2024-25 K. Leroy Irvis Fellowship

The late K. Leroy Irvis, a 1954 Pitt law school graduate, was the first Black Assistant District Attorney in Allegheny County and a member of the Pennsylvania State House representing Pittsburgh for 30 years. In 1994, the University of Pittsburgh established the K. Leroy Irvis Fellowships to enhance the academic excellence and diversity of the University of Pittsburgh's graduate student body, attract the most outstanding and diverse graduate students to Pitt’s doctoral programs and prepare students for academic and research careers.

Each year, schools select distinguished doctoral applicants who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement to participate in this prestigious program, which offers academic guidance and cohort-based mentoring alongside the financial support of a non-duty bearing fellowship for the student’s first year.

Award Eligibility

The K. Leroy Irvis Fellowship is open to newly admitted students in a Pitt Ph.D.* program who:

  • Have a record of distinguished academic achievement (e.g., grade point average, honors, or other designation);
  • Are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or undocumented students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA).

AND meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Come from an educational, cultural, or geographic setting that is underrepresented in graduate studies within their field in the United States or specifically at the University of Pittsburgh;
  • Demonstrate continuous commitment to fostering social, educational and economic diversity and supporting the underrepresented within academic, professional, or community spheres through their professional experiences, volunteer commitments, or leadership roles in student or community organizations;
  • Have faced financial hardship stemming from family economic circumstances;
  • Are first-generation college students or first-generation U.S. citizens.

All applicants who meet these criteria will be given individualized consideration during the review process based on consideration of the application as a whole, and no one factor will be determinative.  

For their first year of doctoral studies, K. Leroy Irvis Fellows receive full support from the Office of the Provost. This support includes a full tuition scholarship, student fees (excluding the activity fee), 12 months of health insurance, and a 3-term stipend at the TA rate. A school may choose to increase the amount of the stipend if it is less than the stipend that first year Ph.D. students in their school normally receive. Each school must commit to fully funding each K. Leroy Irvis Fellow for four additional years of Ph.D. study through GSA/TA/TF/GSR appointments or other pre-doctoral fellowships or traineeships.

*Professional Doctoral Students: K. Leroy Irvis Fellowships can be awarded to students in professional doctoral programs if the student’s academic goals are focused on research. In the case of Irvis Fellows in professional doctoral programs, the school must commit to fully funding the Fellow through GSA/TA/TF/GSR appointments or other pre-doctoral fellowships or traineeships for the typical length of the program, which may be less than 5 years.