Royster Society of Fellows Membership is selective, rewarding, and continues beyond graduation

  • Benefits include so much more than only generous funding. Interdisciplinary learning, networking, professional development and social opportunities are key benefits of membership.
  • The Nomination Process is highly selective.
    • Process for five-year fellowships
    • Process for dissertation-year fellowships
  • Lifetime involvment. The benefits of membership extend far beyond graduation. Alumni are invited to continue in networking, professional development and other engagement.

Process for Five-Year Fellowships

The Royster Program was developed collaboratively with doctoral programs across the Carolina campus to complement and strengthen the excellent graduate education opportunities at Chapel Hill. Entering students are selected annually from the most talented new students admitted to graduate programs at Carolina.

Prospective applicants cannot apply directly. Each year, all doctoral programs nominate for a Royster Fellowship a restricted number of their exceptionally talented prospective students on the basis of their outstanding academic and professional experience and achievement, and reflecting educational, geographic, gender, racial/ethnic, and personal diversity. An interdisciplinary committee of faculty from across the Chapel Hill campus selects those to be offered membership in the Royster Society of Fellows. These applicants are offered a competitive stipend, full tuition, fees, health insurance, and travel funding for five years as well as all of the many other benefits of membership within the Royster Society of Fellows.

Process for Dissertation-Year Fellowships

A limited number of dissertation-year Royster Fellows are selected annually on the basis of their superior achievement in graduate study, the significance of their dissertation research, and their potential as future leaders. Students begin this process by making an application to The Graduate School. Their own graduate program first reviews and selects a restricted number for nomination for this fellowship. An interdisciplinary committee of faculty from graduate programs across the University then reviews these nominations and selects the students to be offered Dissertation Fellowships and Royster Society of Fellows membership.

Learn more about applying for a dissertation-year Royster Fellowship

Hear from the Fellows: Benefits of Membership


Royster Fellows are expected to fully engage and share their talents, experiences and perspectives with their colleagues. They are expected to contribute to the University and society through their research, teaching, outreach and leadership. They are expected to complete their degrees with the highest levels of scholarly achievement in a timely manner. Finally, Fellows are expected to make a positive impact in the world through the career and life they pursue, reflecting the high ideals of the Royster Society of Fellows.

Hear from the Fellows: Favorite aspects of being a Royster