Doctoral Application

  • Home
  • Doctoral Application

Doctoral Application

The 2023-2024 Belle Zeller Scholarship applications are now closed.

March 4, 2023.



The Belle Zeller Scholarship Trust Fund was established in 1979 by the Professional Staff Congress/CUNY, the instructional staff union of The City University of New York. The scholarship honors the founding president of the PSC, Belle Zeller, Professor Emerita of Political Science at Brooklyn College, where she taught more than 40 years. This scholarship is intended to honor the unique qualities of Belle Zeller: the combination of social commitment and scholarship and is based on merit not financial need. The Fund is an independent not-for-profit organization.


1. Application will be closed for submission on March 3, 2023.

2. The Board of Trustees of the Belle Zeller Scholarship Trust Fund (Trustees) will review all applications and select those candidates to be interviewed

3. Applicants must be a full-time CUNY graduate student with a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or higher.

4. The Belle Zeller Scholarship will be awarded to a full time CUNY Graduate Student for one year and will be paid $5,000 within one academic year in the amount of $2,500 each semester.

5. The recipient must continue to maintain a 3.75 or higher GPA and continue to provide evidence of community service each semester they are receiving the scholarship. The Trustees shall be the sole judge of whether a recipient continues to meet these requirements.

6. If there is a break in attendance, other than summer, the Trustees shall determine the renewability of the award.

7. Scholarship recipients may not defer the award. All awards must be used in the fall of the academic year for which it is awarded.

8. Applicants must show evidence of significant voluntary service to CUNY, the community, and/or their respective colleges by letters of recommendation, and/or other documents.

9. All students whose application reaches the finals will be interviewed by a panel of the Trustees and must be available for an interview when requested.

10. All applicants will be notified by e-mail as to whether they have received an award.

11. The decision of the Board of Trustees will be final.


Two required letters of recommendation must be submitted by persons who can attest to the applicant’s scholarship, leadership, and social commitment as demonstrated by the student’s contributions to the college, the University, and/or the larger community.

A. One letter must be provided by a classroom instructor at the college where one attends and must address the applicant’s academic performance and contributions.

B. One additional letter must be submitted by an individual(s) in a leadership or supervisory position who has personal knowledge of the applicant’s service activities and can evaluate one’s leadership, service, and social commitment.

C. Applicants are advised to request letters from recommender a minimum of six weeks in advance of the application deadline to provide enough time to receive and submit the required letters.

D. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide the email address for submission of letters of recommendation and inform them to use your full name (last name first) as the subject. (Re: Smith, John)

E. Letters of recommendation will only be accepted as a PDF attachment, on letterhead, signed and emailed to

F. All letters must include the recommender’s daytime contact information.

G. Letters in the body of the email, in Word and hard copies will not be accepted.

H. Application will not be considered complete without the receipt of the four (2) required letters of recommendation by the Friday, March 3, 2023, deadline.


Applicant’s Statement: In a MAXIMUM OF 600 WORDS, applicants must write a personal statement discussing your life experiences as they relate to your goals and social commitment. Please be sure to include evidence of your most significant, recent volunteer community service (within the past two years) is discussed in your personal statement.

Statements longer than 600 words will not be accepted.


I. All applicants are entitled to equal consideration in terms of equal opportunity/affirmative action provisions in accordance with Internal Revenue Service stipulations.

II. Belle Zeller Scholars may be required to authorize the release of their college records to show proof of continuing full-time status.

III. All recommenders must include their contact information (email address and phone number) for the letters to be accepted.

IV. Belle Zeller Scholars who do not abide by the terms of the stated conditions will forfeit their remaining benefits, including future renewal.