A fellowship is an arrangement in which financial support is given to a graduate student to pursue his or her degree without any obligation on the part of the student to engage in teaching and/or research in furtherance of the university’s academic mission. . Fellowships are generally merit-based awards intended to support a student in a full-time course of study.
The Graduate School funds a significant number of our entering doctoral student with fellowships awarded through the graduate fields. Fellowship awards are based on the student's scholastic ability and promise of academic achievement.
View Graduate School workshop on applying for graduate fellowships.
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Fellowships for Admitted Students
Cornell University Fellowships
Approximately 20 percent of our doctoral students studying on campus receive Cornell University Fellowships (referred to as Sage Fellowships or Cornell Fellowships depending on the field of study). These fellowships typically include full tuition, a nine-month stipend, and Cornell individual student health insurance. A summer stipend may also be provided to students.
How to apply:
Cornell University Fellowships are awarded at the time of admission; continuing students are ineligible to apply. Prospective students apply for fellowships on the admissions application. To be considered for a university fellowship, respond “yes” to the question on the admissions application asking if you wish to be considered for university assistantships and fellowships.
The graduate field to which you are applying will consider your eligibility for fellowships based on your application; no additional information is required.
Admitted Ph.D. students will be notified of any fellowship awards as part of the admissions offer.
Graduate School Fellowships in support of diversity
- SUNY Graduate Diversity Fellowship—for recruitment of research degree students; awarded in contract colleges for incoming, new students
- Deans Excellence Fellowship — for recruitment of research degree students; awarded in endowed colleges for incoming, new students
- Deans McNair Graduate Fellowship — for recruitment of research degree students; awarded in contract and endowed colleges for incoming, new students who were McNair Scholars at their undergraduate institutions
Recruitment fellowships designed to increase the diversity of Cornell's graduate student population are available on a competitive basis to U.S. citizens or permanent residents applying for Fall 2014 admission. Students who wish to be considered for these fellowships must submit a supplemental diversity essay with their application materials. The supplemental essay should address how the student will contribute to the diversity of the graduate student body at Cornell by adding a perspective, way of thinking, and/or a unique set of experiences that expand the intellectual conversation of the field, and how one or more of the following criteria apply to the student:
- history of overcoming disadvantage
- first-generation college student
- member of a group historically underrepresented in higher education (African American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, Mexican American, Puerto Rican, or other Hispanic; permanent residents whose ethnicity corresponds to these groups also meet this criterion)
- McNair Scholar (the Graduate School will verify that the prospective student was a McNair Scholar while pursuing a baccalaureate degree at a U.S. institution).
Thanks to Scandinavia
Students from Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden or Bulgaria are eligible to apply for this fellowship established by Thanks to Scandinavia in gratitude for the humanity and bravery of the people throughout Scandinavia and Bulgaria who protected persons of the Jewish faith during and after World War II. The fellowship includes a nine-month stipend full tuition, and Cornell individual student health insurance. To request consideration for this fellowship, please notify your graduate field of your eligibility and request that they nominate you to the Graduate School prior to the fellowship deadline of February 15.
Ph.D. applicants who are citizens of an African country and not permanent residents of the United States are eligible for this award. The fellowship includes a nine-month stipend full tuition, and Cornell individual student health insurance. To request consideration for this fellowship, please notify your graduate field of your eligibility and request that they nominate you to the Graduate School prior to the fellowship deadline of February 15.
Fellowships for Continuing Students
In addition to the University Fellowships, competitive fellowships are available to current students from a number of sources including the following: Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships and Provost's Diversity Fellowships,.
Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships
U.S. citizen and permanent resident graduate students in master’s or Ph.D. programs who are pursuing coursework (generally students in their first through third year) are eligible to apply for FLAS fellowships to support advanced training in foreign languages (excluding some Western European languages and areas).
These awards provide a nine-month stipend and a tuition allowance. All FLAS fellows receive the balance of tuition from the Graduate School. Ph.D. students who receive FLAS awards also receive a stipend supplement to bring the award to the nine-month assistantship minimum, along with individual Cornell Student Health Insurance (SHIP).
How to apply:
Applications, usually due in late January, are available from the Einaudi Center.
Provost’s Diversity Fellowship
The Graduate School will award Provost’s diversity fellowships to Ph.D. students in the 2014-15 academic year. These fellowships are intended to support the degree completion of continuing students, and should be focused on advanced students likely to complete their degrees with the added financial assistance of this fellowship.
Ph.D. students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and who address how one or more of the following criteria apply to them are eligible:
- history of overcoming disadvantage
- first-generation college student
- member of an underrepresented minority group (African American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, Mexican American, or Puerto Rican). Permanent residents whose ethnicity corresponds to these groups (e.g., Other Hispanic, African, or Afro-Caribbean) also meet this last criterion.
- Graduate students who are single parents
To be eligible for an award, nominees must have received at least one year of support (assistantship, training grant, etc.) from their field.
Priority for the Provost's Diversity Fellowships will be given to students who meet all of the following criteria:
- have been enrolled in a Cornell graduate degree program for a minimum of two years
- will have passed the A exam prior to the fellowship
- expect to complete all requirements for the doctorate by August 2015
There may be cases in which a pre-A fellowship would be especially valuable to a student. The Graduate School will consider pre-A fellowship nominations in such cases.
How to apply:
The application form is available on the Graduate School website at Provost Diversity Fellowship Form. Applications are to be submitted to the Graduate School through the Director of Graduate Studies rather than directly by the student. The student is responsible for making arrangements with the DGS.
Cornell students have been highly successful in competing for external fellowships (those awarded by outside agencies such as the NSF, Javits, or the Social Science Research Council. To assist students in identifying external fellowship the Graduate School maintains a searchable database of over 700 opportunities. Students are encouraged to work with their Director of Graduate Studies and/or special committee chair to develop effective application materials.
Research Travel Grants:
The Graduate School awards a small number of grants to graduate students for spring and summer research-related travel. Applications are due to the Graduate School (350 Caldwell Hall) by 4:30 p.m. Feb. 1 for spring or summer travel. (If the deadline falls on a weekend, applications are due the following Monday.) Research travel grant applications are available at www.gradschool.cornell.edu/forms. Awards will be announced in early March.
In awarding research travel grants, the Graduate School gives priority to Ph.D. students who have or will have passed the A Exam prior to initiating their research travel. Priority also is given to requests for pre-dissertation research. Prior awardees are given low priority. Field trips related to academic classes are also given low priority.
Because the Graduate School seeks to award a maximum number of grants from limited funds, awards are typically no more than $2,000. Students are encouraged to submit requests that reflect careful budgeting. For example, applicants should use public transportation when practical, plan on preparing their own meals whenever possible, and secure modest accommodations.
Please note that research travel grants are for travel that is directly related to dissertation research, not conference travel. Conference grant applications are available at www.gradschool.cornell.edu/forms/
All graduate students traveling on university-related activities now must register their international travel plans before departure, and graduate students traveling to high-risk countries must get approval for such travel from the International Travel Advisory and Response team (ITART).
Learn more about the travel registry: http://travelregistry.cornell.edu/
Conference Travel Grants:
The Graduate School provides grants to students who are invited to present papers or posters at professional conferences. Award amounts are based on geographic location, not actual expenses. (For example, a student attending a conference in Italy may receive the full $675, but a student attending a conference in Washington, D.C. may receive $225.) Awards will not, under any circumstances, exceed $675. The Graduate School tries to fund most requests from students.
Conference grant applications are available at www.gradschool.cornell.edu/forms/.
All graduate students traveling on university-related activities now must register their international travel plans before departure, andgraduate students traveling to high-risk countries must get approval for such travel from the International Travel Advisory and Response team (ITART).
Learn more about the travel registry: http://travelregistry.cornell.edu