Graduate Fellowships

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 provides 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:

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).

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

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 Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology

The Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST) program: A program that supports graduate students in basic and applied research in Earth science and space science, including astrophysics. Awards of $45,000 per year are made for up to three years. More information and application instructions can be found at by searching for FINESST. The Fellowship is available to all students. The Call for Proposals is released in November with proposals due in February. (See other NASA-related Fellowship opportunities at

NDSEG Fellowship

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.

Hertz Foundation Fellowship

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.

Ford Foundation Fellowship

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.

GEM Fellowship

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.

AAUW International Fellowship

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.

National Labs

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.

DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship

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.

SMART Scholarship

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.


Two Sigma’s PhD Fellowship is open to all doctoral students who are expanding frontiers in a STEM field such as statistics, applied mathematics, computer science, and physics. Fellowship recipients will receive an award for two consecutive Academic years (not to exceed $75,000 USD per Academic year) to cover tuition and fees plus a stipend for living expenses, paid directly to the university. Fellowship recipients will also receive a one-time award of $10,000 USD paid to the Fellowship recipient directly which, as a condition of the fellowship, may only be used for tuition, fees required to enroll at or attend their university, and/or books, supplies, equipment, and course-related fees for courses at their university.

NRC Research Associateship

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.