Caltech Wave Fellows

Opportunity Description:


Caltech is committed to promoting diversity within its educational programs and activities and strives to ensure that differing cultural, ethnic, social, geographic, and economic perspectives are represented.  Caltech's WAVE Fellows program aims to foster diversity by increasing the participation of underrepresented students in science and engineering Ph.D. programs and making Caltech's programs more visible and accessible to students not traditionally exposed to Caltech. The program is extended, but not limited, to underrepresented minorities, women, first-generation college students, geographically underrepresented students, educationally or financially disadvantaged students, and students with disabilities.

The WAVE Fellows program is generously supported by Edison International, the Genentech Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, and individual donors.

The Kavli Nanoscience Institute (KNI) at Caltech is offering named fellowships for successful WAVE applicants who are interested in pursuing nanoscience-related research projects. For more information about the KNI’s SURF-the-WAVE program, please visit their website.

Minimum Qualifications and/or Eligibility Requirements: 

WAVE Fellows must

  • Be current sophomores, juniors, or non-graduating seniors*
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2/4.0
  • Complete the second semester or third quarter at your college or university
  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or have DACA status
  • Have an interest in pursuing a Ph.D.
  • Have prior research experience
  • Not be under any academic or disciplinary sanction

* Students need to be matriculated in a degree-granting undergraduate program. High school students who are co-enrolled in college courses are not eligible.

Upon receiving a WAVE Fellowship, students sign an agreement to fulfill the following requirements:

  • To submit a project plan by May 15 following collaboration with the mentor
  • To devote full effort to conducting the research project (Fellows cannot take courses or hold another job.)
  • To submit two interim reports approved by their mentors
  • To submit an abstract of their project
  • To submit a written technical report approved by the mentor
  • To give a final presentation on one of the scheduled seminar day symposia
  • To attend weekly WAVE Fellow meetings
  • To abide by Caltech’s Honor Code

Application Process: 

Students apply for the WAVE Fellows Program by submitting an online application. Applicants must also request three letters of recommendation from faculty in relevant disciplines or former research mentors. Students must also upload an unofficial transcript.

Applications will be evaluated by Caltech faculty, which will select prospective fellows from the applicant pool. Selected students will be matched with a mentor. Fellowships will be offered when the match has been confirmed.

Students awarded a WAVE Fellowship will be required to submit a project plan after consultation and collaboration with the mentor. The submission of the project plan and fellowship forms by the deadlines will constitute acceptance of the award.

All application documents will be submitted directly to the SFP Online system. Applications are due on or before January 12.  The application includes:

  • An online application
  • Three letters of recommendation from faculty (at least two in the relevant discipline)
  • The applicant’s unofficial transcript.

Application Deadline: 

Sunday, January 12, 2020
For more information on this opportunity, please contact: