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National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program

Submission Date

January of each year; see application materials for exact date.

Program Description

The National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Program is a joint program of the United States Army, Navy and Air Force within the University Research Initiative (URI), designed to increase the number of U.S. citizens trained in disciplines of science and engineering important to defense goals. DoD awards approximately 100-150 new three-year graduate fellowships each year to individuals for study and research leading to doctoral degrees in, or closely related to, the disciplines of aeronautical and astronautical engineering; biosciences; chemical engineering; chemistry; cognitive, neural and behavioral sciences; electrical engineering; geosciences; civil engineering; computer and computational sciences; materials science and engineering; mathematics; mechanical engineering; naval architecture and ocean engineering; oceanography; and physics.


Applicants must be citizens or nationals of the United States who intend to pursue a Ph.D. in one of the designated fields. The Fellowships are intended for students at or near the beginning of graduate study. Applications are encouraged from women, under represented minorities and persons with disabilities. NDSEG Fellows may enroll in any appropriate nonprofit United States institution of higher education offering a Ph.D. in science or engineering. Fellows are eligible to participate in research at Navy laboratories during the summer.


The tenure of an NDSEG Fellowship is 36 months. Recipients of new three-year fellowships must begin tenure not later than the fall following award.

Stipends and Allowances

Consult the current program announcement for stipend levels. In addition to stipends, the DoD pays the Fellow's full tuition and required fees (not to include room and board). Persons with disabilities are considered for increased stipends to offset special educational expenses.

Evaluation and Selection

The evaluation of applicants is based on all available evidence of ability, as provided in the application. Each application is evaluated by a panel having expertise related to the science or engineering discipline of the applicant's proposed advanced degree program.

Conditions of Appointment

Fellows are required to enroll in full-time programs leading to graduate degrees in one of the designated fields in order to pursue a Ph.D. degree. The availability of funds for the second and third years of a three-year award is contingent upon certification to DoD that the Fellow has made satisfactory academic progress.

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