Overview

The Fletcher Jones Fellowship is a highly prestigious award, made available through funding from the Fletcher Jones Foundation. It is competitively awarded to an outstanding doctoral student who has advanced to candidacy and demonstrates financial need. The award of a one-year fellowship of $19,039 is intended to assist with doctoral degree completion. 

The call for nominations for this year's Fletcher Jones Fellowship competition at UCI can be found here.

Fletcher Jones Fellowship

Fletcher Jones Foundation Home Page

Award Info

$19,039 (full award)

Since this award will be disbursed monthly throughout the 2016-2017 academic year, nominated students must not plan to graduate before the conclusion of Spring Quarter 2017. As this fellowship is intended to support doctoral degree completion, students demonstrating a clear plan and strong likelihood of filing their dissertation by the summer dissertation filing deadline at the end of the award year will be given the strongest consideration.

Eligibility

Each School may nominate one outstanding doctoral student who meets the following minimum criteria:

  • Shows financial need
  • Exhibits excellent interpersonal and leadership abilities
  • Has a UCI GPA of 3.8 or better through Spring Quarter 2016
  • Has advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D.
  • Is making satisfactory academic progress toward their degree
  • Is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident

As this fellowship is intended to support doctoral degree completion, students demonstrating a clear plan and strong likelihood of filing their dissertation by the summer dissertation filing deadline at the end of the award year will be given the strongest consideration.

Application Process

Graduate students should consult with their program graduate affairs staff for submission instructions.

All individual student nominations must include the following:

  1. A completed UCI Fletcher Jones Fellowship Nomination Form.
  2. A completed Student Information Form, including the following:
    • 100-word statement of financial need (note any gaps in support, dependents, etc.)
    • 100-word student profile
    • 500-word statement by the nominee describing their research project, progress to date, and plan for completion. Nominees should describe their research in terms that are accessible to a general audience since the reviewers may not be in their field.
  3. A current CV.
  4. Letters of recommendation from the following:
    • The student’s faculty advisor/mentor (this letter should address the student’s financial need, interpersonal and leadership abilities, satisfactory academic progress, and expected date of degree completion)
    • The student’s department chair or program advisor

The nomination package should be forwarded with the signature of the School or Program’s Associate Dean. A letter of recommendation from the Associate Dean is not required.

Contact Info

Questions should be directed to Kate Triglia, 949-824-9031.

Deadline

The deadline for e-mail receipt of completed/signed nomination packages is 5pm on Thursday, September 1st, 2016. Please note that Schools and Programs may have earlier internal submission deadlines.

Please Note

If students have applied for and accepted Financial Aid loans or Work-Study awards and subsequently receive any fellowships, the additional support may affect their eligibility for need-based financial aid. Students should contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to determine if their eligibility will be affected. Students should also review the terms of any funding that they have accepted for AY 2016-2017 to ensure that they are eligible to receive additional fellowship funding.

Current Fellow

Dominique Ingato

Dominique Ingato

UCI Doctoral Student, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Degrees:

  • Chemical Engineering, University of California, Irvine, Ph.D., 2017 expected
  • Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, University of California, Irvine, MS, 2014
  • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (B.S.E.), University of Pennsylvania, 2012

Research

Dominique's research is focused on the development of cell-derived nano-carriers for biocompatible, targeted cancer therapy. White blood cells are a key part of the immune system, which help to destroy viruses and bacteria. In leukemia, cancer cells crowd out white blood cells in the bone marrow. Without healthy white blood cells, leukemia patients succumb to infections that they are unable to fight off. Cancer develops in cases where immune cells are not able to destroy abnormal cells fast enough before the abnormal cells begin to crowd out healthy cells. One type of immune cell, natural killer cells, has been shown to have the ability to target and kill cancer cells. Imagine the bone as a subway car and the cancer cells as passengers at rush hour. Another passenger, our natural killer cell, has no way of entering the crowded subway car to attack each cancer cell passenger. It’s too big to squeeze between the crowds. Her research focuses on generating nano-sized particles from natural killer cells that maintain the same killing properties as the original cells. Imagine the crowded subway car and picture the nano-sized particles as equivalent to specks of dust. They can easily penetrate the free space between subway passengers. Therefore, nano-sized natural killer particles should be much more effective in treating leukemia patients.

Blood cancers such as leukemia account for nearly 10% of all diagnosed cancers in the United States and are the most common cancers in children. Therefore, there is an urgent need for a targeted and biocompatible leukemia therapy. Dominique hopes that her research will lead to improved therapies that will positively impact leukemia patients worldwide.

Biography

Dominique graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012 with a B.S.E. in chemical engineering and a second major in chemistry. Her interest in therapeutic delivery carriers led her to the Kwon lab at UCI. She was initially funded by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, which allowed her to pursue her interest in extracellular vesicles for drug delivery. She won first place for her oral presentation on her research at the Korea University/UCI symposium in 2016. She pursues her her passion for teaching and mentoring as a UCI Pedagogical Fellow. She also serves as the DECADE Education Chair and Engineering Graduate Studies Committee Student Representative. Her key motivation is to help with developing an inclusive campus environment where all graduate students have support as they work towards achieving their academic and career goals.

Prior to completing her doctoral degree, Dominique hopes to demonstrate a novel method for treating leukemia using immune cell-derived nano-particles. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, baking, and playing cello. Following completion of her Ph.D., Dominique aims to become a professor and run a laboratory where she can mentor the next generation of cancer therapeutics researchers.

Past Fellows

Fellowship