Finding Fellowship Opportunities for Incoming and Current Graduate Students.
I. Finding Fellowships
Graduate Fellowships are an excellent means of funding students during their Ph.D. studies. Not only are they prestiguous and look good on a C.V., but they protect students from any fluctuations in funding experienced by their advisor. To find fellowships,
- The Office of Graduate Studies posts a broad list of Fellowship opportunities.
- Students can also do a search and peruse the fellowship opportunities listed on the Georgia Tech Fellowships Office page -- this tool can be accessed under “Find Fellowships”, and then the filter for “Find Graduate Awards”. The Office will also assist with the identification of possible Fellowships and the application processes.
- Most of these Fellowships are restricted to US citizens or pernament residents. International students should search for Fellowships offered by their home country that allows for foreign study. International Students are also encouraged to talk directly with the Fellowship Coordinator with assistance in finding opportunities: firstname.lastname@example.org
II. Partial List of Fellowships
Below is a partial list of relevant Fellowships that fund physics Ph.D. students. Most of them have deadlines in the Fall so plan ahead! To keep yourself organized while applying for Fellowships use this Application Tracker (fellowship_application_tracker_11-8-10.xls).
A NSF GRF is a prestigious award that provides a Ph.D. student with a highly competitive stipend for three years. It is open to undergraduates in their senior year or graduate students in their first or second-year. Applicants must be US citizens, nationals, or permanent residents. Graduate students may only apply once. The application is due near the end of October each year. NB: Students with a MS degree are not eligible for a GRF unless certain conditions are met. Please read the solicitation carefully.
NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) program: A program that supports graduate students in basic and applied research in Earth science and space science, including astrophysics. Awards of $30,000 per year are made for up to three years. More information and application instructions can be found at http://solicitation.nasaprs.com/open by searching for NESSF. The Fellowship is available to all students, but US citizens and pernament residents will be given preference when choosing between proposals of equal merit. The Call for Proposals is released in November with proposals due in February. (See other NASA-related Fellowship opportunities at https://science.nasa.gov/researchers/sara/fellowship-programs#gradops).
The National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship is very similar to the NSF GRFP, although slightly more competitive. Applicants must be US citizens or nationals, and be either enrolled in their final year of undergraduate studies, or have completed no more than two years of full-time years graduate study in the discipline in which they are applying. It is due around December of each year.
Blue Waters Graduate Fellowships provide selected Ph.D. students with a year of support, including a $38,000 stipend, up to $12,000 in tuition allowance, a 50,000 node-hour allocation on Blue Waters, and funds to support travel to the annual Blue Waters symposium. Applicants should be in the second or later year of their graduate program with a well-developed, related research proposal. Applicants must be a U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. by the time of the application deadline. Preference will be given to candidates engaged in a multidisciplinary research project that combines disciplines such as computer science, applied mathematics, and computational science applications. Proposals are due in early February.
The Hertz Foundation offers a highly competitive (only 10-20/year awarded!), five-year fellowship for seniors and first-year grad students. It's only for citizens, nationals, and permanent residents, and requires "exceptional intelligence and creativity". Applications are due in October.
The Ford Foundation offers fellowships to graduate students early in their Ph.D. studies (minimum three years remaining) as well as to those in their final year while working on their dissertation. Again, only citizens, nationals, and permanent residents are eligible. A commitment to increasing diversity in education and research is a critical element of the application, which is due in November.
The National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc. Fellowship: GEM assists underrepresented minority students in obtaining M.S. degrees in engineering and Ph.D. degrees in engineering and the natural and physical sciences. Applicants must be US citizens or permament residents, and applications are due in November.
This one-year fellowship from the American Association of University Women is specifically for women that are NOT US citizens nor permanent residents. Recipients are selected for academic achievement and demonstrated commitment to women and girls. Applications are due in November/December.
The Dept. of Energy National Labs offer a number of opportunities in a variety of forms, including fellowships and internships, with different lengths and deadlines. The American Physical Society has compiled these opportunities here.
The Department of Energy funds a four-year fellowship for graduate students conducting research with a strong computational aspect. The fellowship requires additional course work as well as (at least) a 12-week research experience at a national lab. Applicants must be seniors or first-year graduate students, but there is no citizenship requirement. Applications are due in January.
The Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship supports both undergraduate and graduate students training in STEM fields. Funding is contingent on agreement to work in a Department of Defense civilian position after graduation (1:1 years of service for years of funding). Applicants must be citizens of the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or United Kingdom and have the ability to obtain a security clearance. Applications are due in early December.
Primarily for postdocs, the National Research Council does have a few opportunities for graduate students as well. The associateship supports work on a specific project at a US federal laboratory or affiliated institution. It is for one year, renewable up to three years, and applications are accepted four times per year for most opportunities. Citizenship requirements vary by opportunity.