HST is proud that more than 1/3 of our students receive external fellowships and we make every effort to help students secure resources to meet their financial needs.

Every prospective and current student should investigate external sources of funding for which they may be eligible. The MIT tuition subsidy does not apply to fellowship, the subsidy is only applied to research assistantships. It is important to also be aware that many external fellowships provide partial support relative to MIT tuition and stipend rates. This will result in a funding shortfall, with students needing additional sources of funding to provide full coverage. A further complication is that some external fellowships impose restrictions on the nature of such supplemental support. Please consult with Laurie Ward (laurie [at] mit.edu) to discuss the details of specific fellowships.

External Fellowships

Students are encouraged to apply directly for outside fellowship support from various public and private agencies such as:

  • National Science Foundation  Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP)
  • Department of Defense/National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG)
  • Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE-CSGF)
  • Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Fellowship
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Space Technology Research Fellowship (NSTRF)
  • NIH Individual National Research Service Award Fellowship
  • Additional listings through the Office of Graduate Education

Although students initiate the application process, some external fellowships require institutional involvement in the application. Please contact Laurie Ward (laurie [at] mit.edu) at least a month before the submission deadline to determine if your application requires MIT administrative involvement.

An HST PhD student who is awarded an outside fellowship will automatically receive an increased stipend rate set to the applicable HST rate plus $300/month. The rationale for this increase is to incentivize students to apply for outside fellowships and reward those who are successful. The applicable HST rate refers to either the pre-qual or post-qual RA rate, depending on the student’s status. The student’s PI will be charged for the difference between the amount provided by the outside fellowship and the increased stipend rate. The PI will also cover any tuition shortfall amount, calculated separately. IMES will cover the difference for first-year students who are receiving MEMP fellowship support and do not yet have a PI. The increased stipend rate applies throughout the tenure of the fellowship and during the summer term for nine-month fellowships, but not in years after the fellowship has ended. Students with outside fellowships providing less than $10K/year are not eligible. If an outside fellowship provides funds in excess of the increased stipend rate, no additional stipend increase is provided, but students will not be required to use the excess stipend towards a tuition shortfall.

Internal Fellowships

Several types of endowed internal fellowships are also available to MIT graduate students on an annual basis. These are administered and awarded through the Office of Graduate Education and others as announced during the year.

Announcements and application procedures for these types of competitive fellowships are circulated by email to student lists during the month of February. Results are formally announced in late March or early April.