Cornell University

Hertz Fellowship

Deadline for application:  October 27, 2017


The Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship is designed to foster the graduate-level studies of excellent young men and women who seem likely to become leaders in scientific and technological advances, exemplars of teaching skills in the applied physical sciences, and key contributors to the technological capability on which the well-being of the United States depends. Currently the Foundation awarded 12 Fellowships for 2017.

Successful candidates have the choice of two award options:

  1. A $32,000 stipend for nine months, plus a cost of education allowance paid to the graduate educational institution in lieu of tuition and fees, renewable for up to five years or
  2. A two-year $38,000 nine-month stipend and cost of education allowance, also in lieu of tuition and fees.


Graduating seniors and graduate students in any area of applied science may apply. U.S. citizens or permanent residents. NOT for students applying to medical school or those in joint professional degree programs, (although the Foundation may support the Ph.D. portion of a joint M.D./Ph.D. study program). Evidence of exceptional creativity, broad understanding, and potential for innovative research is expected.

Eligible Fields

The Foundation's interests extend from applied math through applied physics and chemistry, encompassing all of the engineering disciplines, and include those aspects of modern biology which apply the physical sciences intensively. For an illustrative list of the fields supported, see the Hertz website. It is up to each applicant to defend his or her field as an "applied physical science."


(Application opens August 15, 2017)

  • October 27: submission of application and transcript(s)
  • Fall 2017: submission of references
  • Between November and February: foundation interview(s)
  • Early April: announcement of winners


In addition to the application itself, applicants are required to submit the following:

  • Transcripts of academic work. The foundation also looks for evidence of unusual creativity. Outstanding achievements in scientific or technological developments will be favorably noted—papers published as an undergraduate, patents, and the like—and may balance a lower undergraduate GPA. The transcript should reflect breadth of academic work, as well as depth in the chosen field.
  • Four reference reports by senior technical professionals and/or faculty with and for whom the Fellowship applicant has worked or studied.
  • Reports by one or more interviewers from the Foundation (many of whom are former Hertz Fellows).

The Foundation's selection process differs from that of, say, the National Science Foundation, in that it includes personal technical interviews, which are intended primarily to provide a degree of normalization between the varying standards of different institutions and the diverse educational experiences of different disciplines. The interview is an oral question and answer session. Topics are not restricted to the applicant's field, but will include other disciplines. From 30-60 minutes in length, these interviews substitute for the GRE in terms of comparing candidates from different majors, different schools, and different student standing. They test technical ability, ability to handle pressure, ability to think broadly, and to speak articulately.

Every Fellowship applicant is required to take at least the aptitude portion of the Graduate Record Examination and to have the results sent to the Foundation. The Foundation does not require the GRE Subject test scores, although they will accept them.

Fellows must attend one of the Foundation's tenable schools, or must petition the Foundation to include a school that he/she desires to attend.

Complete information on the Hertz Fellowship, including directions on how to access the online application and a list of the universities at which the award is tenable, are available at the Hertz Foundation's website.