Graduate Recruitment Funds

Graduate Studies currently offers departments and programs two different forms of competitive recruitment funds: Graduate Incentive Awards and the Diversity and Distinction Award. All departments and programs may apply for a Diversity and Distinction Award as separate from their Incentive Award application. A final report must be submitted on the use of any of the recruitment awards. 

Graduate Incentive Awards

Preferred deadline: February 15

Graduate Incentive Awards are modest, one-time competitive awards used by departments as scholarships extended to recruit prospective graduate students to accept the department’s offer of admission.

Departments might choose to use the scholarship to recruit one top-ranked student or to offer nominal awards across their prospective cohort. In either case, the department may use the full extent of the amount awarded as a direct scholarship to prospective students, with the following balance of preferences in mind:

  1. Domestic underrepresented minority students
  2. Out-of-state students first; then New Mexico residents; then international
  3. Doctoral students; then MFA; and then MA

Departments might frame scholarships as monies that could defray first-year fees or expenses; moving/relocation costs through reimbursement; or offset books or technology expenses, for example. In all cases, the scholarship will post at the start of the fall semester (meaning it cannot be given to the student prior to the start of the semester).

To apply for Incentive Awards, department chairs or graduate program directors should complete one application form, along with a request for funds, a total amount requested, and a completed spreadsheet of identified students.

Amounts awarded to departments will vary depending on available budget. Priority will be given to departments that can demonstrate use of prior outreach efforts (McNair or National Name Exchange databases, for instance) and indicate department cost-share investment in support of the nominated students.

Contact Margaret Gonzales ( for any questions about the processing of the scholarship funds.

Please note that any award processed through a student’s Bursar account will be applied to any unpaid balance first. Therefore, if the student owes any tuition, fees, bookstore charges, housing, etc. the scholarship may be applied to any outstanding balances before any disbursal will be paid directly to the student.

Diversity and Distinction Awards

Deadline: March 15, 2022

Graduate Studies remains committed to providing supplemental funding to recruit outstanding underrepresented minority students who have been admitted to a UNM graduate program. These supplemental funds are competitive, limited, and require departments to identify a prospective student early in the admissions window and nominate that student for supplemental funding.

The award amount will be up to $5,000.00 annually for two years. Priority will be given to out-of-state students and then preference will be for UNM students whose field of study is significant for the region or supported by a robust UNM research program.

Applications must be submitted by the department chair or graduate program director and include:

  1. An explanation of the exceptional potential for the student to succeed in graduate education, including a brief rationale for nominating the student;
  2. Indicate the department’s cost-share in recruiting the student;
  3. Demonstrate the department’s commitment to the student’s success (i.e., naming of an advisor; peer mentoring programming; or available research/travel funds for graduate students).

The Diversity and Distinction award is not contingent on the prospective student holding a competing offer of graduate admissions. Instead, departments should immediately identify a highly qualified underrepresented student at the start of the admissions cycle; nominate that student for supplemental funds; and, if awarded by Graduate Studies, offer the student the supplemental funds as incentive to accept UNM’s offer of admission.

While departments may nominate more than one qualifying student in ranked order of preference, only one award will be allocated to selected departments.

Submit applications or questions to Margaret Gonzales,

Reporting for Recruitment Awards

Funds should be expended by the end of the spring semester when funds are awarded. All reimbursement requests for expenditures MUST be submitted before June 1 otherwise the charges will not be reimbursed.

The report should assess the effectiveness of the funded recruitment activity, including an update of the application, acceptance, and enrolment data for the target programs.

Deadline and Submission Information:

Reports are due September 1 at 5:00 pm. Please submit to Margaret Gonzales,

If the department’s report is not received on time, the department will not be eligible for funding the next funding cycle.