A fellowship or traineeship is an award to a graduate student that covers tuition partially, or fully, and also provides a stipend to help defray living expenses. A scholarship is an award that provides partial or full tuition. Most awards are made on the basis of merit, but in some circumstances can be based on financial need. Awards are made only to individuals enrolled in a graduate degree program.
A full fellowship covers the full cost of a student’s education for a prescribed period of time, which includes tuition and a monthly stipend; many fellowships also pay for student health insurance. Unlike the teaching or research assistant, the fellowship recipient generally does not have formal teaching or research obligations to a sponsored research grant. Nevertheless, students should cultivate collaborations that further their research interests. For example, it is important for the student to foster a strong relationship with his or her advisor in order to develop a research project and agree on degree milestones.
A partial fellowship covers some costs for the student. Often, the department supplements the fellowship with a research or teaching assistantship. In such cases, the student’s research or teaching obligations should be scaled proportionately by the department.
The Institute receives funds from individual donors and corporations for fellowships and scholarships. In addition, government agencies and foundations offer fellowships that they award either directly to outstanding students for use at institutions of their choice or, in a few cases, to institutions to administer on behalf of students.
Guidelines and rules of applying for financial awards
Expectations for students accepting an award