Graduate Fellowships for STEM Diversity

Funds qualified students who wish to pursue a graduate degree in fields in the physical sciences including astronomy, chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science, environmental science, geology, and various engineering fields.

The Graduate Fellowships for STEM Diversity funds qualified students who wish to pursue a graduate degree in fields in the physical sciences including, but not limited to, astronomy, chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science, environmental science, geology, and various engineering fields.

GFSD emphasizes recruitment of a diverse applicant pool.

GFSD member universities do not require fellows to pay tuition.

Deadline Information

Application Close: Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Eligibility Requirements

GFSD welcomes applications from any qualified U.S. citizen who has the ability to pursue graduate work at an GFSD member institution. GFSD attempts to recruit a broad pool of applicants with special emphasis on underrepresented minorities and women. Applicants should be in one of the following categories:

For the Traditional Program:

  • Be in your senior year with at least a 3.0/4.0 GPA.
  • Be in your first year of a graduate program.
  • Be in a terminal master's program (your university offers no Ph.D. in your discipline).
  • Be returning from the workforce with no more than a master's degree

Application Process

  • Institutions of higher education from which you have received or will receive a degree:
    Name of institution and address; dates attended, date graduated, major, overall GPA, GPA in major, and GPA Scale of Institution.
  • Employment History
    (Maximum of three professional positions):
    Dates from and to, employer's name, employer's address, supervisor's name, supervisor's title, your title, reason for leaving, and a brief description of duties. Discuss any research projects in which you participated and your role.
  • Professional or Technical References (minimum of three maximum of five):
    Begin thinking of the professors and employers who will give you a recommendation. Discuss with them the importance of a good evaluation and ask whether they will write such an evaluation for you. Once you enter your recommenders in the application they will receive an email about how to enter their recommendation.
  • Scholarships, honors and awards you have received: title, date, and from which organization
  • Publications, presentations, poster sessions, etc., created or presented by you:
    (use standard bibliography format)
  • Research Experience:
    Include on-campus research with a faculty member, summer research institutes, and other experiences outside of course work. Include a paragraph on each describing the nature of research, your role, and whether you presented or published. This is an especially important part of the application.
  • Personal statement and professional goals:
    Explain why you want to go to graduate school, what are your expectations regarding the GFSD and its mentoring support, what will be your graduate program, etc.

    GFSD provides the applicant database to employer members and to university members. (A university may contact you even though you have not applied to that university. If you would rather not have your name made available to universities, let GFSD know and we will remove it from that database.)

    Each employer identifies the students it wishes to select and support for a fellowship. The executive director of GFSD calls those students and sends an award letter giving a specified period within which the student must confirm acceptance of the offer or decline. GFSD provides a letter to graduate departments that the student can use to inform the university that he or she has been offered a fellowship. It is up to the university whether to admit and accept the student as a GFSD Fellow, knowing the university will be responsible for tuition and fees.

    If a student receives and accepts an GFSD Fellowship, it is reserved for that student until the student receives acceptance from one of the participating universities as a GFSD Fellow. A student who receives another national fellowship offer should call GFSD to discuss and compare the two programs. The student may be able to accept both by deferring one. Next, the student should discuss the offers with the advisor and graduate department.

    GFSD announces the end of the recruitment season as soon as it has filled available fellowship slots. This may not occur until mid-April or later.

    Note: selection of fellows is made not by GFSD, but by an employer who uses criteria in addition to academic excellence; for example, the particular research specialty and the availability of funding. Thus students who are not selected for GFSD fellowship need not feel that their academic work or research potential have necessarily been judged to be inferior to those who are selected.