Fellowships and Awards
Fellowships & Awards
Current and prospective graduate students are encouraged to apply for external and internal (fall and spring) fellowships and awards. The Materials Science and Engineering department at Illinois offers several internal awards and fellowships; we also nominate students for awards offered by the The Grainger College of Engineering, the campus, and external sources. Awards range from travel grants to multi-year teaching or research fellowships and are mostly aimed toward PhD students. In addition to the list below, many fellowships are available from government entities and corporations. Questions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Award call notification is sent to all currently enrolled graduate students when applications are being accepted for each award listed below. Please reference notification for more information on eligibility, required documents and deadline to apply. To apply , once the application period has opened, please submit a completed application. Please have recommendation letters uploaded here.
- Fellowship office at the Graduate College (search for fellowships)
- National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program
- National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship
- DoE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship
- DoE Stewardship Science Graduate Fellowship
- Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship
- National Physical Science Consortium, graduate fellowships in science, mathematics, and engineering
- Fulbright Program
Awards Requiring Departmental Nomination
Conference Travel Awards for Graduate Students
The Graduate College provides awards for students to travel to professional conferences to present papers, posters, or creative work. Awards may be offered as reimbursement for recently-completed travel or for upcoming travel. Award amounts vary depending on the distance from Champaign to the conference. For fall term awards, travel must take place anytime from the beginning of the previous summer to the end of the following summer. Allowable expenses include transportation, lodging, food, and other travel-related expenses for the awardee only. Expenses not allowable include registration fees, supplies, photocopies, etc. Application is by department nomination only.
Ross J Martin Award
This award was established by the college to recognize outstanding research achievement by a graduate student in The Grainger College of Engineering as a memorial to Ross J. Martin, Associate Dean of the College, who served as director of the Engineering Experiment Station for 26 years, until his death in 1984. Nominations are based on a departmental competition.
- 2020 recipient: Ashish Kulkarni
Innovation Award (Durgam & Subha Chakrapani Family Trust Award)
The Durgam and Subha Chakrapani Family Trust has endowed an annual award for one graduate student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering for an outstanding Ph.D. thesis characterized by Innovation and Potential for Commercialization in the field of materials science and engineering. The award comprises a cash award and a medallion presented to the award recipient. The cash award is intended to support professional development and commercialization, e.g., travel to present to potential investors, and expenses for conferences focused on new business ideas.
- 2021 recipient: Justine Paul
- 2020 recipient: Marley Dewey
- 2019 recipient: Mayank Garg
HHMI Gilliam Fellowships
Offered by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), Gilliam Fellowships support underrepresented PhD students, and their advisors, in the life sciences and related fields. The program aims to ensure that a diverse and highly trained workforce is prepared to assume leadership roles in science. Each eligible department may submits nominees for a campus competition.
MatSE Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award
This award recognizes TAs in the MatSE department for teaching excellence and consists of a certificate and $500 prize. All MatSE graduate TAs are automatically considered for this award, and awardees are selected based on feedback from students and faculty.
3M Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award
The Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) award recognizes graduate student’s efforts and initiatives to increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in the MatSE department, with up to two prizes of $1,000 per year thanks to a generous donation from 3M. Example activities include promoting DEI in teaching experiences in the classroom, laboratory, or as a tutor or mentor, or extracurricular teaching in schools or through outreach programs.
- 2022 3M DEI Awardees: Marilyn Porras Gomez and Emiliana Cofell
The 3M Fellowship is given to one outstanding graduate student each year in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering working in areas of interest to 3M including nanoscale science and engineering as well as all material classes: biomaterials, ceramics, electronic materials, polymers and metals. The award will consist of an annual supplement to the students GRA salary over the course of 3 years. It is meant as a recognition of exceptional promise for graduate research. The winners will also be invited to 3M to present a poster on their work with other 3M Graduate Fellows from various schools.
- 2020 recipient: Haley Buckner
Conference Travel Awards for Graduate Students
The Graduate College provides awards for students to travel to professional conferences to present papers, posters, or creative work. Awards may be offered as reimbursement for recently-completed travel or for upcoming travel. Award amounts vary depending on the distance from Champaign to the conference. For spring term awards, travel must take place anytime from the beginning of the spring term to the end of the following fall term. Allowable expenses include transportation, lodging, food, and other travel-related expenses for the awardee only. Expenses not allowable include registration fees, supplies, photocopies, etc. Application is by department nomination only.
Racheff-Intel Award for Graduate Students
In memory of Ivan Racheff, a distinguished alumnus of the University of Illinois, the Racheff-Intel award will be given for excellent graduate research in any sub-field to students currently enrolled in the Graduate Program of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois. The award consists of a plaque and up to $1,000 financial support to attend a conference at which the student will present the relevant research. Up to four awards may be given in any one year, but no more than one award in the lifetime of any individual student.
- 2022 Racheff-Intel Awardees: Quentin Rizzardi, Laura Porath, Yang Bo, Arghya Patra
- 2021 Racheff-Intel Awardees: Kisung Kang, Ahyoung Kim, Brian Jing, Blanka Janicek
- 2020 Racheff-Intel Awardees: Zihao Ou, Leon Dean, Varun Mohan
- 2019 Racheff-Intel Awardees: Aram Yoon, Jaba Mitra, Gregory Sparks, Cheng-Wei Lee
TechnipFMC Educational Fund Fellowship
The University of Illinois' TechnipFMC Fellowships support masters- and doctoral-level students who are conducting research in areas related to the work of TechnipFMC Technologies, Inc. Targeted areas are Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Systems/Analytics, Electrical Engineering, Robotics/Mechatronics, Computer Science, Chemical Engineering, and related areas of study. Preference will be given to students who have research interests in the areas of upstream oil and gas. Fellowships offer one year of support.
- 2020 recipient: Kaustaubh Panse
Yee Fellowship Award
The Yee Fellowship is made possible by a generous bequest of Drs. Warren and Ming Ting Yee. Dr. Warren Yee received his Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1943 and was a partner in the Detroit firm of Harley, Ellington, Pierce & Yee Associates and later was the founder of Bio-Tech Research Laboratory, Inc. in Washington, D.C. He died in 1984. Dr. Warren Yee was known for thinking of others, especially relatives in China, before he thought of himself. His wife has requested that income from the funds be used to support Chinese graduate students in The Grainger College of Engineering. Special consideration will be given to students from inner provinces or inner province universities (not coastal) in China.
- 2021: Lehan Yao
Dissertation Completion Fellowship
The Graduate College's Dissertation Completion Fellowships help outstanding students complete the doctoral degree by providing a one-year stipend along with waivers of tuition, service fee, health service fee, AFMFA fee, library/IT fee. In addition, the fellow will receive partial payment of the graduate student health insurance fee per semester as well as basic dental and vision coverage. The number of awards offered will depend on the level of funding available.
Mavis Future Faculty Fellows (MF3) Program
The Grainger College of Engineering offers the Mavis Future Faculty Fellows (MF3) Program to senior PhD students who are interested in pursing a faculty position. This program is designed to facilitate the training of the next generation of great engineering professors.
Schmidt Science Fellows Program
The fellowship is offered by the Schmidt Family Foundation, founded by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and his wife Wendy Schmidt, in partnership with the Rhodes Trust, home of the prestigious Rhodes Scholarships. As the Schmidt website explains, the program “provides the world’s best emerging scientists with new skills and perspectives to develop novel solutions to society’s challenges, become scientific and societal thought leaders, and accelerate ground-breaking discoveries.” To that end, the program seeks individuals “with a special degree of brilliance and inventiveness,” specifically those who demonstrate a high level of scientific curiosity, scholarly achievement, intellectual spark, global ambitions, character, collaborative spirit, and use of innovative tools. The Schmidt Family Foundation has invited only select universities to participate in this program, and the University of Illinois is one of those universities.