of full Clark funding for a total of 4 years.
Applicants entering a doctoral program with a master's degree are eligible for 3 years of funding. Students are fully funded by the Clark Fellowship for the first year, and graduate programs must guarantee 1 semester of tuition and stipend for each year after the first year of full Clark funding for a total of 2 years.
Applicants entering a master's program are eligible for 2 years of funding. Students are fully funded by the Clark Fellowship for the first year, and graduate programs must guarantee 1 semester of tuition and stipend in the second year.
Some graduate programs have additional limitations on funding, such as limiting all graduate students to 4 years of funding. In such cases, the graduate program limitations apply. Graduate programs may provide more than 1 semester of support for each year after the first year, but graduate programs cannot rollover an unused Clark-funded semester to another year.