About ONSF

Our Charge

The Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships (ONSF) provides information about nationally competitive funding opportunities and associated application processes through online and printed resources, information sessions; workshops; presentations; and individual, targeted advising. ONSF staff members mentor students through rigorous application processes, providing general support in identifying relevant opportunities, guiding students through the application process, and facilitating campus endorsement procedures when relevant. The ONSF collaborates with faculty, staff, departments, colleges, and units across campus to identify and support prospective undergraduate scholars.

Our VolVision

The ONSF impacts the academic experience of UT undergraduates, encouraging them to take every advantage afforded them as members of a top-tier research institution. Their experiences on campus, in their community, and around the world expand their vision of themselves and of their potential to become contributing members in a global community. In collaboration with faculty, staff, and students, ONSF aims to establish a culture of rigorous undergraduate scholarship worthy of national recognition and in keeping with UT’s Top 25 vision. ONSF seeks to encourage students to expect the best of themselves; applying for nationally competitive scholarships, fellowships, and experiential learning opportunities is an integral part of living up to those expectations.

Our Values

UT  students are the principle priority of the ONSF. Every effort made is connected to the unique hopes, dreams, and personal vision of the individual student. ONSF recognizes the import of the scholarship process as one that compels significant critical reflection, the clarification of ambitions, strategic planning, and building the requisite relationships with faculty, staff, and peers. The scholarship application process is valued not for its outcome but for the invaluable insight it can provide for each student as they engage with their university, local, national, and global communities. Finally, ONSF places great value on collaboration, recognizing the primacy of partnership in identifying and supporting undergraduates through the application processes for nationally competitive scholarships, fellowships, and experiential learning opportunities.

Our History

ONSF was established in late 2007 (originally called the Office of External Scholarships) by professor emerita Anne Mayhew, who retired as vice chancellor of Academic Affairs in July 2006. Michael Handelsman, professor of Spanish, is the ONSF senior faculty director, as well as the director for the interdisciplinary Global Studies Program. Andrew Seidler is the ONSF Director.

Our Institutional Support

UT recognizes the importance of ONSF, its impact on the undergraduate Volunteer experience, and its potential to contribute to the university’s national reputation. ONSF is a unit of the Office of Student Success and the Provost’s Office. The staff collaborates with all departments, colleges, and units across campus including, but not limited to: the Chancellor’s Honors Program, the Haslam Scholars Program, the College Scholars Program, the Baker Center Scholars, various departmental and college honors programs, the Office of Undergraduate Research, the Center for Leadership and Service, and the Programs Abroad Office, among many others.


The Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships (ONSF) supports UT undergraduates and alumni who are undertaking nationally competitive application processes.  It provides support only and cannot, under any circumstances, accept responsibility for missed deadlines, incomplete applications, missing letters of recommendation or other supplementary materials, or selection outcomes at the campus or national level.   The responsibility of completing and submitting an application rests solely on the student or alumni engaging in a national application process.  The ONSF does not guarantee or promise any outcome and all guidance provided is offered as advice.