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Frequently Asked Fellowship Questions

What is a graduate fellowship?

A graduate fellowship is an arrangement in which financial support is given to a graduate student to pursue his or her degree. Fellowships are generally merit-based awards intended to support a student in a full-time course of study.

Why should I apply for graduate fellowships?

  • Writing the application allows you to reflect critically on your research project and directions. Often this process leads to adjustment of current objectives and uncovering of new and exciting objectives and directions.
  • Developing strong research proposals and scientific and grant writing skills is critical for academic research, and is a powerful skill that will serve you in which ever future career you choose.
  • Obtaining an external fellowship helps to strengthen the overall Stanford Biosciences research enterprise.
  • Of less importance, but still a benefit is that receiving such an award adds prestige to your CV.

What can my graduate fellowships funds be used for?

The allocation of graduate fellowships funds is determined by the fellowship that you are awarded. Most fellowships provide funds for tuition and also provide fellows with a living stipend; a number of fellowships also provide additional funding to cover conference travel or technology expenses. Some fellowships also provide access to special resources that are only available to fellows (e.g. NSF GRFP Fellows are given access to a supercomputer for use in their projects).

Can I apply for more than one graduate fellowship?

Yes, you can apply to as many graduate fellowships as you would like. However, some fellowships have restrictions on the number and/or combination of funding sources that a student may be awarded at one time (e.g. the Bio-X Fellowship cannot be awarded to any student currently funded by NSF, NIH, or SGF fellowships). Be sure to check the fellowship details to ensure that you are not only eligible to apply for the fellowship, but also eligible to utilize funds from the fellowship in the case that they are awarded to you.

The fellowship to which I am applying provides a stipend that is less than what the standard SOM stipend for graduate students. Will I receive the full SOM stipend if I am awarded a fellowship with a lower stipend?

Yes. Please see fellowship details for more information.

Are the fellowships on this site the only fellowships (or sources of funding) I should consider applying for?

No, this is not a comprehensive listing of all existing graduate fellowships. Rather, it is a list of those fellowships most commonly awarded to the Bioscience student population. Feel free to seek out other sources of funding.

When should I start my fellowship application?

NOW! It is never too early to start preparing an application for a fellowship. Once you have confirmed the actual deadline date, begin the application process as early as possible. Some organizations require application materials, such as reference letters, that take time to prepare. Be sure to contact your referees early and give them enough time to provide the necessary materials! Also, note that each organization also has its own schedule for reviewing and funding applications, and you may be required to apply many months before the funds are available.

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