The Donovan Scholarship in Gerontology

  • About the Scholarship
  • Criteria for Scholarship
  • Application Procedure

The Donovan Scholarship in Gerontology was established on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of The Donovan Scholars Program now known as the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UK in Lexington. Each year, deserving graduate and undergraduate scholars are identified to receive scholarships to enable them to continue their studies and to pursue a career in the area of aging. Scholarships have been awarded annually since 1991.

The amount of the scholarships depends upon the interest earned each year by the Donovan Scholarship endowment. Generally $2000 per year is available for each of three scholarship recipients.

To apply for the Gerontology Scholarship, you must be a full-time student (currently enrolled and taking at least 12 undergraduate credit hours or 9 graduate credit hours) during the semester for which you would qualify to receive the scholarship. The application must contain the following documents:

  1. The completed and signed 3-page application form
  2. An official University of Kentucky transcript
  3. Two sealed and signed letters of recommendation
  4. A 3 to 6 paged, typed, double spaced essay.

If you are interested in applying, please review

and submit your application either by hand or by mail to:

Gerontology Scholarship
Donovan Scholars Office
University of Kentucky
Ligon House 658 South Limestone
Lexington, KY 40506-0442

Application must be hand delivered or postmarked by March 24. Sorry, no faxed application will be accepted.

If you have any questions, please call (859) 257-2657 or email Sharye Davis.

  1. A. Applicants must be enrolled in, or accepted for, a full-time undergraduate (12 or more credit hours), graduate (9 or more credit hours or for dissertation research credit), or professional program at the University of Kentucky during the semesters for which the scholarship is to be awarded.
  2. Applicants must have shown an interest in the needs of older adults.
  3. EXPERIENCE IN THE FIELD OF AGING (20 points): A separate page should be used for this item. Reviewer criteria include documentation of experiences and accomplishments over time; type of work; level of difficulty; and comments on relevance of experiences to gerontology, Preference will be given to applicants with past experience in the field of aging, such as employment or volunteer work in gerontology, attendance at gerontology conferences, membership in professional gerontological organizations, publication in the field of gerontology, and/or course-work in gerontology and related areas.
  4. CAREER GOALS (10 points): A separate page should be used for this item. Reviewer criteria include identification of a clear focus on working with, or for, the aging population as demonstrated in academic planning, courses pursued, and activities related to aging.
  5. PLANS FOR USE OF SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS (10 points): A separate page should be used for this item. Reviewer criteria include documentation of some evidence of need and use of funds that contributes directly to professional development.
  6. GRADES (20 points): Reviewer criteria include documentation of the grade point average, difficulty of courses and improvement over the years. Applicants must have a grade point average of 3.0 or above for undergraduate students or 3.5 or above for graduate students. Applicants, by applying, are authorizing the scholarship committee to review their academic files. An official transcript must be included with the application.
  7. ESSAY (30 points): Reviewer criteria include applicant’s ability to convey creative ideas through a well organized, clear and thoughtful ESSAY dealing with some aspect of gerontology. The essay must be typed, double-spaced, and three to six pages. Preference is given to an essay that is written especially for this application rather than a previously written class paper. The essay topic should be relevant in the broad sense to the scholarship or the applicant’s goal, and demonstrate excellent writing skills, knowledge of the aging literature (up to 8 citations allowed) and a blend of personal insight with the discussion of the chosen topic.
  8. REFERENCE LETTERS (10 points): Reviewer criteria include demonstration of knowledge of the applicant’s current status, motivation, intellect, focus, and long-term goals related to aging. Letters should include identifying information; length of time and capacity of knowing the applicant; assessment of academic qualification; assessment of commitment to the field of aging; assessment of personal/professional characteristics that would enable success; and additional relevant comments.
  9. Any individual applicant is eligible for no more than three Donovan Scholarships.

Application Review Procedure

  1. The Donovan Scholarship Committee will review all complete applications received by the due date.
  2. Applications will be rated using the following criteria and weighted scores:
    • Past experience with older adults (including volunteer work) (20 points)
    • Professional Career Goals (10 points)
    • Plans for use of award funds (10 points)
    • Grade point average (20 points)
    • References (10 points)
    • Essay (30 points)
  3. An interview with the applicant may be requested.

Application Procedures

  • Application forms may be obtained from the Donovan Scholars Office, OLLI at UK, University of Kentucky, Ligon House 658 South Limestone
    Lexington, KY 40506-0442, phone: (859) 257-2657, or at the Financial Aid office on campus.
  • Applications and all supporting materials must be postmarked before or on March 24 or hand delivered by 4:30 p.m. (or the Friday before if the due date falls on a weekend) at Donovan Scholars Office, OLLI at UK, University of Kentucky, Ligon House 658 South Limestone
    Lexington, KY 40506-0442. No FAXed applications will be accepted.
  • The applicant must include two letters of recommendation in the application package. (See the request forms attached to the application).
  • All applicants will be notified in writing of the results of the application review after April 15th by the Director of the Donovan Scholars.
  • The Scholarship recipients must supply to the Donovan Scholars Fiscal Office, a copy of their Fall student schedule no later than August 15 and a Spring student schedule by December 15; a copy of student grades for the Fall and Spring semesters must be supplied to the Donovan Scholars Fiscal Officer as soon as they are received by the student. Once their documents have been received, the awardee(s) tuition balance will be adjusted in the amount awarded by the Student Financial Aid office prior to the start of the semester. If tuition is paid from another source the recipient will receive a check for the overage from student financial aid.
  • In accordance with the UK Refund and Fee Liability Policy, scholarship recipients who withdraw or reduce course load to less than full-time status before the start of classes must return to the Council on Aging, 100% of the award. If the recipient withdraws or reduces course load to less than full-time status during add/drop period or after the final date of add/drop, they must return to the Council on Aging, 80% of the award or 50% of the award respectively.