We encourage our graduate students to apply for competitively awarded research fellowships as part of their education and career development. While students can apply at any time, most students begin to apply after their first full year of coursework. In addition to providing financial support for research and travel, fellowships are an excellent training mechanism. They provide opportunities to learn and practice critical career skills such as writing proposals, reports and papers, and project management and budget oversight. In addition, receipt of an external fellowship bestows a certain amount of prestige on the student – as well as on Duke -- for being identified as one of the nation’s top scholars.
Below is a list of funding opportunities and fellowship due dates that are relevant to Pratt doctoral students. If you have specific questions about a fellowship, please contact the organization providing the opportunity. If you would like to see a fellowship added to this site, please contact Sara Faust.
** Disclaimer: All information below is pulled from the fellowship granting organizations' websites and is only intended as a quick overview. Please visit and review requirements on the fellowship granting organization's website before applying. **
Fellowships for Underrepresented Students
NSF Fellowship: Graduate Research Diversity Supplements
The establishment of Graduate Research Diversity Supplements (GRDS) reflects the continuing effort by ENG to promote increased participation of new Ph.D. students in all fields of engineering research with particular emphasis on individuals from underrepresented minorities in the U.S.
Eligibility: Candidates must be US citizens, nationals, or permanent resident aliens and must be newly enrolled in, or planning to pursue the Ph.D. degree in engineering disciplines.
Award size: ~$40k
Application deadline: January
More information: Contact GRS coordinators
UNCF • Merck Graduate Science Research Dissertation Fellowships
The UNCF/Merck Science Initiative (UMSI) provides undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral support to outstanding African-American students who are pursuing studies and research careers in biological and chemical sciences.
Eligibility: To be considered, students must be African American (Black), enrolled in a doctoral program, engaged in and within 1-3 years of completing dissertation having successfully completed all qualifying exams and a citizen of permanent resident of the US.
Award size: Awards up to $52,000. In 2010 at least 12 fellowships were awarded. Each fellowship provides up to a maximum of $52,000, which includes a stipend of up to $42,000 for the Fellow and a Research Grant of up to $10,000 to support the research needs of the Fellow. The fellowship stipend is intended to cover from 12-24 months of fellowship tenure. A maximum of $30,000 in stipend may be received in any 12 month period.
Application deadline: December
More information: Instructions on UNCF • Merck website
Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs
Through its Fellowship Programs, the Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity.
Eligibility: To be considered, students must be a citizen or national of the US and have evidence of a superior academic achievement. Applicants should also be committed to a career in teaching or research in a college or university.
Predoctoral Award: ~$20k
Dissertation Award: ~$20k
Postdoctoal Award: ~$40k
Application deadline: November
Xerox Minority Scholarships
Eligibility: To be considered, students must be a US Citizen or permanent resident and enrolled in full time course work pursuing an undergraduate, graduate or doctoral degree.
Award Size: $1,000-$10,000
Application Deadline: September
More Information: Xerox's website
Merit-Based Private Fellowships
IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Program
The IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Awards Program is an intensely competitive worldwide program, which honors exceptional Ph.D. students who have an interest in solving problems that are important to IBM and fundamental to innovation in many academic disciplines and areas of study.
Eligibility: Students must be nominated by a faculty member. The faculty member is encouraged to contact an IBM colleague prior to submitting the nomination. The student must be enrolled full time in a Ph.D. program.
Award Size: up to $17,500/yr
Application Deadline: October
More information: On IBM's website
Hertz Foundation Fellowship
The Graduate Fellowship Award is based on merit (not need) and consists of a cost-of-education allowance and a personal-support stipend.
Eligibility: Open to US citizens and permanent resident aliens who are willing to morally commit to make their skills available to the United States in time of national emergency. We screen fellowship applicants for qualities the Foundation believes are essential ingredients of future professional accomplishment. read more
Award Size: $31-36k stipend plus full tuition
Application Deadline: October
More information: Hertz Foundation website
NSF Fellowship: Graduate Research Supplements
These awards are designed to increase participation of new Ph.D. students in all fields of engineering research with particular emphasis on individuals from underrepresented groups. A request for funding of a GRS should be made by the Principal Investigator of an existing ENG award.
Eligibility: Candidates must be US citizens, nationals, or permanent resident aliens and must be newly enrolled in, or planning to pursue the Ph.D. degree in engineering disciplines. Renewal for a second or third year supplement requires a report on the progress of the student toward the Ph.D. degree and availability of funds in the program.
Award size: Award size is generally around $40k
Application deadline: Generally in May
More information: Contact GRS coordinators
DOE Office of Science Graduate Fellowship Program
The DOE Office of Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE SCGF) program supports outstanding students to pursue graduate training in basic research in areas of physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, computational sciences, and environmental sciences relevant to the Office of Science.
Eligibility: Students must be pursuing a Master's or Ph.D. and demonstrate interest in areas supported by the DOE. Cumulative GPA must be at least 3.3.
Award Size: $35k for living expenses, up to $10.5k for tuition support, $5k for research and travel and accommodations to the annual DOE SCGF Research Conference.
More information: program website
DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship
The DOE CSGF fellowship support allows students to focus on their academics and research without excessive teaching or other departmental support activities.
Eligibility: Students must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien who are planning full-time, uninterrupted study towards a Ph.D. The fellow’s department must waive any teaching requirements beyond one term.
Award Size: yearly stipend $36k, full tuition paid, $5k the first year toward equipment, fellowship is renewable for up to four years. read more
Application Deadline: January
More information: DOE CSGF website
EPA STAR Fellowship for Graduate Environmental Study
STAR fellowships are intended to help defray the ever-increasing costs associated with studies leading to advanced degrees in environmental sciences.
Eligibility: Open to US citizens and permanent resident aliens who are pursuing research in an environmentally related field.
Award Size: up to $42k (12k tuition and 25k stipend)
Application Deadline: November
More Information: EPA website
NASA Graduate Student Researchers Project (GSRP)
The goal of NASA’s GSRP is to cultivate additional research ties to the academic community, to help meet the continuing needs of the Nation’s aeronautics and space workforce requirements by increasing the number of highly trained scientists and engineers in aeronautics and space-related disciplines, and to meet the Nation’s need to increase the number of highly trained teachers. The program will support approximately 140 graduate students annually.
Eligibility: Students must be US citizens and have a faculty research adviser (who will be the PI of the Training Grant).
Award Size: $30k (master's can renew for one year, doctorate for two)
Application Deadline: February
More information: NASA GRSP webpage
DOD Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship
As a means of increasing the number of U.S. citizens and nationals trained in science and engineering disciplines of military importance, the Department of Defense (DOD) will offer fellowships to individuals who have demonstrated the ability and special aptitude for advanced training in science and engineering.
Eligibility: Students must be US citizens, study in one of the 15 supported disciplines and intend to pursue a doctoral degree.
Award Size: ~$30k
Application Deadline: December
More Information: NDSEG website
Graduate Research Award Program on Public Sector Aviation Issues
Project: ACRP11-04. The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) of the Transportation Research Board (TRB), National Academies, is pleased to announce the Graduate Research Award Program on Public-Sector Aviation Issues. This program, sponsored by the U.S. DOT Federal Aviation Administration and administered by the ACRP, is designed to encourage applied research on airport and related aviation system issues and to foster the next generation of aviation community leaders. Successful papers will be presented at the TRB Annual Meeting; and exceptional papers could be published in a subsequent TRB Transportation Research Record.
Eligibility: Candidates must be full-time students enrolled in a graduate degree program at an accredited North American institution of higher learning during the academic year.
Award Size: $10,000 for successful completion of a research paper on public-sector airport-related aviation issues during the upcoming academic year
Application Deadline: Middle May
More Information: program website