Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship

Please consult the program website to confirm details, including applicable deadlines.

Visit Program Website Here

Program Purpose: 

The John Hertz Foundation supports innovative young leaders working toward the Ph.D. degree in the applied physical, biological, and engineering sciences – as well as applied mathematics and statistics – by providing the nation's most generous fellowship in these fields. The Foundation's mission is to build America's capacity for innovation, thus enhancing national competitiveness and helping to solve critical national problems.

Program Description: 

The unique "no-strings-attached" fellowships allow exceptional applied scientists and engineers the freedom to innovate and pursue their own ideas under the guidance of the finest professors at the country's top universities. Hertz awards 15-20 fellowships annually, providing recipients with up to 5 years of support for doctoral studies at one of its tenable schools.

Supported Fields: 

Typical fields of study include: aeronautics, astronautics, applied mathematics, applied physics, applied science, astronomy, biotechnology, chemical engineering, chemistry, civil engineering, computer science, earth sciences, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, materials science, mechanical engineering, nuclear engineering, operations research, physics, quantitative biology, statistics.

Tenable Institutions: 

For a list of tenable schools, visit: http://www.hertzfoundation.org/dx/fellowships/schools.aspx. Applicants seeking to attend other schools must demonstrate that intended field of study is not offered at a tenable school.

Program Benefits: 

Awards of 3-5 years includes all tuition and fees, as well as personal stipend of $31,000 to $36,000. An additional annual stipend of $5,000 is provided to Fellows with dependent children. See the Foundation website for particulars of each of its three Fellowship "Options"; applicants should apply for the option appropriate to their situtation. This Fellowship will support the PhD portion of a joint MD/PhD study program.

Applicant Profile: 

Successful candidates will demonstrate exceptional intelligence and creativity, an excellent technical education, extraordinary accomplishment in technical or professional studies, commitment to applications of the physical sciences. Each applicant must demonstrate how her or his specific field is an "applied physical science." For the Hertz, "applied" is broadly construed to mean fields in which one applies, invents, or develops results from the basic physical sciences to generate solutions to problems of near-term, widespread human interest.


Graduating seniors applying to a Ph.D. program in an eligible field at a tenable school. Graduate students in their first year of doctoral studies at a tenable school are also eligible, as are student's with a master's degree who are applying to or in the first year of a Ph.D. program at a tenable school in a new field. Applicants seeking to attend other than a Hertz-tenable school must demonstrate that their intended field of study is not offered at a tenable school.


The Foundation also asks that Fellows "morally commit to make their skills available to the US in time of national emergency." Background to this pledge: John Hertz felt he owed the US more than he could repay for opportunities he was given when he immigrated here fleeing ongoing oppression in central Europe. Thus he wanted any person supported by his Fellowship to deliberately consider, "What do I owe my country?" The required pledge "is not a legal or contractual obligation, but rather a freely given moral commitment."


U.S. citizens or permanent residents only.

Program Deadline: 

Usually in October.

How To Apply: 

Students or alumni, as applicable, may apply directly to this program. Applicants are encouraged, however, to work with SF State's fellowship advisor well in advance of the program deadline to perfect their application essays and other materials.

Resources for Applicants

Why Should You Apply for a Fulbright?

Quick Links

Fellowships Office

Dr. Joy Viveros

Phone: 415.405.2128
Reception: Grad Stop, ADM 250 
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132
Email: fellows1@sfsu.edu