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The Dr. Dionel E. Avilés '53 and Dr. James E. Johnson '67 Graduate Fellowship Program

Dr. Dionel Avilés '53
Dr. James Johnson ’67


Texas A&M University is committed to promoting a culture that values and nurtures community, respect, and excellence for all. In line with our belief that a diversity of perspectives is an indispensable component of a world-class education, the Dr. Dionel Avilés ’53 and Dr. James Johnson ’67 Fellowship Program seeks to attract, recruit and support the development of high-achieving graduate and professional students who bring a multiplicity of experiences to our university. 

The Avilés -Johnson Graduate Fellowship Program provides four years of funding for domestic doctoral or two years of funding for domestic students enrolling for the first time in a master’s program. 

To be eligible for the Avilés-Johnson Graduate Fellowship Program, prospective students must be nominated by their admitting department. Student self-nominations will not be considered.

For more information about the Avilés -Johnson Fellowship Graduate Fellowship Program or other funding opportunities, visit our Funding Your Education page.  


Please review the Nomination Guidelines for the 2024-2025 Avilés -Johnson Fellowship Program.

Nomination Guidelines


Nominees must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents who will earn bachelor’s or master’s degrees no later than August 2024 and have applied for graduate admission to Texas A&M University for the Summer or Fall 2024. While it is not required that nominees be admitted at the time of nomination, the nominating department is expected to offer admission to nominees and execute an “admit” decision code in the admission portal should they be awarded the fellowship. Master’s students currently enrolled at Texas A&M are eligible for doctoral nominations.

Nominees should have a superior academic record and meet one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Be a first-generation prospective graduate student; 
  2. Have a disability defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended; 
  3. Be a veteran of the U.S. military; or 
  4. Come from a disadvantaged background, as defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), for those who meet two or more of the following criteria: 
    1. Were or are currently homeless, as defined by the McKinney-Vento Assistance Act; 
    2. Were or are currently in the foster care system, as defined by the Administration for Children and Families; 
    3. Were eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program for two or more years; 
    4. Were or are currently eligible for Federal Pell grants; 
    5. Received support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) as a parent or child; 
    6. Grew up in one of the following areas: (a) a U.S. rural area, as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer, or (b) a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-designated Low-Income and Health Professional Shortage Areas (qualifying zip codes are included here). Only one of the two possibilities (a or b) can be used as a criterion for the disadvantaged background definition. 

The nomination letter must include a narrative, correlating with criteria items (1) – (4), about the basis of the nominee’s eligibility. New to this year’s nomination process: The nominee will be required to complete a personal statement that will be uploaded with the application. For more details regarding the requirements of the personal statement, please review the nominator checklist (page 6 of nomination guidelines).

In addition to meeting the stated criteria of eligibility, nominees for the 2024-2025 Avilés-Johnson Fellowship must be applying for enrollment in the following colleges/schools or interdisciplinary degree programs:

1. Colleges/Schools: Agriculture and Life Sciences, Architecture, Arts and Sciences, Bush School of Government and Public Service, Education and Human Development, Engineering, Mays Business School, Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts, Pharmacy, or Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. 

2. Interdisciplinary Degree Programs: Biotechnology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Molecular and Environmental Plant Sciences, Genetics and Genomics, Neuroscience, Toxicology, or Water Management and Hydrological Science.


Nomination Informational - 10:30am-11:30am CST, November 28, 2023 

Click here to view slideshow

Reviewer Informational – 9:30am-10:30am CST, January 24, 2024


*Departments/Interdisciplinary Degree Programs must identify which round they wish to submit master’s and doctoral nominations by Monday, January 22, 2024 at:

 Master’s and doctoral nominations may not be submitted to both rounds. 

Round 1 Nominations

Deadline: 5 p.m. CST, Friday, February 2, 2024

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