Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship

Website: The Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship


The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation, one of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations focused on empowering young scientists and engineers with the freedom to innovate, awards Hertz Fellowships to 16 students to support five years of their graduate studies in the fields of applied sciences and engineering. Since 1963, the Hertz Foundation has identified over 1,070 promising applied scientists and engineers with the potential to change the world for the better and supported their doctoral research by providing the nation’s most generous applied science and engineering Ph.D. Fellowships.

The Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship Award is based on merit (not need) and consists of a cost-of-education allowance and a personal-support stipend.

The cost-of-education allowance is accepted by all of the tenable schools in lieu of all fees and tuition. Hertz Fellows therefore have no liability for any ordinary educational costs, regardless of their choice among tenable schools.

Valued at over $250,000, Hertz Fellowships are unique no-strings-attached fellowships allowing exceptional applied scientists and engineers the freedom to pursue their own ideas with financial independence under the guidance of the finest professors at the country’s top universities.  Hertz Fellows are chosen for their intellect, their ingenuity, and their potential to bring meaningful and lasting change to our society.  The highly competitive selection process includes a comprehensive application and two rounds of exacting interviews by recognized leaders in applied science and engineering.

Option 1 - Five Year Hertz

  • $34,000/ 9-month personal stipend*
  • Full tuition equivalent
  • Renewable for up to 5 years
  • $5,000/year stipend for fellows with dependent children

Option 2 - Five-Year Coordinated

  • $40,000/ 9-month personal stipend*
  • NSF period: $8,000/year supplemental stipend from Hertz Foundation
  • Renewable annually for up to five years
  • $5,000/year stipend for fellows with dependent children

The Five-Year Hertz Fellowship award (Option 1) is renewable annually (upon a showing of satisfactory progress toward receipt of the Ph.D. degree) for a total Fellowship tenure of no more than five years.

* $5,000/ year additional stipend for Fellows with dependent children.

Fellows must attend one of the Foundation's currently participating schools, or must petition the Foundation to include a school in the United States that he/she desires to attend.


Eligible applicants for Hertz Fellowships must be students of the applied physical,biological and engineering sciences who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States of America, and who are willing to morally commit to make their skills available to the United States in time of national emergency (see our Moral Commitment section).

College seniors wishing to pursue the PhD degree in any of the fields of particular interest to the Foundation, as well as graduate students already in the process of doing so, may apply. We generally do not award fellowships to students who are already beyond their first year of graduate study except in cases of "exceptional leverage." Such awards are very rare—only three have been made in the past 10 years.

We screen Fellowship applicants for qualities the Foundation believes are essential ingredients of future professional accomplishment and/or reasonably reliable leading indicators of future professional success.These include:

Exceptional Intelligence and Creativity
with particular emphasis on those aspects pertinent to technical endeavors.

Excellent Technical Education
evidenced not only by transcripts and reference reports from senior technical professionals, but also by the results of a personal, technical interview.

Orientation and Commitment to the applications of the physical sciences
as is typical of most applicants.

Extraordinary Accomplishment in technical or related professional studies
which may offset slightly lower academic records, or add luster to outstanding ones.

Features of Temperament and Character conducive to high attainment as a technical professional
the assessment of which is difficult, albeit important to the Foundation.

Appropriate moral and ethical values
of considerable interest to the Foundation in the furthering of our basic goals.

what difference the award of the Hertz Fellowship is likely to make in the kind, quality, and/or personal creativity of the student's graduate research.

We do not support students pursuing advanced professional degrees other than the PhD, such as enrollees in MD, LLD or MBA programs, although we will support the PhD portion of a joint MD/PhD study program. For a list of general fields of study in which Graduate Fellowships are offered by the Foundation, see Fields.

Student Type
  • senior
  • graduate
Citizen Type
  • US Citizen
  • Permanent Resident

The annual competition for Graduate Fellowships begins with the application period which opens each year in August at which time a deadline consistent with those of NSF and other fellowship granting organizations will be posted. Only those applications which are complete, with all supporting materials and documents provided (including Reference Reports) by the posted deadline will be assured of full consideration by the Foundation. Untimely or incompletely-submitted applications will be entertained only at the Foundation's discretion and convenience.

Each year's competition concludes at the end of the following March, at which time the Foundation's Board of Directors determines the most highly qualified Fellowship applicants and the number of new Fellowships which available resources will be able to support.

All Fellowship applicants are notified by mail of the Foundation's action on their application on or before April 1 of each year.

Frequently Asked Questions
View last year's Hertz Application Poster brochure

The application will be available for the academic year 2010-2021 in August. Deadline for submission will be in late October.



The Foundation provides Fellowships to exceptionally talented individuals studying in the applied physical, biological and engineering sciences.

We are a tax exempt, not-for-profit organization which provides fellowships tenable at over 40 of the nation's finest universities for graduate work leading to award of the PhD degree in applications of the physical sciences.

Each year the Foundation conducts a national competition for new Hertz Fellows. Of those who apply, only about one quarter will be interviewed. Of those who are interviewed, approximately one in ten will be awarded a Hertz Fellowship.

We look to support the graduate education of America's most promising technical talent, the PhD-directed effort of the young men and women who can be expected to have the greatest impact on the application of the physical sciences to human problems during the next half-century. If you reasonably believe that you are one of these, we cordially invite your Fellowship application.

The Graduate Fellowships of the Hertz Foundation are widely considered to be among the most prestigious offered anywhere. The Foundation's standing policy is that they will be structured to be the most attractive in their class in both material terms and duration of tenure.


Each October, using a rigorous merit based system, the Hertz Foundation selects roughly 150 excellent candidates of exceptional creativity from over 600 written applications received each year. Almost all candidates are either seniors or first year graduate students planning to do graduate study in the applications of the physical, biological and engineering sciences.

Each candidate is interviewed by one of our technical interviewers (many of whom are Hertz Alumni Fellows). The interview process, which measures the leadership and creative potential of the candidate, is the hallmark of the Hertz Foundation's program.

About seventy candidates from this pool are selected for a second round interview. To ensure consistency and quality, a small number of experienced PhD engineer/scientist interviewers, who worked together in past years, conduct the second round interviews. Between 15 to 20 students are awarded a Hertz Fellowship.

In addition to financial support, the Foundation provides on going mentoring, symposia and a network of peers providing Fellows with a forum to share ideas and explore opportunities throughout their careers. The Foundation is developing ways for Hertz Fellows to communicate with their peers across generational and disciplinary lines, further enhancing their opportunities to gather information,form scientific networks and make contributions.

Contact Information

Fannie and John Hertz Foundation

2300 First Street, Suite 250
Livermore, CA 94550
phone:  925.373.1642925.373.1642
fax:  925.373.6329

Office Hours:
8 AM to 5 PM Pacific
Monday through Friday

Email: askhertz@hertzfoundation.org
UW undergraduates planning to apply can contact for assistance:
Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
171 Mary Gates Hall
UW graduate students planning to apply can contact for assistance:
Graduate School Office of Fellowships & Awards
G-1 Communications