The JBT Graduate fellowship program is named for pioneer agriculturalist and educator Jonathan Baldwin Turner and is funded by several endowments and gifts including the Hunter, Hackett and Wright funds, the Louis V. Logeman endowed fund, the Homer White endowed fund, the W. R. and Carol Gomes endowment, and the Addington endowment.

Selection Considerations

Qualified applicants must have applied for admission to the department’s M.S. or Ph. D. programs or be starting a Ph. D. program of study in the department after having successfully completed a M.S. degree at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Nominations of qualified applicants by departmental faculty are welcome. A committee including non-nominating members from the Graduate Studies committee and the Graduate Program Coordinator will evaluate all the nominations to the fellowship and make a recommendation to the Department Head.

Required application materials to be submitted electronically to Alicia Schneider are:

  1. Letter of nomination from a faculty in the Department of Animal Sciences, specifying the nominee’s potential or role in publications and grants, the significance of past or planned future research, and contributions to teaching and service. Letters may be submitted separately from the other application materials.

  2. For nominees that have applied to the department’s Graduate Programs:
    • All the documents submitted towards the application to the Department’s Graduate Program will be considered.
    • reprints of papers and abstracts authored by the nominee.
    For nominees beginning a Ph. D. program of studies in the Department after having successfully completed a M.S. degree at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign:
    • an up-to-date curriculum vitae for the nominee, including peer-reviewed publications, abstracts, other publications, awards, teaching and service experiences, and research grants
    • personal statement of academic background, research interests, and career goals
    • copies of course transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate courses, as well as UIUC grade point average and GRE scores
    • three letters of recommendation
    • reprints of papers and abstracts authored by the nominee.

Deadline for nomination and material submission: February 15 of each year. Additional deadlines will be communicated to the faculty in the event that fellowships become available.

Selection Criteria

  • Nominees must be U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents.
  • Nominees must demonstrate sincere interest in a professional career within their proposed areas of specialization.
  • Applications must coincide with the initial year of a M.S. program (thesis required) or a Ph. D. program in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.
  • Nominees must meet the following minimum GPA and GRE percentile scores.

GPA/GRE Criteria for JBT Fellowship Consideration

(adopted 1/31/03 and reviewed 2/19/04 by ACES Graduate Educational Policy committee)

*Minimum **Minimum Average
GPA Percentile
3.65 60
3.60 65
3.55 70
3.50 75
3.45 80


*For M.S. applicants, minimum GPA for last 60 hours. For Ph. D. applicants, minimum GPA for last 60 hours including M.S. work. If they are a graduating Masters student, continuing as a Ph. D. student, we calculate the last 60 hours of their transcripts. For example, if the person took 32 hours for their M.S., those hours, and the last 28 hours of their B. Sc. transcript will be considered.

**Average of the percentile score for Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical, or for Verbal, Quantitative and Writing, depending on for which test version scores are available.

Preference will be given to nominees whose previous degree was awarded by an institution other than the University of Illinois.

Consideration will be given to other indicators of probability of high achievement in graduate education such as past research accomplishments, leadership roles, etc.

The fellowship will be awarded based upon the materials submitted.

Selection of Awardee

The selection committee will consist of members of Graduate Studies committee and the Graduate Program Coordinator of the Department of Animal Sciences. The selection committee members will be appointed after the nominations have been received so that no faculty nominator is appointed to the selection committee. The selection committee chair will be designated by the Head. The celection committee will select the awardee based on the previously described criteria for selection. If the celection sommittee determines that no suitable recipient has been nominated in a particular year, no award will be made.

Post-Award Considerations

The faculty advisor is expected to supplement the award to the current level of a 50% graduate research assistantship in the Department of Animal Sciences. The fellowship exempts the recipient from tuition and service fees.

Fellowships are renewed on a yearly basis (up to 2 years for a M.S. and 3 years for a Ph. D.) conditional on the student’s good academic standing and progress in their research. To retain the JBT Graduate Fellowship for a second or third year, recipients must demonstrate outstanding progress in their program of study according to the following criteria:

  1. Maintain a GPA of 3.50 or higher (4.00=A) for all course work and dissertation research undertaken.
  2. Select courses of quality and scope to demonstrate appropriate rigor in the program of study.
  3. Display evidence of a sound research plan and/or outstanding progress in the thesis/dissertation research project.
  4. Receive favorable evaluation from the major professor supervising the program for research progress and/or contributions.

Questions can be directed to the Graduate Program Coordinator, Sandra Rodriguez Zas.