Fellowships for Graduate Students

A fellowship provides financial support to graduate students to pursue graduate studies without associated teaching or research responsibilities. Fellowships are generally merit-based internal or external awards to support a student in a full-time course of study.

Graduate fellowships may be university-awarded, federally funded or may be fellowships offered by independent organizations, and many graduate fellowship programs are targeted to a specific student group or field of study. Portable fellowships are often referred to as external fellowships and can award funding based on academic need, academic record or merit. The amount of the stipend granted varies depending upon a number of factors, including the length of graduate school fellowships and fellowship provider. A fellowship is a monetary award given to pursue training or research in a particular field, usually at the graduate or postgraduate levels. Fellowships typically provide a modest stipend so that recipients may devote time and energy toward research or training, and not work to support themselves.


Types of Fellowships for Graduate Students

Portable graduate fellowships, unlike institutional fellowships, can be applied to the institution of higher education of the student’s choice. While many fellowships require students to study at an approved school, a portable fellowship affords the student much more freedom than an institutional fellowship from a particular university. Portable graduate fellowships allow students to be more discerning when selecting a graduate program, as they are empowered with both the funds and the choices necessary to enroll in the program that aligns best with their research interests and goals.

Below is a list of portable graduate fellowship programs that will help the students’ to afford graduate school, and also enable them to gain perspective on their chosen field outside of what the confines of their university have to offer. However, that most graduate students are NOT funded on fellowships but on Teaching or Research Assistantships.


Federally Funded Portable Fellowships

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Ferguson Fellowship Program: The Dr. James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Disease Fellowship Program provides educational and experiential opportunities for racial and ethnic minority medical, dental, pharmacy, veterinary, and public health graduate students in a broad array of public health activities.

U.S. Department of Energy Computational Sciences Graduate Fellowships: The U.S. Department of Energy provides funding for students in their first or second year of graduate study in the fields of physical, engineering, computers, mathematics, and life sciences.

U.S. Department of Defense National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship: U.S. citizens or nationals pursuing a doctorate in a field that benefits national security are eligible for this three-year fellowship from the Department of Defense.

U.S. Department of Education Jacob K. Javits Fellowships: This fellowship program is intended for U.S. undergraduate students entering graduate school or graduate students in their first year of graduate school.

U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration Harriett G. Jenkins Predoctoral Graduate Fellowships: The Harriett G. Jenkins Predoctoral Fellowship Program increases the number of graduate degrees awarded to underrepresented persons (women, minorities and/or persons with disabilities) participating in the STEM workforce, thereby eliminating the shortage of skilled workers.

U.S. National Institutes of Health Predoctoral Graduate Fellowship Awards for Minority Students: This program encourages students from graduate degrees in the biomedical and behavioral sciences to help increase the number of well-trained scientists from underrepresented groups.

U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowships: Theis fellowship support training and research in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields in a host institution only in the areas of biology and social, behavioral and economic sciences within the purview of NSF.


Portable Fellowships from Independent Organizations

American Academy in Rome Fellowships (AAR): Prize Applications are accepted in the field of Arts (architecture, design, historic preservation and conservation, landscape architecture, literature, musical composition, visual arts) and Humanities (ancient studies, medieval studies, Renaissance and early modern studies, modern Italian studies).

American Association of University Women: To qualify for this fellowship, applicants must have completed all course work, passed all required preliminary examinations and received approval for their research proposals or plan by a certain date.

The American Educational Research Association (AERA): This program receives support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to provide fellowships for beginning educational policy researchers, including advanced graduate students, to focus on policy-related research while in residence at either NSF or NCES.

American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship Program (MFP): Funded by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), this fellowship program is directed at students in clinical, counseling, and school psychology, or other psychology doctoral students whose training prepares them to provide counseling, therapy, testing, assessments, etc.

American Sociological Association Minority Fellowship Program: This graduate fellowship program offers up to three years of funding to minority students studying sociology with a focus on mental health issues and research.

Predoctoral Fellowships: The predoctoral fellowships provide three years of support for individuals engaged in graduate study leading to a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) or doctor of science (ScD) degree. Predoctoral fellowships will be awarded in a national competition administered by the National Research Council (NRC) on behalf of the Ford Foundation.

Dissertation Fellowships: The dissertation fellowships provide one year of support for individuals working to complete a dissertation leading to a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) or doctor of science (ScD) degree. Dissertation fellowships will be awarded in a national competition administered by the National Research Council (NRC) on behalf of the Ford Foundation.


Institutional Fellowships

Some examples of Institutional Fellowships are as follows

The Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy (Harvard Medical School): The Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy is designed to prepare physicians, particularly minority physicians, for leadership roles in formulating and implementing public health policy and practice on a national, state and/or local level. The fellowship includes a one-year, one-time $50,000 stipend, full tuition for a masters degree, health insurance, books, travel and related program expenses, including financial assistance for a practicum project.

National Urban Fellows Urban/Rural Graduate Fellowships Leading to a Master of Public Administration (Bernard M. Baruch College, School of Public Affairs, City University of New York) : National Urban Fellows is a rigorous, full-time graduate program comprised of two semesters of academic coursework and a nine-month mentorship, leading to a master of public administration (MPA) degree from Bernard M. Baruch College, School of Public Affairs, City University of New York. During the mentorship, Fellows complete coursework via distance learning. Fellows receive a $25,000 stipend, health insurance, a book allowance, relocation and travel reimbursement, and full payment of tuition, in addition to their ongoing personal and professional development.

Graduate Fellowships for Masters Degree Candidates in Child Development(Tufts University): The Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development Sydney Fellowship is a need-based program available for students entering the graduate study and pursuing the degree of master of arts (MA) or master of arts in teaching (MAT). The fellowship was designed to diversify the student population of the University, and underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program(University of California): The University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program was established to attract more outstanding women and minority Ph.D. recipients to pursue work in an academic capacity at the University of California. Fellowships for students in the humanities and social sciences can be awarded up to $55,000, while students studying mathematics, physical sciences, life sciences, and engineering can be awarded up to $65,000.

University of New Mexico Graduate Fellowship in Advanced Electromagnetics(University of New Mexico): On an annual basis, the SUMMA Foundation awards a one-time Graduate Fellowship in Advanced Electromagnetics. The fellowships of about $15,000 are awarded to graduate students studying electromagnetics to pursue a Ph.D. Students may be current candidates for an MS degree or engaged in early Ph.D. work.

Ernest G. Chachere Doctoral Diversity Fellowships(University of New Orleans): The Graduate School at the University of New Orleans established the new Ernest G. Chachere Doctoral Diversity fellowship for minority students in the fields of science and engineering. The fellowship provides for expenses at the University of New Orleans, in the form of a $22,000 stipend per academic year for four consecutive years and a four-year membership in the Southern Regional Education Board Doctoral Scholars Program.

USDA National Needs Graduate Fellowships for Multicultural Graduate Students in Conservation Fields(University of Vermont): Full Fellowships for Masters Degrees for Multicultural Graduate Students in Conservation Fields are available through the Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont. U.S. students eligible for the fellowships must be studying in the area of conservation, but not for longer than two semesters. The fellowships provide about $32,000 in tuition funding, two years of health insurance and a two-year stipend of $36,000, in addition to a two-year cost-of-education endowment of $2,500 to put toward a paid internship placement after graduation.

Blinks Summer Fellowships in Marine Research(University of Washington, Friday Harbor Laboratories): The Blinks Fellowship Program brings together multicultural students with the biological resources and scientific faculty at University of Washington’s marine science research facility. Six to eight diverse college students are chosen to complete a summer research program in the marine sciences, which includes one-on-one research experiences with marine scientists. Graduate students in the program have the opportunity for more independence in their research.


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