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Graduate Grants, Awards, Scholarships

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Information about Travel and Research Grants, Awards, and Scholarships

The Gaylord College Graduate Studies Office offers a variety of grants, awards, and scholarships to help current graduate students in their research and/or teaching pursuits. We offer scholarships, grants, and awards to help students pay for course fees, conduct research, attend conferences to present their work, and to stay active in major academic professional associations. Please click on the tabs on the left to explore our grants, scholarships, and awards.

All graduate students who plan to travel on university business must follow the Gaylord College Travel Policy.

Gaylord College Graduate Student Travel/Research/Creative Activity Grant

Overview: All Gaylord College graduate students may apply for receive a travel and/or travel grant using the travel grant request form. As a rule, the Gaylord College provides travel grants to attend a regional, national, or international conference to doctoral students in the amount of up to $750 per fiscal year, if the student’s research work has been peer-reviewed and accepted for presentation at a conference. Preference is given to national and international conferences in the our major fields of study (AEJMC, ICA, NCA, AAA, IPRRC) and national and international conferences in specific fields and/or geographical regions of student’s interests (such as International Crisis Communication conference, International Conference on Media Ethics, or Latin-American Conferenceon Communications).

MA and MPW students may apply for a competitive travel grant of up to $500 per fiscal year if their research and/or creative activity work has been peer-reviewed and accepted for presentation at a major conference. Preference is also given to national and international academic and professional conferences that directly relate to students’ areas of study.

In some cases, exceptional graduate students, whose work has been submitted to more than one national and/or international conference per year and/or whose work has been received top paper recognition, may apply for an additional travel grant within the same fiscal year.

What does the travel grant cover? The travel grant usually covers air/bus/train travel to and from the conference location, conference student registration, hotel accommodations, meals (actual receipts only). The travel grant does NOT cover membership fees of the organization. Because being a member of a professional organization/association may provide other benefits to students, in addition to the discounted conference rate, graduate students are encouraged to apply for the new Gaylord College Competitive Membership Award. For complete information on what expenses can be covered, please consult the Gaylord College travel policy.

Regardless whether students receive a travel grant, all graduate students must follow the Gaylord College Travel Policy.

How to apply? Please complete the following documents and submit hard copies to Graduate Adviser at least 30 days before travel (some exceptions may apply):

  1. Gaylord College Graduate Student Travel/Research Grant application
  2. Gaylord College Travel Authorization Request.
    Travel grant application deadline: Students need to apply for travel grants at least 30 days before the start of the conference.

Obligation to present your research at the Gaylord College: By accepting a travel/research grant from the Gaylord College, a student agrees to present the work at a conference agrees to present the work to colleagues (faculty and graduate students) in the Gaylord College. If the person does not present the work, he/she will not be eligible to receive a travel grant and/or scholarship in the future.

Gaylord College Membership Competitive Award

Starting in FY16, the Gaylord College Graduate Office will solicit applications for a competitive membership award to cover the cost of an annual student membership fee in a professional association (AEJMC, NCA or ICA only) for one year. As you know, our current travel grants do not cover associations’ membership fees, but the conference registration is often less expensive if you are a member. So to help graduate students with the cost of travel to conferences and to encourage students to be active student members in these professional associations, the Graduate Office has established this award.

Only MA and doctoral students whose competitive, peer-reviewed papers and/or panel presentations have been accepted for presentation at the conferences of these designated organizations the same year are eligible to apply for this award. Up to 2 student membership awards per organization per year will be awarded (total of 6 awards per year). Students are eligible to reapply for a membership award in a different organization within the same year, but the preference might be given to new applicants within the same year.

If you are interested in applying for this membership award, please complete the Gaylord College Membership Award application.

Gaylord College Scholarships

A limited number of competitive scholarships ($500-$3,000) are available each academic year to Gaylord College graduate students. Students need to carefully review all available scholarships and submit the scholarship application by the deadline (usually twice a year). Please contact the Graduate Adviser for more information about available scholarships and deadlines.  Starting Fall 2015, applications and information about scholarships can be found on the Gaylord College Graduate Studies website.

Post-scholarship requirement: Any student who plans to apply for a scholarship in any given year is highly encouraged to attend the annual scholarship and grant writing workshop. Any student who has previously received a scholarship, need to submit a copy of the thank you note letter to the graduate advisor, within the 45 days of receiving the scholarship (or by the end of the second week of the semester, if the decision was announced during the summer or winter break). The graduate advisor will keep track of all scholarship recipients as well as their participation in workshops and their writing of thank you notes.

The Scholarship committee has the right to request a list of workshop attendees from the Graduate Office and reserves the right to make scholarship decisions based on this information. The Graduate Office and the Scholarship Committee reserve the right to refuse a scholarship to anyone who has not submitted a copy of the thank you note for a previous scholarship by the deadline.

In addition, students who received a research scholarship must present the results of their research study to the Gaylord College faculty and students as part of the research seminar, within 45 days of completion of research. The presentation should be a job-talk length presentation, with Q&A to follow.

TEACH Test Funding Policy

TEACH Test, officially known as the English Assessment Program, is certification that a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Oklahoma must receive by passing the designated tests in oral, aural, and written English or by presenting appropriate evidence of their equivalents.  When the student completes the requirements, the department will be notified of student’s eligibility for appointments, and the student will receive a letter of certification when he or she is certified to instruct.

The Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers flexible graduate assistantships that may require students to perform duties as graduate teaching assistants. The State of Oklahoma requires certification for any non-native speaker of English who has contact with students in an instructional capacity. To meet this requirement at the University of Oklahoma, the English Assessment Program administers language proficiency tests leading to Certification of Proficiency in English.

At the Gaylord College, all international graduate assistants at the Master’s level need to pass the TEACH test at least at Level C as soon as possible but no later than by the end of their second semester to be eligible for a possible graduate assistantship the following (third) semester.

All Gaylord College doctoral students who are required to take the English proficiency test will need to pass the test at least at Level B by the end of their first year (end of the second semester of studies) to secure doctoral funding for the remaining years. Based on the GTA needs of the College, graduate assistantships may or may not be available to doctoral students who failed to pass the English proficiency test by the end of their third semester.

On July 1, 2015 (the new fiscal year, FY16), the Gaylord College Graduate Office introduced a new program that helps international graduate teaching assistants to fund their first attempt to pass the TEACH and WRITE portions of the test (in other words, the student has only one paid attempt to pass the test). The current cost is $50 for each part of the test; total possible funding is $100. Funding for the SPEAK portion of the test is not guaranteed but may be available on a case by case basis, subject to available funding. All new and returning international graduate assistants who have never taken the TEACH test before are eligible to apply for funding.

Generally, funding is available to take the TEACH part of the test ($50; first attempt only) once the SPEAK test is passed. Funding for the WRITE part ($50, first attempt only)becomes available after high scores are received in both SPEAK and TEACH test to qualify for the Level A certification.

The Graduate Director will consider supporting international graduate student assistants to take the TEACH test if: 1) the student asks the Director for support and 2) the student may need to perform teaching assistant duties in the coming semester. The funding will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and is based on the available budget in any given year, and is not guaranteed.

The Graduate Office of Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication will directly pay the fee for the TEACH test. When the student makes an appointment with the administrator at the English Proficiency Program, he or she needs to let the administrator know that the funding may be available. The student will receive a payment information form. He or she will need to complete a portion of the form (name, year, etc.) and contact the Graduate Office of the Gaylord College to verify the funding is available to the student. If funding is available, the student needs to bring the payment form to the graduate adviser for processing.

The Gaylord College will pay the fee directly to the Graduate College for the TEACH portion of the test as soon as it receives the form. The Graduate Director has discussed this funding procedure and policy with Suzanne Peters, and the English Assessment Office is aware of the process of direct payment by the Gaylord College for GTA testing (first attempt only).

As a rule the student will be responsible for paying for the SPEAK portion of the test if his/her TOEFL scores OR other test scores do not qualify the student to automatically pass the SPEAK test. However, exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis, subject to available funding.

To find out whether you are eligible to automatically pass the SPEAK test, please check this link:

If the student passes the TEACH portion of the test and the SPEAK test with high remarks which allow him or her to complete your certification at Level A, the English Assessment Office will need to send the confirmation of that via email to the student and to the Graduate Director. Then, the Graduate Office will also consider funding student’s first attempt to pass the WRITE portion of the test, which qualifies the student for the highest level of certification, Level A. The student may need to complete a separate payment form to process the payment for the WRITE test (first attempt only).

If you have any questions about the TEACH test funding process or policy, please contact the Graduate Director.

OU-wide Grants and Scholarships

OU Graduate College and Graduate Student Senate have a number of grants available to OU graduate students. Gaylord College students are encouraged to apply for these grants.

Gaylord College requirement: If the Gaylord College graduate student receives an OU competitive grant or scholarship, which requires a student to write a thank you letter to donors, the student must first submit a draft of the thank you letter for review by the Gaylord College Graduate Office. Failure to do so may impact future ability to receive OU-wide grants.

No grants will be disbursed until the travel is complete.

Here is a list of available OU and Graduate College grants and scholarships:
Robberson Conference Presentation & Creative Exhibition Travel Grant
Robberson Research & Creative Endeavors Grant

Robberson grants provide financial assistance to outstanding students who are in the early phases of a research project that is leading towards a significant product of creative activity or who are presenting their research at professional conferences. Such activities include dissertation or thesis research, publications, and national exhibitions or performances.

Maximum Award:
Research: $1000 for Doctoral students; $500 for Master's students
Travel: $1000

Thank you letter required? Yes

Application Deadlines: September 15, October 15, November 15, January 15, February 15, March 15, April 15.

Complete information and application

Graduate College International Travel Scholarship

The Graduate College International Travel Scholarship provides students with matching funds to participate in a prestigious international conference or international juried event. A student is eligible to receive this award once per academic degree.

The Award: The scholarship will provide one-half of the total cost, up to a maximum of $1,800, which must be matched by an equal amount from the student’s college and/or department. Thus, the total award may be up to $3,600.

Funds will not be disbursed until after the travel is complete.

Application Deadlines: September 15, October 15, November 15, January 15, February 15, March 15, and April 15.

Complete information and application

The Eddie Carol Smith Scholarship

The Eddie Carol Smith Scholarship is a one-year award that will go to a graduate student whose research/capstone project either opens a new area of scholarly endeavor or significantly expands an existing area of scholarly endeavor. Applicants must be near the end of their degree requirements, as it is expected that the academic year during which the student serves as the Eddie Carol Smith Scholar is also the academic year in which the student will complete the degree.


  • $2,000 in professional development funds. These funds may be used to assist with the research project (i.e., data-collection, supplies & equipment, etc); to assist with the preparation of the final dissertation, thesis, or capstone project; or for travel to either present the research/project or to collect data for the research/project.
  • full tuition waiver for both the fall and spring semesters of the award year

Application Deadline: There will not be an award made in 2015.  The next deadline will be February 15, 2016.

Complete information and application

The Alice Mary Robertson Award

The Alice Mary Robertson Award was established to honor the memory of Alice Mary Robertson, Oklahoma's second female representative in the United States Congress. The purpose of the award is to stimulate an interest among graduate students in the preservation and use of archival material for the study and interpretation of the contributions made by women to the culture and progress of Oklahoma as well as to awaken the public to a greater appreciation of these contributions.

Award: $1,000 award to recognize work that addresses the contribution made by women to the cultural progress of Oklahoma. The expectation is that the so honored will be disseminated to a broader audience through articles, presentations and/or media.

Application Deadline: April 1

Complete information and application

Graduate Student Senate (GSS) Research & Conference Grants

The Graduate Student Senate offers grants ($250-$750) to assist graduate students of the University of Oklahoma in research and scholarly endeavors. These grants are designed to facilitate scholarly research and encourage graduate students to participate in professional and graduate conferences, creative exhibitions, and career fairs.

Application Deadlines: The Graduate Student Senate accepts the Research and Conference grant applications twice a year. The fall grant process is for Research and Conference grants taking place from July 1 to June 30.

Complete information and application