TOP International Fellowship

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences 

2023 – 2024 Graduate Fellowship Competition Guidelines


Ohio International Intern Program (TOP) of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at The Ohio State University offers graduate funding for a former TOP intern/trainee every year. Below is the overview of the TOP International fellowships.

Ohio International Intern Program (TOP) is an international exchange program under the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences founded in 1979. TOP promotes global opportunities for international students and young farmers to obtain practical on-the-job training in the U.S. After years of development, TOP has set up long-term collaborations with hundreds of companies and provides over 430 internships per year.

The TOP International Fellowships is offered to recruit current or previous interns of TOP. We anticipate awarding up to 1 International Fellowship in 2023. Note that current or previous TOP interns who apply for graduate studies in CFAES can be nominated for any of the CFAES fellowships.

  1. Eligibility

Awards are open to new students seeking to start an M.S. or Ph.D. program at The Ohio State University, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). All fellowship competitions are open to students studying within any CFAES-affiliated department (including domestic and international students). The prospective faculty advisor must hold an either a CFAES or OARDC appointment and this should be specified in the letter of nomination. As a requirement for eligibility, programs must clearly justify why the nominee is being put forward for the respective college-level competition category. Program or faculty must also commit to remaining years of funding (up to 2 years for a MS or up to 5 years for a PhD). The remaining years can be covered by a GRA or GTA at the department’s discretion.

II.       Duration of Appointment

Fellowships will be limited to one year of funding. Appointments for M. S. and Ph. D. students will typically be for 9 months, however, 12-month appointments may be made at the department’s discretion. Funds to support the awards will be available on July 1, 2023. Note that if a University Fellowship is received, college-level awards can be deferred until the following year (for a maximum of 2 years). If a department award is received, the college award is to be used first, and the department award is deferred until the following year.

III.      Stipend

The stipend for the college fellowships will total $30,420* per award, regardless of appointment type, and includes a standard tuition and fee waiver. For a 12-month appointment, students should expect to receive $2,535/ month (less deductions for certain fees such as Student Activity, Recreational, Student Union Facility, COTA Bus Service, remaining health insurance, and Student Legal Services, and Program Fees).

*Note that we are planning to match the stipend amount to the 2023 University Fellowship stipend. Thus, the stipend amount may increase, but it will not be lower than the stated amount.

IV.     Procedures & Requirements

Your application needs to be submitted by Graduate Program Coordinators for each program by electronic submission at on or before 5:00pm Monday, January 23, 2023. Note that programs are permitted to submit nomination packets to CFAES in the order required by the OSU Graduate School Fellowships.

The nomination packet must include:

  1. Nomination cover page.
  2. The OSU Admissions Application Worksheet Form.
  3. College transcript(s) from OSU and previous institution(s). A 3.2 GPA or higher is required for the TOP International Fellowship.

  d.  A curriculum vitae outlining the applicant’s educational training, relevant work experiences, honors, and other evidence of scholarly productivity and performance (e.g. publications) is recommended.

  e.  A personal statement from the nominee describing their research and professional goals (up to three-pages, typed, single spaced). Any text over 3 pages will be removed prior to committee review of nominations.

  f.   A letter of support from the prospective faculty advisor or graduate studies chair. This letter should:

       i.  Confirm that the prospective faculty advisor holds a CFAES or OARDC appointment.

       ii.  Address the nominee’s academic quality and potential for success in graduate school.

       iii. Address the nominee’s likelihood of acceptance. For example, provide 2-4 sentences summarizing the department’s interaction with the nominee, participation in prospective student events or visits, as well as any evidence of                likelihood of acceptance or level of interest in your program.

       iv. For the TOP International Fellowship, please include the year that the student participated in TOP. The committee will need to verify participation for nominees to be eligible.

  g.  Three letters of recommendation.

  h.  Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are optional. If they are included, they will not factor into the review.


V.      Review Procedures

Nominations will be evaluated by a review committee appointed by the CFAES Office for Research and Graduate Education. The target date for a final announcement of the awards is approximately February 13, 2023.

VI.     Strategy

Fellowships managed by the Office of Research and Graduate Education will generally be used to recruit the strongest students while supporting the goal to increase diversity within CFAES graduate programs. To ensure that students can complete their graduate degrees, the program or faculty must commit to the remaining years of funding as cited under nomination procedures. Awardees will be selected based on how well their proposed studies align with the fellowship competition they are nominated for, the academic merit of the nominee, notable skills and experiences, qualities that are associated with success in graduate school (such as resilience and motivation), and the likelihood the student will enroll at Ohio State.


Don't hesitate to contact your internship program coordinator for further information regarding TOP International Fellowships or other available Fellowships information.