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Funding The Ph.D.

Vanderbilt University expends its awards and assistantship funds for the twin purposes of attracting superior students and providing assistance to the faculty in instruction and research. Financial awards are available in several forms, with considerable variation from one program to another. Graduate students can generally expect to receive teaching/research assistantships that pay all or part of tuition, medical insurance, and a supplemental income stipend ranging from $14,000 to $30,000 per year for five years. We also offer service-free awards to students who study full-time in certain science and engineering fields. Departments may offer merit-based awards such as Chemistry’s Mitchum Warren Fellowship or Sociology’s Loftin Scholarship. While our financial aid offers are competitive with our peers, we believe it is worth considering how far our stipend will go in Nashville relative to the cities where our peers are located. We encourage you to try a COST OF LIVING CALCULATOR to compare Nashville to other cities.

In addition, the Graduate School offers competitive graduate fellowships which add to students’ basic stipends. Our commitment to diversifying the professoriate has lead us to offer the Provost’s Graduate Fellowships which are awarded to students who come from communities that are traditionally underrepresented in higher education (i.e., Black, Hispanic, Native American, Native Pacific Islanders, and women in the sciences). Provost’s Graduate Fellows receive $10,000 a year for the first five years of their enrollment in our Ph.D. programs. This money—which is in addition to the support indicated above—is often used by students to pay for living and research expenses throughout the summer months. This fellowship is awarded to a select group of nearly 20 students each year on the recommendation of their departments and after a competitive review process.

Finally, students are encouraged to apply for non-Vanderbilt fellowships and sources of funding. Receiving early external awards, such as the National Science Foundation Fellowship or the Ford Foundation’s Minority Fellowships, not only enable a student to supplement the funding received in the department but also make that student a more attractive candidate for future funding opportunities. Fellowships that entering graduate students often apply to are listed here. Some of them can be applied to prior to being admitted; some require you to apply in your first year of the Ph.D.. Check the web pages for further information or call our office if you would like to discuss ways you can enhance your competitiveness for these awards.

American Political Science Association Graduate Fellowships for Latino, Native American, and African American Students
American Political Science Association, 1527 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036-1206; (202) 483-2512

The American Sociological Association Minority Fellowships Program
American Sociological Association Minority Affairs Program, 1307 New York Avenue NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005-4701; (202) 383-9005, ext. 321

Cooperative Research Fellowship Program for Minorities (Lucent Technologies)
600 Mountain Avenue, Room 6F4, Murray Hill, NJ 07974; (908) 582-7906

 The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship Program
Fannie and John Hertz Foundation, 2456 Research Drive, Livermore, CA 94550-3850; (925) 373-1642

The Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships for Minorities
Fellowship Office, GR346A, 500 Fifth Street NW, Washington, DC 20001; (202) 334-2872 

The Fund for Theological Education
Expanding Horizons Partnership Program, 825 Houston Mill Road, Suite 250, Atlanta, GA 30329-4211; (404) 727-1450

The National GEM Consortium
The National GEM Consortium, 1430 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA  22314, (703) 562-3646

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellowship in Biological Sciences
4000 Jones Bridge Road, Chevy Chase, MD 20815-6789; (301) 215-8500 

The National Physical Science Consortium (NPSC) Fellowships in the Physical Sciences
NPSC, USC-RAN, 3716 South Hope Street, Suite 348, Los Angeles, CA 90007; (800)854-6773 

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships
NSF/GRFP, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, PO Box 3010, Oak Ridge, TN; 37831-3010; (866) 673-4737

Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans
400 West 59th Street, New York, NY 10019; (212) 547-6926 

Social Science Research Council-Mellon Mays Fellowship Program
810 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10019; (212) 377-2700