Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois (DFI) program

Northeastern Illinois University’s Diversifying Faculty in Illinois (DFI) program is seeking applicants for the 2023-2024 DFI Fellowship. The DFI Fellowship provides tuition plus a $10,000-$20,000 stipend per academic year. The purpose of the DFI program is to diversify the faculty and professional staff at higher education institutions in the state of Illinois. 


The application deadline is 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, 2023.

To be eligible for participation in the DFI, applicants must:

  • Be currently enrolled in a master’s program or be unconditionally accepted to start a master’s program 
  • Be an Illinois resident for at least three years
  • Be a member of an underrepresented group in higher education (Black/African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, Native American, or Alaskan Native)
  • Have a minimum grade point average of 2.75 (scale 4.0 = A) in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work, and over 3.2 (scale 4.0 = A) in at least nine hours of graduate study
  • Demonstrate financial need/FASFA
  • Sign an agreement to meet the employment conditions upon graduation if a DFI award is accepted

Benefits for DFI participants include:

  • Financial support for graduate students
  • Mentorship
  • Career advising and support
  • Opportunities to present research
  • A community of fellows
  • Participation in the annual DFI Conference


Questions can be directed to the NEIU DFI-McNair Program at (773) 442-4254 or mcnairp@neiu.edu.