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In 2006, University alumna and Trustee Deborah Gillotti generously created a fund to support educational and research expenses for Pitt graduate students with potential to become leaders. Fellowship funding is available to students who:

  • Have a unique experiential learning opportunity that will propel their education and future career--and need funds to be able to realize the opportunity.

Preference will be given to students who:

  • Have proven leadership skills developed prior to entering a graduate program at the University or are recognized to have long-term leadership potential that will be enhanced by their graduate training.
  • Are pursuing research related to emerging market nations.


  • Students enrolled in (and in good standing) in any graduate program at the University of Pittsburgh.


  • Students admitted to a graduate program at the University of Pittsburgh. Note, for admitted students, applications should come from the admitting department/school on behalf of the student (i.e., applying for summer research funding to complement other funding packages) and will be subject to the student accepting the offer of admission.

International students are eligible to receive Gillotti Fellowships.

Use of funding

Funding can be used to cover the costs of eligible research and travel expenses (one time or recurring), provide a living stipend or travel assistance to allow a student to accept a prestigious or otherwise important opportunity (e.g., a federal or international fellowship, internship, etc.) or participate in training opportunities enhancing leadership skills, or to fund student-led initiatives at Pitt to develop or enhance leadership on campus.

Multiple awards of between $5,000 to $10,000 will be made each year. Awards may be for one-time opportunities or can be renewable through the final year of study (when applicable).

Application process

For enrolled students, application, CV, and a brief precis of their research, career goals, and how they intend to use the funding (including a proposed budget), along with a letter of recommendation. The letter of recommendation should specifically address the applicant’s leadership experience or potential.

For admitted students, applications/nominations should be made by the sponsoring department/school and should include the department’s justification for nomination (paying particular attention to the student’s leadership experience or potential) along with the student’s application, CV, and brief precis. Sponsoring department/school should also specify how the funds should be used (e.g., $5,000/year summer research and professional development funds).

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