Fellowships provide financial assistance for research and for costs of living while in graduate school. Some universities will not guarantee funding to graduate students for their work, and you'll need to find outside sources of income and support. Additionally, when applying for postdoctoral and faculty positions later, hiring committees will look very positively at applicants who have won these competitive awards.
You can apply for most research fellowships during your senior year around the time you apply to graduate school. We have compiled a list of various research fellowships students in physics and related fields can use while in graduate school. Please go to the specific webpages for each award to find more information, application requirements, and deadlines:
- NASA's Graduate Student Researchers Program: for students pursuing masters or PhDs in science, mathematics, and engineering fields. They support approximately 300 graduate students annually, and the award can be renewed up to twice. The stipend is for $24,400 each year the fellowship is received. You can apply senior year.
- NASA Harriett G. Jenkins Predoctoral Fellowship Program: for women, minorities, and persons with disabilities pursuing doctoral degrees in math, science, engineering, and technology. They support approximately 20 graduate students each year. $16,000 cost-of-living support, $8,500 for education costs for each year the fellowship is received. You can apply senior year.
- National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships:Three year graduate research fellowships in science, mathematics, and engineering. 900 new fellowships are awarded each year. $27,500 stipend, cost-of-education allowance of $10,500, and $1,000 travel allowance. You can apply senior year.
- Bell Labs Graduate Research Fellowship Program: for women and minorities in science, math, engineering, and technology fields. The fellowship provides full tuition, annual stipend of $17,000, $250/semester for books, and $1,000 for travel to conferences. It can be renewed up to four years. Program is directed toward graduating college seniors: apply senior year.
- Ford Fellowships: graduate research fellowships for underrepresented minorities. Approximately 50 fellowships are awarded annually. You can apply senior year.
- National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship: for students pursuing graduate degrees in physics, engineering, and related fields. 170 fellowships given in 2002. Award covers full tuition and required fees, plus a $24,500 stipend (in 2004-2005 academic year). Award is for three years. You can apply senior year.
- Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowships: for graduate students in applied physics fields (includes physics, astronomy, computer science, most engineerings). Award is for $25,000 plus all education costs, fees, and tuition. It can be renewed for up to five years. You can apply your senior year.