Prestigious awards office helps students find unique opportunities around the world

Whether studying Mandarin in China, teaching English in France, learning about Zulu tribes in South Africa or digging up ancient ruins in England, University of Miami students have been transported to places around the globe to further their education through prestigious scholarships and awards programs.

The Office of Prestigious Awards and Fellowships (PAF) provides information and application resources for students interested in funding opportunities and unique research programs. These opportunities include those given by national or international programs, such as the Fulbright or Rhodes scholarships, as well as UM-specific awards.

The PAF office helps make UM students more competitive for prestigious scholarships.

Rising senior Kristiana Yao became the second-ever UM student to receive the national Truman Scholarship for public service – the first in 33 years. Through the scholarship program, Yao is working on health policy for the federal Senate Finance Committee this summer in Washington D.C. Yao, who has also previously interned at the White House and is a Stamps Scholar, is a double major in public health and Health Sector Management and Policy.

“I was honored, and thrilled,” Yao said. “It’s a welcome reaffirmation of my commitment to public service at a time when a career in government isn’t the most glamorous option. The Truman Scholarship is unique because of the network it creates – wonky, driven people from across the country united by a desire to make their communities better.”

The PAF office, tucked in the Pentland House building between Hecht Residential College and the Watsco Center, conducts the nomination process for scholarships that require institutional endorsement, such as the Rhodes, Goldwater or Marshall scholarships. The office also provides students with feedback on their applications for any program.

Alumna Elizabeth Haynes, who graduated in 2016, was a Fulbright Summer Scholar in Britain, where she spent time on an ancient Roman Empire archeological dig site.

“It was a pretty in-depth application process,” Haynes said. “I definitely used the Office of Prestigious Awards and Fellowships a lot. I did a practice interview with them and asked them to review my essay for me.”

Haynes, who is currently starting her second year at University of Chicago’s law school, said the summer program helped her put her education into a global context.

“I spent two weeks on an archaeological dig, so I definitely got some hands-on experience, and the rest of it was in the classroom and traveling throughout Britain,” Haynes said. “It helped integrate the areas I studied – history, English, economics and anthropology – in the real world.”

Most of the prestigious awards and fellowships require at least a month to prepare application materials: recommendation letters, essays, transcripts and interviews with the PAF office. If students are looking for feedback from the PAF office, advisors require at least three weeks before the application deadline to review materials.

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For more information, please visit or The direct line for the office is 305- 284-5384. Students can also email

UM-specific scholarships:

College of Arts and Sciences Scholarships: UM-affiliated summer research projects; certain scholarships limited by major. $1,500-$5,000 awarded, varies by specific grant. Deadlines in late January or early February.

ACCIAC Creativity and Innovation Fellowship: Student-driven summer project, any field of study. $2,000-$5,000 awarded. Deadline in April.

Plus One Scholarship: Funds an additional year or semester beyond the normal number of terms needed to graduate for pure academic exploration. Full tuition for the year awarded. Interested students should apply during their junior year with a curriculum plan. Deadline in March.