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External Fellowship Programs

Graduate Funding Opportunities

  • Announcements contain eligibility criteria and links to the application/nomination page in InfoReady (third-party, web-based system).  
  • This list does not represent all funding opportunities that may be available. Fellowships/scholarships that do not require an institutional nomination are communicated via email to our college partners with eligibility requirements and application links.
  • Students may self-nominate with the exception of the AAAS CASE Workshop.  Details regarding nominations for this workshop will be provided in the announcement to colleges.
  • We recommend that students check with their program/college for competitions that are currently accepting applications/nominations. 

Time frames listed for competition announcements below are approximations and are subject to change.

Fulbright Hays – Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA)- Jan/Feb

Open to:  Doctoral candidates

  • Engage in full-time dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies for periods of six-to-twelve months.
  • The program is designed to deepen research knowledge and increase the study of modern foreign languages, cultural engagement, and area studies not generally included in U.S. curricula.

Schmidt Science Fellows – March

Open to:  Doctoral students in the natural sciences (Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Earth Sciences), Engineering, Mathematics, or Computing, and all sub-disciplines therein.

  • Applicants have completed, or expect to complete, all of the requirements for their conferral of the PhD in one of the above fields, potentially secure a foundation-funded postdoctoral experience that will allow them a significant disciplinary pivot from their PhD topic in order to foster interdisciplinarity. 
  • This award cycle is for 12 or 24 months and fellows receive a stipend and are supported to develop the skills and perspectives needed to accelerate discovery, advance solutions to the world’s more pressing problems, and become future leaders in science and society.
  • Fellows are supported to pursue a postdoctoral placement at a world-leading laboratory anywhere in the world, working in a different discipline to that of their Ph.D. 

CGS Distinguished Dissertation Award – April

Open to:  Doctoral students who have completed all degree requirements and dissertation

  • This award is presented to individuals who have completed dissertations representing original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline. 
  • Two awards are given annually in two different broad areas on a rotational basis.  These areas include: biological sciences/life sciences, and humanities and fine arts; mathematics, physical sciences and engineering, and the social sciences.
  • To be eligible, students must have completed all degree requirements including their dissertations. 
  • The effective date of the degree awarded, or the completion of doctoral degree requirements and dissertation will be outlined in each year’s announcement. 
  • All nominees’ dissertations must be available in the ProQuest depository at the time of nomination.   If the dissertation is restricted to Penn State only, the student is ineligible to apply.

Microsoft PhD Fellowship Program – May

Open to:  Third year doctoral students in the fall semester

  • Fellowship provides tuition, fees, and a stipend to assist with living expenses for two academic years. 
  • Opportunities are provided to build relationships with research teams at Microsoft and receive mentorship.
  • The recipient must remain an active, full-time student in a PhD program during the two consecutive academic years of the award.
  • Inquiries for this fellowship should be directed to the Penn State Corporate Engagement Center.

Google PhD Fellowship – August

Open to:  Doctoral students doing exceptional/innovative research in areas relevant to computer sciences and related fields.

  • Fellowship provides full tuition and fees (enrollment fees, health insurance, books) plus a stipend to be used for living expenses, travel, and personal equipment for up to three years.
  • Recipients will also be matched with a Google Research Mentor.

Graduate Veterans Scholarship – August

Awarded by The Graduate School

Open to:  Full-time US military Graduate Students

  • Scholarship shall be given to full-time students exhibiting outstanding academic excellence, or promising applicants who have been admitted to a degree program under the Graduate School, and who are United States military students.
  • Applicants' materials will be evaluated by a review committee and the applicants who best fit the intention for the award will be selected.
  • United States military students shall be inclusive of veterans, active duty, reservists, or National Guard from all of the United States military services.

BTAA Smithsonian Fellowship – September

Open to:  Doctoral students

  • Program provides three-month to one-year fellowships to doctoral students to support research at Smithsonian Institution facilities.
  • Students must have completed all coursework for their program, be admitted into doctoral candidacy, and completed all requirements except for completion of the dissertation.
  • The one-year fellowships carry a stipend which is paid by the Smithsonian Institution and the fellow’s college.

Presidential Management Fellowship – September/October

Open to:  Current Graduate students expecting to complete advance degree requirements by Aug 31st (year following application) OR recent Graduate students who have completed an advance degree during the two years preceding the opening date of the annual application.

  • Fellowship includes challenging work assignments that have a broad impact on the American public;
  • Full-time salary and benefits paid by the appointing agency – Initial appointment at the GS-9, GS-11, or GS-12 levels (or equivalent);
  • individual Development Plan that puts Fellows on leadership trajectory; 1
  • 60 hours of formal interactive training on functional/technical and leadership competencies, including the PMF Leadership Development Program;
  • At least one 4-6 month developmental assignment, and optional short-term rotations;
  • A mentor to assist the Fellow with their journey/career path;
  • Upon completion, potential conversion to a permanent position;
  • The prestige that goes with being a PMF, which will follow you throughout your career.

Kress Foundation History of Art Institutional Fellowships – September

Open to:  Pre-doctoral candidates in the history of art and related disciplines (such as archaeology, architecture, or classics).

  • Nominees must be U.S. citizens or individuals matriculated at an American university.
  • Dissertation research must focus on European art from antiquity to the early 19th century.
  • Applicants must be ABD by the time their fellowship begins.

Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund Fellowship – October

Open to:  Graduate students pursuing degrees in any recognized field of study in humanities, social sciences, or natural sciences (including law, medicine, engineering, architecture or other formal professional training).

  • Fellowships are available to students who are currently enrolled in and pursuing a graduate degree at a designated institution of higher learning located in the United States of America.  
  • Undergraduate students are no longer qualified candidates. 
  • The candidate must have received a baccalaureate degree at the time of application and have an outstanding undergraduate record;
  • must demonstrate a need for financial assistance;
  • must be a citizen of the United States of America;
  • and may be of any national descent or background. 

Lindau Nobel Laureates Meetings – October

Open to:  Master’s and doctoral students who exhibit a solid general knowledge in the sciences and have done practical work and/or have laboratory experience.

  • Nominees must show a genuine interest and engagement in science and research;
  • show excellence in their principal field of studies;
  • receive very strong support of their application by their academic advisor and/or by an internationally renowned scientist, who knows the applicant well;
  • a detailed letter of recommendation is indispensable for the application, deliver a comprehensive CV together with their application;
  • be fluent in English and prepared to actively participate in discussions with laureates and young scientists;
  • belong to the top 5 percent of their class;
  • normally not have a permanent position as this is a criterion for exclusion except in special cases;
  • be not older than 35 years of age at the date of the meeting with exceptions (e.g. parental leave, etc.);
  • not have participated on-site in a previous Lindau Meeting, deliver fully completed applications in their online profiles on or before the deadline;
  • and commit themselves to being present in Lindau for the full duration of the meeting.

Ford Foundation Fellowship Program – October

Open to: Students who provide evidence of superior academic achievement (such as grade point average, class rank, honors, or other distinctions);

  • Applicants must be committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level;
  • enrolled in an eligible research-based (dissertation-required) program leading to a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree at a non-proprietary (not for profit) U.S. institution of higher education;
  • who as of the fall semester require a minimum of three years of study to complete their Ph.D./Sc.D. degree;
  • and individuals who have not earned a doctoral degree at any time, in any field.

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowships for Research in Japan (JSPS) – November

Open to:  Students (and their advisers) who are/will be pre- and post-doctoral researchers from North American and European countries majoring in or conducting research in fields of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

  • Fellowship is for young foreign researchers, namely the Postdoctoral Fellowships for Research in Japan.
  • This fellowship offers opportunities for such researchers to pursue collaborative research at Japanese universities and research institutes, thereby allowing them to advance their own research while promoting scientific progress in both Japan and their respective countries.

Northeastern Association for Graduate Schools (NAGS) – November

Master's Thesis Award

Open to:  Students who have received the master’s degree within three years preceding the year of competition.

  • Each year the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools recognizes an outstanding master's thesis that has been produced by a student at one of its member institutions.
  • Award recipient receives a monetary award and are invited to the annual meeting.

Doctoral Dissertation Award

Open to:  Students who have received the doctoral program degree within five years preceding the year of competition.

  • Each year the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools recognizes an outstanding dissertation that has been produced by a doctoral candidate at one of its member institutions.
  • Award recipient receives a monetary award and are invited to the annual meeting.

AAAS CASE Workshop – January

Open to: Graduate students enrolled full-time and pursuing degrees in the following fields: biological, physical, or earth sciences; computational sciences and mathematics; engineering disciplines; medical and health sciences; and social and behavioral sciences.

  • This entry-level program is organized to educate STEM graduate students who are interested in learning about the role of science in policy making;
  • to introduce them to the federal policy-making process;
  • and to empower them with ways to become a voice for basic research throughout their careers.
  • The workshop is designed for students in science, technology, engineering, and math fields.
  • The AAAS encourages sponsoring institutions to select students with limited experience and knowledge of science policy and advocacy, and who demonstrate strong communication and leadership skills.
  • International students are eligible if they are studying in the U.S.
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