University of Illinois  
The 2021-2022 Doolen scholarship is now closed.
The 2021-2022 application and updated criteria will be available on August 23, 2021.

PURPOSE: The objective of the Doolen Scholarship is to facilitate the study of aging by providing scholarships to two outstanding graduate students. These scholarships are made possible by an endowment from the Retirement Research Foundation to honor the late Mr. Paul D. Doolen, a long-time member of the University of Illinois Foundation Board of Directors.

PROGRAM: Scholarships of up to $4,000 each may be awarded to two graduate students in their second year of study, or beyond, whose principal scholarly interest is in the field of aging. The scholarships may be awarded annually, and cannot be awarded more than once to the same individual. Priority for awarding this scholarship generally will be given to candidates who hold an assistantship or fellowship. The recipients who formally accept the award will be accorded recognition as "Paul D. Doolen Scholars."

One student will be chosen from the biological-biomedical sciences and the other from the behavioral-social sciences. It is important that the applicant clearly mark the appropriate category on the application form and submit appropriate supporting documentation.

CRITERIA FOR ELIGIBILITY: The recipients graduate students concentrating their scholarly efforts on the topic of aging, i. e., biological aspects of the aging process; sociological concomitants of aging; the treatment of diseases of the elderly; the care of the aged; other topics related to aging.

The recipients must have completed the first year of a graduate program and be in their second year of graduate work, or beyond, at the University of Illinois while the scholarships are held.

Recipients must enroll full time for at least one semester of the academic year for which the award is made in order to be eligible for the award.

Recipients will be students judged to be outstanding by the selection committee. Among the criteria utilized by the committee are: research that is novel and/or high impact, well defined, and significantly far along; publications in reviewed journals as first author; strong recommendations (required); and academic qualifications.

APPLICATION FOR NOMINATION: Students may apply or be nominated for this award. The following materials must be submitted, in addition to the application form, prior to consideration of the candidate. 

  • A written statement (limited to 2 double-spaced pages using 1-inch margins and 12-point font) by the candidate explaining his or her interest in the field of aging and research plans for pursuing this field of study.
  • Transcripts of all completed undergraduate and graduate work.
  • Three letters of recommendation, two of which must come from faculty members who have first-hand knowledge of the candidate's work as a graduate student. If applicant is in the first year of graduate school, the letters of reference used to gain admission to the graduate program may be used. If in the second year or beyond, new letters must be obtained. Letters from fellow graduate students are rarely helpful.

NOTIFICATION OF AWARD: Notification of the recipients will be made by the President of the University of Illinois or the President's designee. Public announcement of the recipients will accompany their acceptance of the scholarship.


Winners will be announced in early November, 2021

Application Details

If you have questions, please contact
University of Illinois System
University Academic Programs and Services
807 S. Wright St., Suite 370 (MC 307)
Champaign, IL 61820
(217) 333-2030