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Washington State University Graduate School

Research Assistantships for Diverse Scholars (RADS) and Campus Visitation Program

Mission, Vision, Purpose

The Research Assistantships for Diverse Scholars (RADS) program intends to increase access and opportunities to graduate education for U.S. students from under-represented and under-served communities, and to increase graduate student diversity at WSU and in our degree programs. RADS awards are funded through a partnership between the Graduate School and the prospective student’s department or program. Priority is given to students who have participated in the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers, or similar graduate education preparation programs (see External Links for more information).

Campus Visitation Program

The Campus Visitation Program has provided RADS nominees with a unique opportunity to visit WSU and meet with departments, individuals and communities on campus. Participants will receive information on additional funding opportunities, graduate student support services, and socio-cultural networks. Students nominated for RADS, or who have been offered funding from the prospective department, are eligible to participate. The Spring 2022 Campus Visitation Program will have virtual and in-person elements, if possible.


To nominate a prospective student for a RADS award department/program chairs must submit nominations as described below.  Spring 2022 nomination deadline is TBA. Please contact for more information.

Nominations will be submitted via Qualtrics and require a nominating statement in support of the prospective student, a list of previous RADS/DRADS funding received by the department/program, and a draft assistantship offer letter.

Important Information and Forms

Due Date For Nominations:


Dates of Campus Visitation Program:


Nomination Form:

Please contact for more information.

WSU Links:
External Links:

Departmental Requirements and Guidelines

  1. The RADS program provides first-year funding for doctoral students in the form of a research assistantship (RA). Graduate programs must commit in writing in the letter of offer to fund the student with a research or teaching assistantship for the second and third years of doctoral study contingent upon academic progress.  A copy of this letter of offer must be submitted to the Graduate School with the request for RADS funding.
  2. The nomination to the Graduate School must include details regarding the mechanism or source of funding for the second and third years of doctoral study for the student (e.g. research assistantship from grant funds, teaching assistantship, etc.).
  3. The program must include a list of all similar funding received from the Graduate School for students entering their program in the past 5 years with a description of each student’s progress towards degree and the sources of continued funding that were used for those students.  Failure to provide financial support for a student in the second and third years of their doctoral studies will automatically disqualify the program from receiving additional RADS assistantship support for any student for a minimum of 5 years
  4. The department must identify a faculty mentor who can be contacted for feedback on the student’s progress during the first year and subsequent years, if needed.
  5. Priority is given to students who have participated in graduate education preparation programs such as the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers, or similar. Applications for students who have attended an HBCU, HSI (Hispanic-Serving Institution), or TCU (Tribal Colleges and Universities) are encouraged. Please be explicit in the nomination letter if the student participated in these preparation programs and/or attended a minority-serving institution.
  6. Tuition waivers and RA stipends are provided for fall and spring academic semesters ONLY! Summer support is not included.
  7. Please refer to the Graduate School Policies and Procedures Manual for general guidelines regarding assistantships.


 Eligibility Requirements

  1. Hold U.S. citizenship or Permanent Resident status
  2. Be eligible for a graduate assistantship through the Graduate School
  3. Be applying to their first doctoral degree, having already completed a Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree from an accredited university. Those pursuing a Master’s degree are also eligible if:
    • The student is Native American or Alaskan Native OR
    • A Master’s degree is the terminal degree in the chosen field of study
  4. Show evidence of superior academic achievement (such as grade point average, class rank, honors, extracurricular activities, or other distinguishing achievements)
  5. Be admitted or soon to be admitted into the nominating program
  6. Be a member of one of more of the following groups: African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, Native American Pacific Islander (as defined in Section 320 of the Higher Education Act), women in the Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Mathematics, or have participated in the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, Institute for Recruitment of Teachers, or similar graduate education preparation program

Preference will be given to nominees who show interest in being committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level.



  1. Funding by the Graduate School will be provided in the form of a research assistantship to doctoral students at a minimum of Step 32 or at a funding step that is comparable to the average assistantship stipend for students in that program.  The expectation is that the program will provide the student with a comparable, or higher, level of funding in subsequent years. The Graduate School will provide funding at a maximum of step 48. If the department would like to fund a student at a step higher than 48, the department will need to provide additional funds.
  2. Full non-resident and resident tuition waiver is included. All non-Washington residents must take appropriate steps to establish Washington residency during their first year at WSU (see Residency Requirements).
  3. Graduate Student Health benefits are included with assistantship.