Presidential Medal of Graduate Student Excellence

Established in 2017, the Presidential Medal of Graduate Student Excellence (PMGSE) is a prestigious honor awarded by the university president to exceptional graduate students who are graduating from their master's or doctoral program.

These students best exemplify scholarship, leadership, character, service, and the ideals of the University of Cincinnati. Recipients will be recognized at the All-University Recognition Ceremony and the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony and Master's Ceremony in Spring/Summer 2024.

Submission Guidelines

Incomplete and late submissions will be rejected, no exceptions. The submitter will not be notified if materials are missing and the nominee will not be allowed to update or add materials after the deadline.

Application Components

  • Nominee must complete the online PMGSE application form.
  • Applicants must upload current resume or CV, no more than three pages on the PMGSE application form.
  • An essay of no more than four typed, double-spaced pages, explaining, in terms of the criteria, and a video of maximum two minutes on why you think you should be named a recipient of this award and reflecting on your involvement illustrating innovation, initiative, independence, a positive peer impact and contributions to a group for sustainability and growth should be uploaded on the PMGSE application form. Students are allowed to submit any additional documents to support their contributions to the components.
  • A completed PMGSE nomination form and corresponding letter of recommendation from a faculty, staff, or administrative member of the University of Cincinnati.
  • A second PMGSE nomination form and corresponding letter of recommendation from a faculty, staff, or administrative member of any other collaborating unit such as CCHMC and other labs. But the first nomination should be completed by a faculty, staff, or administrative member of the UC staff.
  • One further letter of support is permitted (maximum of three) and can be submitted by faculty, staff, or administrative members of UC staff.

Deadline: November 17th, 2023 at 5pm EST.

PMGSE Award Criteria

The 2023-2024 Presidential Medal of Graduate Student Excellence will be awarded to the university's outstanding graduate students who have demonstrated the following criteria:

Eligibility for graduation from a graduate degree program in Fall 2023, Spring 2024 or Summer 2024.

The nominee has a cumulative university grade point average of 3.2 or better and exhibits evidence of high academic excellence and achievement within their respective academic fields.

Examples of high academic achievement may include:

  • Research work and publication that has potential for global impact and/or attainment of inter/nationally competitive fellowships and scholarships.
  • Student’s academic record in the graduate program and the quality and impact of the student’s culminating experience, including creative arts, performance and projects conducted in a professional setting.
  • Local, state, regional and/or inter/national recognition for academic achievements.

The nominee celebrates inclusion and has demonstrated leadership and commitment to inclusion and multiculturalism through academic excellence, service, volunteerism, and/or research. The nominee also has a commitment to creating a safe and supportive community. These individuals display encouragement and understanding between persons of different races, gender, age groups, ethnicity, religious heritage, national origin, indigenous heritage, socioeconomic statuses, disabilities or sexual orientations.

The nominee demonstrates innovation, initiative, independence and a positive peer impact. Candidates have demonstrated growth and advancement in their involvement with an organization and/or in their discipline. Do not include any leadership contribution work which was a requirement from your program.  

Examples include:

  • Significant leadership in UC co-curricular activities (e.g., advocacy, governance, honorary, service, social or athletic organizations); endeavors and pursuits towards inclusion and/or global engagement; and recognition for their contributions at the regional, state and/or inter/national organizational level.
  • Participation in community activities; contribution to the community or country through the creation and/or enhancement of an organization/agency.

The nominee’s work during their time as a graduate student is impactful, and gives back to the university and the community.

Examples of significant graduate student impact include:

  • Contributing towards personal growth, development and/or academic success of other students at the university (effective mentoring, outstanding teaching performance).
  • Nominee’s exemplary pursuits and endeavors have contributed to the graduate community and student life as a whole in a unique way.
  • Nominee’s work and commitment to advancing welfare of and quality of student life as validated through external recognition. 

Tangible evidence that upon graduation, the student is poised for strong success (job offers, book/article contracts, grants for postdoctoral study, invitations to speak/perform, patents, etc.).

Contact Chair of the PMGSE committee or the GSG Vice-President if you have any questions.