The Excellence in Education Program is a $1500 award established to support graduate student research in the summer. The awards are intended to assist graduate students in the conduct of scholarly research and creative works that will enhance their academic experience and professional growth. Recipients of this grant will also receive a one-credit tuition stipend to enroll in a course directly related to their research during one of the two summer sessions. Sample proposals can be viewed here.

Students receiving an Excellence in Education Research Award will also receive a one-credit tuition scholarship when they enroll in a grant required course that is directly related to the project (such as Special Topics, Directed Studies or Thesis) during one of the two summer sessions.

Excellence in Education funds are disbursed with overage checks at the beginning of the summer semester each year.

*Outstanding charges on your student account can impact the payout of the award. For information on funding payments, contact the Student Service Center at 


Applicants must:

  1. Have regular status in a graduate degree program with an NMU graduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
  2. Be enrolled in at least one course related to their area of research during one of the two summer sessions.
  3. Provide evidence of support from a faculty sponsor and the student’s department (see cover page).

Students who receive an Excellence in Education award  but fail to complete a course related to their project at NMU, must forfeit the award and pay back any monies received. Students may only receive the Excellence in Education award two times over the course of their graduate program. Once a student has received the Excellence in Education award twice, they are no longer eligible for the award in any subsequent years.

NOTE--Students receiving the NMU Dependent Child Tuition waiver during the summer semester are not eligible for the Excellence in Education award.

2022 Deadlines

  • February 11 by 11:59 pm: Student submits a complete .pdf application via e-mail to: 1) their Department Head, and 2) Graduate Studies and Research ( The application must include Items 1 - 4 (see below). The cover sheet must be signed and scanned PRIOR to inclusion in the electronic application. The hard copy of the cover sheet should to be turned in to the department office for ranking scores.
  • February 25: Department Head submits student rankings to Graduate Studies and Research
  • Mid-March: Review by Graduate Programs Committee (GPC)
  • March: Award notification (depending on the GPC meeting schedule, award notifications may be made slightly earlier or later)
  • End of May: Deadline for student to be registered for a summer session course relating to their research. One credit of graduate level tuition is provided in the Excellence in Education Award. If the student is not enrolled in at least a one-credit course relating to their research by this date, their Excellence in Education funds will be rescinded.
  • Oct 15: Student submits final report to: 1) their Department Head and, 2) Graduate Studies and Research (

Fundable Activities

  1. Activities which the student, advisor and department head define as scholarly or creative work will be considered by the review committee
  2. Activities must result in a tangible product to be considered for funding.
  3. Awards provide funds for supplies, materials, travel, living expenses, or other activities directly associated with the conduct of the proposed project.
  4. In addition to the funding available for the conduct of research, requests will be considered for the support of student travel to scholarly meetings at which the applicant will be presenting a paper or creative exhibit. If the paper/exhibit has been accepted for presentation prior to the submission deadline for the Excellence in Education Program, evidence of acceptance (e.g., acceptance letter, conference program, etc.) must accompany the proposal. Proposals for which proof of acceptance has not yet been obtained will be considered for funding, but evidence of acceptance must be submitted prior to disbursement of funds. This travel to a scholarly meeting must take place between May 10 and August 25 of the year the Excellence in Education Award is received.

Non-fundable Activities

  1. Activities that constitute part of one’s position of regular employment.
  2. Attendance at a conference, without presentation of the student’s work.
  3. Payment for services rendered to a second party.

Application Procedure

A student must submit a complete .pdf electronic application via e-mail to 1) their Department Head and 2) the College of Graduate Studies and Research ( by the deadline. The application must include a scanned copy of the signed cover sheet and completed budget form. The hard copy of the cover sheet should be submitted to the department if required by them.

After the student submits the signed cover page with their application, department heads will be contacted to evaluate the proposals and rate them as excellent, very good, good, or fair, and departments with more than one student applying must also rank their applicants. Additional comments can be attached in the form of a letter. 

**NOTE: If assistance is needed in getting the following items into one .pdf document, please submit labeled .pdf files to and we will put them into one document for you. Scanners are also available in the library that can create PDFs to send to you. 

If you need electronic signatures for your cover sheet, please send your completed PDF application to with a list of the people's names and email addresses who need to sign it, and we will send it through and e-signature platform for you and send you a copy of the signed form.


Application Components

Please use the Excellence in Education Checklist to be sure that you have included all necessary items.
  1. Excellence in Education Research Grant cover page signed by the advisor, department head, and student. 
  2. A double-spaced narrative (4 page minimum, 6 page maximum* with Times New Roman, 12 point font) which includes the following:
    1. A statement of the problem, project objectives, significance
    2. A brief discussion of the Project Rationale and a Literature Review
    3. The project plan with a timetable with expected outcomes (e.g. paper, presentation, or creative work)
  3. Statement of resource availability (e.g. supplies, equipment, staff, etc.) where applicable

  4. Budget Form - (NOTE-The budget is not included in the 6 page limit). A detailed budget and budget justification which clearly justifies the requested funds, indicating how monies will be used to support the research project using the linked form.  NOTE: The cost of supplies that must be purchased by the university for your project will be billed to your student account. The full amount of the Excellence in Education award will be transferred to the student's account.


  1. A curriculum vitae of the student indicating qualifications for conducting the project.
  2. A copy of the most recent student transcript (unofficial transcripts are fine).
  3. Letter of support from advisor.
  4. If applicable, copy of Final Report from previously funded Excellence in Education application(s).
  5. If applicable, appropriate documentation for human or animal research (see below).

*Note that references, budget form, and appendices do not count towards the six page limit.

Any applicant that proposes to use human subjects (e.g., clinical or survey work) must have applied for or received approval of NMU’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to submitting an Excellence in Education application.  See the Institutional Review Board (IRB) page for information and application procedures.

Any project involving the use of animals must have applied for or received approval of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) prior to submitting an Excellence in Education application. See the IACUC page for information and application procedures.

Applicants must attach a copy of their Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval memo or Animal Care (IACUC) first page of Right Signature protocol approval, or confirmation of application from the IRB or IACUC, with their application to be considered for funding.

Evaluation Procedures

Proposals will be received by the Graduate Programs Committee (a committee appointed sub-committee) which will then review the proposals based upon the following criteria:

  1. The significance of the proposed project and soundness of the methodology.
  2. Clarity of presentation and planning of the proposed project.
  3. Qualifications of the student investigator.
  4. Adherence to format and content requirements.
  5. Justification of additional funding for second year applicants.

The members of the review committee will rank all proposals and forward their recommendations for funding to the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, who will make the awards.

Final Report

A Final Project Report must be submitted to the students' department and Graduate Studies ( by October 15th after completion of the project.  Grantees who fail to submit a Final Report will not be eligible for future Excellence in Education Research Award funding.

The Final Project Report should include the following information:

  • Name of award recipient
  • Period of support
  • Project Objective(s), and how they were addressed during the award period
  • Project Actual Outcomes, and how these outcomes compared to the Project Expected Outcomes discussed in the original Excellence in Education application

See the Final Report Guidelines for more detailed instructions. 

**If you have made adjustments to your project as a result of the COVID19 restrictions, please include a short summary of the changes in your final report.