About the Ann W. and Spencer T. Olin – Chancellor’s Fellowship

The Ann W. and Spencer T. Olin – Chancellor’s Fellowship (OCF) is an elite cohort of outstanding graduate students with diverse backgrounds and from varied disciplines. The OCF is committed to promoting diversity in all dimensions including cultural, socioeconomic, gender, racial, ethnic, geographical, philosophical/religious, and other distinctive backgrounds and perspectives.

The OCF offers a competitive award package and a best-in-class graduate fellowship experience. Fellows will receive exceptional leadership and development opportunities, access to exemplary resources, and networking and mentorship opportunities that will empower them to demonstrate all-round excellence. Our Fellows will reinforce the ethos of the program through sustained engagement as students and alumni. 

Program Benefits

  • Annual stipend of $45,000 (AY 2023-2024) for the defined program length, or for up to 5 years, whichever comes first.
  • Full tuition remission
  • Annual $1,500 research stipend
  • 100% health subsidy
  • Access to priority housing for Fellows (through Quadrangle Housing) adjacent to both the Danforth & Medical campuses, subject to availability.
  • OCF exclusive events (e.g., networking events and mentorship programs) and access to a robust alumni network.
  • Access to exceptional professional development programming through The Graduate Center.

Student Eligibility

The following criteria must be met for incoming students to be eligible for the OCF.

  • Students must be of the highest caliber having an exceptional academic record as well as a compelling and diverse background and vision for the future. Students must be admitted to their program of study to receive a fellowship.
  • Students must be pursuing a terminal (e.g., PhD or JD) degree in their field. This can be a terminal practice degree.  
  • Students must have received an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution. A U.S. institution is one whose accrediting agency is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

How to Apply

The OCF application is submitted along with the program application. Applicants will apply through their program’s admissions platform. Applicants should be certain to apply by the program’s published application deadline.

If an applicant is eligible for the OCF program, the program application will automatically include the fellowship application prompt. Applicants must submit an essay and resume/CV to be considered for the OCF.

Please note that the program admission decision is entirely separate from the fellowship decision. Those interested in and eligible for the OCF program are highly encouraged to apply. While applicants may apply to multiple programs, selected Fellows may only accept one program offer. Joint appointment are not available.

Fellowship Essay Prompt
In 1,000 words or less, please indicate the reasons for your interest in the OCF and articulate:

1) How your background and lived experience have influenced your decision to pursue graduate study in your discipline,

2) Your desired career pathway upon graduation, and

3) How you will contribute to both the OCF community and the broader global community in the future.

The application for fellowship is only available when completing the application for your graduate program.

“The Ann W. and Spencer T. Olin – Chancellor’s Fellowship is instrumental in our efforts to recruit outstanding graduate students from diverse backgrounds to Washington University. Diversity makes our community stronger and we all benefit from the presence of a multitude of backgrounds and perspectives.”

Vijay Ramani, vice provost for graduate education and international affairs
Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of the most common questions asked during the fellowship application process:

Do I apply to the fellowship at the same time as I apply to my program?

Yes. Applicants who eligible for OCF are able to apply through their program application. 

I have a master’s degree from a U.S. institution. Am I eligible to apply for the Fellowship?

Neither the origin nor the completion of your master’s degree impacts your eligibility for this program. Students must have received an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution. A U.S. institution is one whose accrediting agency is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

When is the Fellowship application deadline? Do I have to submit my Fellowship materials at the same time as my program application?

The OCF application deadline is tied to your program deadline.  Applicants who are eligible for OCF are able to apply through their program application. 

My degree program admissions application does not require test scores (e.g., GRE, etc.). How should I proceed?

The OCF does not require submission of official or unofficial test scores.

Will my OCF application impact my program application decision?

The program admission review process and decision are entirely separate from the fellowship decision. Those interested in and eligible for the OCF program are highly encouraged to apply.

What is the application prompt?

In 1,000 words or less, please indicate the reasons for your interest in the OCF and articulate: 1) How your background and lived experience have influenced your decision to pursue graduate study in your discipline, 2) Your desired career pathway upon graduation, and 3) How you will contribute to both the OCF community and the broader global community in the future.

What programs are eligible?

Students must be pursuing a terminal (e.g., PhD or JD) degree in their field. This can be a terminal practice degree.  

Not all programs are eligible for the OCF. If you meet the OCF eligibility requirements and the OCF application prompt does not appear in your program application, it is likely that the program is not eligible. If there appears to be an error and you are unable to apply to a fellowship for which you believe you are eligible, please contact us.

Please contact us at olinchancellorsfellowship@wustl.edu if you have questions.

Contact Us


Inquiries about compliance should be addressed to:
Vice Chancellor for Human Resources
Washington University
Campus Box 1184
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130

Specific information may be obtained from the departmental or administrative unit to which the student intends to apply.

Washington University encourages and gives full consideration to all applicants for admission, financial aid, and mentorship. The University does not discriminate in access to, or treatment of mentees in, its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, veteran status, disability or genetic information.