Information about Graduate Research Awards

All graduate students in the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture are eligible for the Graduate Research Excellence Award.

To be eligible for the Dow, Griffee, or Clements awards, a graduate student’s thesis or dissertation research must be related to the goals and objectives of an approved project of the Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station. The Clements award also requires training and research in disciplines related to Maine agriculture. Detailed descriptions of the four awards may be found below.

For all awards, applicants must have student status in December of the academic year they apply for awards. Also, to receive the Dow, Griffee, or Clements awards applicants must have a student status in the following spring semester to receive associated scholarship funds and must be available to present research accomplishments on March 5, 2019. To be considered and be competitive for these awards, students must have made significant progress on their thesis or dissertation work and have substantial results and other accomplishments to report. Therefore, M.S. degree candidates must be within one year of their expected graduate date at the time of application. Ph.D. degree candidates must be within two years of their expected graduation date at the time of application.

Applicants for research awards should be near the end of their program of study and have results from their thesis or dissertation research to present as part of the competition.

There is a common application for the four research awards. Applicants do not need to apply for a specific award. The Graduate Awards Committee will make determinations on applicant eligibility for specific awards during the selection process.

Complete applications for the research awards must be submitted as one PDF by 4:30 PM on Friday, December 14, 2018. Electronic submissions should be sent to um.nsfaresearch@maine.edu. Late applications will not be accepted, and it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all required materials are submitted by the deadline.

In mid to late January, the Graduate Awards Committee will select a set of finalists for the four research awards and invite those students to give a research presentation to the Committee on March 9, 2018. Presentations will be open to all faculty and students. The committee will select award recipients based on application materials, presentations, and selection criteria outlined in the award descriptions. The committee will only consider the achievements of an applicant during their current program of study at the University of Maine.

Application Requirements

Applications require the following:

  1. Completed Graduate Student Research Awards Competition application form.
  2. Complete (unofficial) transcripts of the applicant’s UM graduate course work.
  3. An abstract of 250 words or less by the applicant on his/her thesis or dissertation research and its potential impacts. The abstract should emphasize the objectives, specific results and conclusions of the research.  Other information will be expected in the presentation of the research project in March (see application form).
  4. A statement of at least 250 words from the applicant describing his/her future plans (see application form).
  5. Research accomplishments (see application form).
  6. A letter of nomination/recommendation from the applicant’s graduate advisor, department chair, school director, or graduate program coordinator (limit of one letter). The letter should evaluate the applicant’s progress to date toward his/her degree, the quality and potential impact of the applicant’s research, and address the potential for the applicant to make significant contributions in his/her career.
  7. Submit as one PDF file name: lastnameRESEARCHAWARDS.pdf

Instructions for the Presentations

The Graduate Student Awards Selection Committee includes faculty members from many different scientific disciplines in the college. And you can expect other faculty and students in attendance to have equally diverse backgrounds. One of your challenges will be to develop a presentation that balances the need to describe your work accurately and in depth with the need for effective communication to an audience with diverse scientific backgrounds. A talk too dominated by highly discipline-specific language that is not well explained will detract from your overall presentation. Several of the requirements below are in place to keep the presentations on schedule. Please note these requirements carefully.

  1. Your presentation must be transferred to our laptop computer by 3:30 p.m. the day before the presentations. Do not wait until the last minute. The presentation laptop will be available 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. the day before the presentations in 101 Winslow Hall for you to load your presentation and to ensure there will be no problems.
  2. It is important that your presentation stay within the time limits and begin on time. Your presentation must not be longer than 12 minutes. A 12-minute presentation will leave 5 minutes for questions and 3 minutes to begin the next presentation within each 20-minute time block on the schedule. We will provide a visible clock for you to watch your time. Running over your time can affect the evaluation of your presentation.
  3. Please use the following format for your presentation file name: lastnameRESEARCHAWARDS.ppt or lastnameRESEARCHAWARDS.pdf.
  4. Please arrive during the 10-minute schedule break prior to your presentation to check in. We encourage you to listen to all the presentations if you are able to.

George F. Dow Award

George F. Dow Graduate Scholarship Fund was established in the University of Maine Foundation in 1975 for the benefit of the University of Maine, Orono, with gifts from and in honor of Dr. George Dow ’27. Income from the fund is used to provide scholarship assistance to graduate students. The recipients shall be selected on the basis of academic proficiency and promise for future development. Financial need is preferred, but not required.

  • Eligibility: Student in a NSFA graduate program. Thesis or dissertation research must be related to the goals and objectives of an approved project of the Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station. Applicants must have a student status in December of the academic year they apply for awards and in the following spring semester to receive associated scholarship funds.
  • Selection criteria: Academic and research performance during the applicant’s current program of study and promise for future development. Financial need is a secondary criterion. Candidates are required to give a research presentation to the selection committee.

Fred Griffee Memorial Award

Fred Griffee Memorial Award was established in 1952 by co-workers and friends in memory of Dr. Fred Griffee, Director of Maine Agricultural Experiment Station from 1931 to 1951. The income from this fund shall be awarded to a graduate student in the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture on the basis of research ability, character and scholarship.

  • Eligibility: Student in a NSFA graduate program. Thesis or dissertation research must be related to the goals and objectives of an approved project of the Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station. Applicants must have a student status in December of the academic year they apply for awards and in the following spring semester to receive associated scholarship funds.
  • Selection criteria: Academic and research performance during the applicant’s current program of study and character. Candidates are required to give a research presentation to the selection committee.

Norris Charles Clements Graduate Student Award

The Norris Charles Clements Graduate Student Award was established in the University of Maine Foundation in May 1997 for the benefit of the University of Maine, Orono, with a bequest from Laurel Clements ’48 in honor of her father, Norris Charles Clements, a distinguished Maine poultry farmer who in 1953 was honored by the University of Maine as Maine’s Outstanding Farmer. Income shall be used to provide financial assistance for rewarding outstanding graduate students in agricultural sciences and to recognize the accomplishments of graduate students whose studies have the potential to make a significant contribution to Maine agriculture. Candidates should have training and be doing research in disciplines related to Maine agriculture, such as agronomy, soil science, animal and veterinary sciences, agricultural economics, entomology, plant pathology, agricultural engineering and other disciplines the dean deems contribute significantly to the well being of Maine agriculture. Students will be chosen for awards on the basis of their high academic standing, the quality of their research and their personal integrity.

  • Eligibility: Student in a NSFA graduate program. Thesis or dissertation research must be related to the goals and objectives of an approved project of the Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station and be related to Maine agriculture. Applicants must have a student status in December of the academic year they apply for awards and in the following spring semester to receive associated scholarship funds.
  • Selection criteria: Academic and research performance during the applicant’s current program of study and character. Candidates are required to give a research presentation to the selection committee.

Graduate Research Excellence Award

Graduate Research Excellence Award was established in 2008 to recognize graduate student excellence in research in the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture.

  • Eligibility: Student in a NSFA graduate program. While all graduate students in NSFA are eligible note that one purpose of this award was to provide an opportunity to recognize students not eligible for the Dow, Griffee, or Clements awards, which are restricted to students associated with the Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station. Applicants must have a student status in December of the academic year they apply for awards.
  • Selection criteria: This award is based solely on research performance and scholarly activity. Specific criteria include (1) research accomplishments during the applicant’s current program of study, (2) quality of research and scholarly activity, and (3) quality of a research presentation to the selection committee. Candidates are required to give a research presentation to the selection committee.