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

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Dr. James E. Johnson '67

About the Award

The Dr. Dionel Avilés ’53 and Dr. James Johnson ’67 Graduate Fellowship Program, previously named the Graduate Diversity Excellence Fellowship, seeks to increase diversity in the graduate and professional student population at Texas A&M and support the development of high achieving scholars who show promise of distinguished careers for the benefit of all students.

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 2023-2024 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 2023 and have applied for graduate admission to Texas A&M University (TAMU) for the Summer or Fall 2023. 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 TAMU are eligible for doctoral nominations.

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

  1. Belong to gender, racial or ethnic groups that have been historically under-represented in graduate study in their discipline, in the United States, or at TAMU;
  2. Have attended a minority serving institution for at least two years of their undergraduate degree or have an undergraduate degree conferred from a minority serving institution, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education;
  3. 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;
  4. Be a veteran of the U.S. military; or
  5. 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:
    • Were or are currently homeless, as defined by the McKinney-Vento Assistance Act;
    • Were or are currently in the foster care system, as defined by the Administration for Children and Families;
    • Were eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program for two or more years;
    • Have/had no parents or legal guardians who completed a bachelor’s degree;
    • Were or are currently eligible for Federal Pell grants;
    • Received support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) as a parent or child;
    • Grew up in one of the following areas*:
      • A U.S. rural area, as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer, or
      • 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 can be used as a criterion for the disadvantaged background definition.

Nominations must include a diversity statement and relevant supporting data and narrative, correlating with criteria items (1) - (5), about the basis of the nominee's eligibility. For example, if females are underrepresented in electrical and computer engineering (criteria item (1)), data provided should show the percentage of women in electrical engineering in their department/program and/or profession.

In addition to meeting the stated criteria of eligibility, nominees for the 2023-2024 Avilés-Johnson Fellowship Program must be applying for enrollment in the following colleges/schools or interdisciplinary degree programs.

  1. Colleges/Schools
    • Agriculture and Life Sciences
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Science
    • The Bush School of Government and Public Service
    • Education and Human Development
    • Engineering
    • Mays Business School
    • Performance, Visualization, and Fine Arts
    • Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  2. Interdisciplinary Degree Programs
    • Biotechnology
    • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
    • Genetics
    • Molecular and Environmental Plant Sciences
    • Neuroscience
    • Toxicology
    • Water Management and Hydrological Science


Nomination Informational - December, 7, 2022 

Nomination Informational Video
Reviewer Informational Video


Departments/Interdisciplinary Degree Programs must identify which round they wish to submit master’s and doctoral nominations by Monday, January 23, 2023 at:
Master’s and doctoral nominations may not be submitted to both rounds.

Round 1 Nominations

Deadline: 5 p.m. CST, Thursday, February 2, 2023 

IMPORTANT: Due to inclement weather and cancellation of classes at Texas A&M University on February 1, 2023, the Graduate and Professional School has extended the Dr. Dionel E. Avilés '53 and Dr. James E. Johnson '67 Fellowship Program Round 1 deadline to Thursday, February 2, 2023, at 5pm CST. To reflect the revised timeline, soft notifications of award selections will be made by February 23, 2023. Please feel free to contact if you have any questions. Thank you for your continued patience and support.

Doctoral Nominations Master's Nominations Mays and Bush Master's Nominations

Round 2 Nominations

Deadline: 5 p.m. CST, Wednesday, March 1, 2023 

Doctoral Nominations Master's Nominations Mays and Bush Master's Nominations

Related knowledge

How many students can be nominated for the Avilés-Johnson Fellowship Program?
Avilés - Johnson Fellowship Program FAQs

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