High Impact Graduate Research Award (HIGRA)

  • Research

The High Impact Graduate Research Award (HIGRA) program, sponsored by the Graduate Studies department in collaboration and consultation with Graduate Council members (comprised of Associate Deans from all colleges), is designed to assist graduate programs in recruiting high caliber graduate students who have the potential of producing outstanding scholarly research that will significantly impact their respective disciplines.  Preference is given to students who have NOT previously attended or graduated from BYU.

To apply, candidates must first submit their BYU graduate application online along with their ecclesiastical endorsement and honor code commitment and then download the HIGRA Application form here.  Current matriculated Master's or Doctoral students already enrolled at BYU are precluded from applying.  Questions may be routed to the Executive Assistant to the Dean of Graduate Studies at marilee.allred@byu.edu.

Number of Annual Awards

4 Doctoral awards

3 Master’s awards

Award Amounts and Term

  • Doctoral recipients receive $30,000 per year for a term of up to three years ($15,000 awarded per semester)
  • Master’s recipients receive $15,000 per year for a term of up to two years ($7,500 awarded per semester)

Note: HIGRA funds are prorated on a two-semester basis (fall and winter) and are awarded to successful HIGRA recipients for the stated term contingent on recipients continuing to maintain the conditions as set forth below.  

Award Conditions

  1. HIGRA recipients must agree to maintain good standing with the university, including maintaining a valid ecclesiastical endorsement and honor code commitment for the duration of their studies.
  2. HIGRA recipients must agree to maintain satisfactory academic progress (at least a 3.00 GPA) in their respective program of study in order to receive on-going HIGRA distributions.
  3. HIGRA recipient’s graduate committee chair must agree and continue to mentor and monitor the student’s progress for the duration of their program and to make comprehensive evaluations of their progress biannually. 
  4. Failure of the parties to adhere to the aforementioned conditions above may result in the forfeiture of any additional HIGRA distributions.

Application Process

The completed HIGRA Application Form comprises two parts, Part 1: Candidate Application and Part 2: Nominating Faculty, along with supporting documents as stated in the form.

  1. Candidates must first initiate and submit their official online graduate application on the BYU Graduate Studies website. Note: candidates whose ecclesiastical endorsement and honor code commitment have not yet been received cannot be considered for final selection.
  2. Candidates then complete Part 1 of the HIGRA application and submit the form, along with any supporting documentation, to their BYU graduate program of interest for faculty nomination.  Candidates are highly encouraged to have associated with a faculty member and/or research project prior to submitting their HIGRA application.
  3. The nominating faculty member completes Part 2 of the HIGRA application and sends completed forms with supporting documents to their Associate College Dean (or Dean) for College nomination.
  4. Associate College Dean (or Dean) sends nominations to the Executive Assistant to the Dean of Graduate Studies.
  5. HIGRA selection committee reviews college nominations and selects successful HIGRA recipients in April. 

The HIGRA application includes the following:

Part 1: HIGRA Candidate Application

  • Submitted BYU graduate school application along with completed BYU Ecclesiastical Endorsement and Honor Code Commitment
  • Current CV
  • Current GPA
  • Official test scores (GRE etc) sent to BYU Graduate Studies (ETS code 4019)
  • Candidate description of the proposed research
  • Three letters of recommendation from qualified academic sources as contained in their online graduate application  
    • Candidates must indicate on their HIGRA application that they expressly grant HIGRA selection committee members the right to review their associated letters of recommendation (for the sole purpose of being considered and/or selected to receive HIGRA funds) 

Part 2: Nominating Faculty

  • Current faculty CV
  • Description of proposed graduate student research and role of the graduate student
  • Explanation of how the proposed research addresses the long-term goals of the graduate program along with the expected results of the research
  • Letter of recommendation from the respective department chair that outlines the qualifications of the faculty member, the significance of the proposed work, and the level of department/college support

Selection Process

  1. The completed application and associated supporting documents must be submitted to the respective Associate College Dean (or Dean) for college nominations.
  2. Colleges may not submit more than 2 doctoral candidates and 2 master’s candidates to Gradaute Studies.
  3. College HIGRA nominations are then routed to the Executive Assistant to the Dean of Graduate Studies who will compile and forward college nominations to the HIGRA Selection Committee, comprised of Graduate Council Members, for final selection.
  4. Successful nominees will be notified along with their respective colleges after final selection.

HIGRA Selection Committee Considerations

The HIGRA Selection Committee will score each application using the following rating criteria:

Student ratings

Preference is given to those who have:

  • Not previously attended BYU 
  • Strong potential for academic success
  • Strong letters of recommendation
  • Extensive research experience
    • Posters
    • Talks
    • Papers

Faculty ratings

Preference is given to those who have:

  • Extramural funding or active grants
  • History of mentoring successful master’s or doctoral students and extensive writing/publications (minimum of three years)

Application Deadline

Applications may be submitted between January 1 and April 1 for consideration (contingent on available awards at the time of submission).       

HIGRA Award recipients will be notified on a rolling basis between January 15 and April 15 or at such time that all seven (7) HIGRA recipients have been selected, which ever occurs first.  

Applicants are therefore highly encouraged to apply early before HIGRA funds are depleted.

HIGRA Application Form


MariLee Allred, Executive Assistant to the Dean of Graduate Studies, marilee.allred@byu.edu

Logan Gillette, Interim Dean of Graduate Studies, logan_gillette@byu.edu