NVIDIA Graduate Fellowship Program
This is the twenty-third year that NVIDIA has invited PhD students to submit their research projects for consideration. Recipients are selected based on their academic achievements, professor nomination, and area of research. We have found this program to be a great way to support academia in its pursuit of cutting edge innovation, as well as an ideal avenue to introduce NVIDIA to the future leaders of our industry.
NVIDIA has long believed that investing in university talent is beneficial to the industry and key to our continued growth and success. The NVIDIA Graduate Fellowship Program provides funding in the amount of up to $60,000 per award to PhD students who are researching topics that will lead to major advances in accelerated computing and its applications. NVIDIA particularly invites submissions from students pushing the envelope in artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous vehicles, and related fields. We select students each year who have the talent, aptitude and initiative to work closely with us early in their careers. Recipients not only receive crucial funding for their research, but are able to conduct groundbreaking work with access to NVIDIA products, technology and some of the most talented minds in the field. In addition, the Fellowship includes a summer internship preceding the Fellowship year.
NVIDIA partners with industry leaders to tackle some of the most complex computing challenges. We're creating profound change in fields as diverse as medicine, space exploration, automotive design and film production. We've only scratched the surface of what we can accomplish when we apply our technology to it. We need innovative and talented doctoral students, who aren't afraid of a challenge, to help us tackle these opportunities.
- Students must have already completed their first year of PhD level studies (at the time of application)
- Students must have majors in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, System Architecture, Electrical Engineering, or a related area
- Students must be engaged in active research as part of their PhD thesis
- Students must be enrolled as a full time active PhD student during the 2024-2025 academic year (9 months) of the award – this means they should not be expecting to graduate sooner than May/June 2025.
- Students must be available to complete a summer internship (which due to COVID-19 may be held remotely) prior to the start of their Fellowship year.
- Students may not be immediate family of a current NVIDIA employee
- Note: The award must be administered through the student's university; payment will be made to the university, not directly to the student
Proposals Will be Evaluated for:
- Letters of recommendation
- Academic performance (GPA) and achievements
- Research results to date
- Research proposal for fellowship
- Publication track record
Relevance to NVIDIA
- How your work connects to NVIDIA’s primary research domains
- How your research might influence the design, performance or use of future GPUs
Graduate Fellowship Applications Must Include:
- Research summary/thesis proposal - up to 2 pages, plus bibliography (bibliography does not count toward 2 page maximum for proposal)
- Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV) including contact information
- Professor nomination letters (2 letters minimum (must include one from thesis advisor), up to 3 letters maximum -- OK to have nomination letters from non-professors, as long as you have one from your thesis advisor/professor).
- Confirmation of availability for summer internship
Submission Portal: It is the student's responsibility to ensure that all of these items are submitted prior to the deadline. We are using a Submission Portal in which the student manages their own application. The student must:
- Complete the student profile - start this now; you can go back to the portal repeatedly until you submit the final application
- Complete your application input including research summary thesis proposal and resume (CV)
- Add contacts for the letters of recommendation -- an email will automatically be sent on your behalf to each recommender you add -- be sure to add your professors/recommenders early in the process! Do not wait until close to the deadline!
- Monitor the status of your recommendation letters in the portal -- do not click on the final submission until the recommendation status shows "recommendation uploaded" for each recommendation you are expecting -- the professor deadline has been set 1 day prior to the student deadline to allow the student to ensure all documents are received before submitting -- the deadline for recommendation letters is 3pm Pacific September 6, 2023.
- Communicate with the recommenders to complete their letter upload on time - it is the student's responsibility to ensure their letters are received into the system.
- Submit the final application when all items are complete, and prior to the application deadline: 3pm Pacific September 7, 2023.
Submissions are currently CLOSED.
Notifications of final decisions will be emailed by the end of November
Terms and Conditions
The Graduate Fellowship Award must be used to further your research. The breakdown of the award is between stipend, tuition and health insurance, in that order. The award is an unrestricted gift to be used to further the student’s research over the academic year. We ask that no overhead or indirect costs are charged to the award. Awards are not transferable to another student. Whether it is OK to combine the NVIDIA fellowship with another fellowship depends on several factors -- please contact the NVIDIA Graduate Fellowship for details on this matter. Awards are issued to the university for disbursement, not directly to the student. Amount of the award cannot exceed stipend, tuition, and health insurance. There may also be university-specific restrictions that pertain. Applications include permission to use the student’s submission data for evaluation of a potential fellowship award. Applicants may choose to opt-in for an internship evaluation outside of the fellowship (in the event the applicant is not chosen for an award.) If selected for an award, a completed internship at NVIDIA is required before the Fellowship award year can begin. Immediate family of NVIDIA employees cannot participate.
Helpful Hints for the Graduate Fellowship Submission: The Research Proposal
The main component of our application evaluation is your research proposal. Here are a few tips that we suggest:
What is your vision?
Our Fellowship Program is a chance for us to get to know some outstanding candidates for whom NVIDIA might be a rewarding place to launch a research career. Tell us what you envision, not only for your PhD thesis research, but what you hope to do with your research once you graduate.
A summer internship* is required as part of the Fellowship. Most of our regular interns don’t fully know what project they will work on until they arrive at NVIDIA; we don’t expect you to have it all mapped out, either, but if you have an idea or a desire for what you would be working on during your 3 to 4 month internship, please share that with us in your proposal.
What have you done so far?
The reason we set the minimum bar for submissions as having completed one year of PhD studies is because we know you need time to achieve some results and accumulate a few publications. We look forward to learning what you have done to date.
Connect your work to NVIDIA.
Help us to understand the innovative ways you are using GPUs, or how your research might influence the design, performance or use of future GPUs.
Tell us about the NVIDIA technologies that currently impact your research, and how you are using them.
Have you ever interned with NVIDIA before? If so, let us know what you worked on during that time.
Are you working in an area outside the mainstream computer science and engineering areas? Help us connect the dots from your research to NVIDIA’s primary research domains.
* Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, internships may be held remotely
Helpful Hints for the Graduate Fellowship Submission: The Recommendation Letter
A heavily-weighted component of the application evaluation is the recommendation letter. It is therefore recommended that the candidate afford it the proper attention and effort; here are a few tips that we suggest:
Pick your recommenders wisely!
Your thesis advisor is required, but beyond that, you should select only people who know you well enough to write a strong recommendation for you. A recommendation from a high-profile researcher who barely knows you, or has not worked with you, does not help your application.
Ask each of your recommenders in person/via email before you send the request from the NVIDIA Grad Fellow portal. Ask them also if they have time to write such a letter by the due date. If they are traveling or focused on another deadline, their letter may be hastily composed and not help your cause. It is also generally OK to ask them directly if they feel comfortable writing a strong recommendation letter. If this is someone you only took a class from a few semesters ago, they might not remember you well enough to write you the kind of recommendation you are seeking – give them a chance to tell you. If that is the case, then thank them and move on to asking someone who knows you better.
If you are asking a recommender in industry, such as a former boss from a summer internship, you may need to remind them what you’ve been working on since they last worked with you. It always helps if you can stay in somewhat regular touch with such contacts, so that a lot of time doesn’t pass between updates.
Provide your recommenders with sufficient notice.
Your recommenders are busy people and cannot always pull off a last-minute request. Give them at least a 2 week notice if possible.
Be sure to send the request from the submission portal early and double-check with them that they received the email from the system – sometimes the email goes into their spam folder, and it’s harder to find when it’s the day before the deadline. Ask them to please confirm receipt of the email within 24 hours of your sending it from the portal.
Send them a couple of polite reminders: if you’ve given them 2 weeks, perhaps send a reminder at the one-week mark, and if they still haven’t submitted the letter 3 days prior to the deadline (remember, you can check their letter status on the submission portal), then send them one more reminder.
Thank them for their recommendation as soon as you see their letter has been submitted!
Graduate Fellowships FAQs
No. There are many ways that Engineering fields can touch NVIDIA, and we are open to considering them.
You should have completed your first year of your PhD program at the time of application. The requirement is not black and white, but the idea is that after one year, there is a track record of research and experience. With no Ph.D. experience, there is very little to judge the student's research on. So, it's certainly fine to apply, but very unlikely to be awarded. Of course, in special situations, there may be enough history to make a compelling application. We suggest you look at the list of past recipients and see whether your application is comparable. If so, then go ahead and apply and see where your application falls in the review process compared to all the other applications.
Our prior fellowship recipients have had track records of multiple publications in top-tier venues of their fields. To be competitive, you should have at least one strong publication.
No. At this time there is no limit on the number of times you can be awarded the NVIDIA Graduate Fellowship Award. Keep in mind you can only receive one per year!
No. At this time, there is no limit per University nor is there a limit per graduate team provided the research is different and interesting to NVIDIA.
Yes. You can apply each year you are enrolled full-time until the year before you complete your PhD. You can follow the same guidelines and application process as any new applicant.
Yes. International students are eligible to apply. Keep in mind, the Graduate Fellowship Award amount may vary by country, region or location.
Yes, you can have up to three Professor Nomination Letters. It is OK to have nomination letter(s) from non-professors, as long as you have one from your thesis advisor/professor.
We do require at least one Professor Nomination Letter from your thesis advisor. Please be sure to add your recommendation contacts into the portal early in the process so that your professor(s) have sufficient notice and time to compose and upload their letter. Please remember it is the student's responsibility to ensure the professor nominations are turned in on time, and following up with them prior to the deadline if they haven't uploaded their letter into the portal.
NVIDIA's Graduate Fellowship Program has a committee of engineers headed by our Chief Scientist, Bill Dally. The committee is comprised of over 60 senior technical staff and managers from research and development groups across the company. This committee reviews all applicants competitively in several review sessions. This is a very intensive process. The entire review process usually takes about 8 weeks. Unfortunately, many qualified candidates will not be selected due to the high quality of proposals and limited number of awards available.
The goal of covering your stipend in full is to release you from the need to work as a TA/RA or another outside job, and allow you to focus on your research. However, we realize that sometimes part-time jobs provide a benefit to the student other than money, and in those cases as long as the work is beneficial to the progress of your PhD and a conflict of interest does not exist between NVIDIA and the other entity, this would be acceptable to NVIDIA. If there is any doubt on the conflict of interest, please check with your NVIDIA Fellowship contact.
With GPU technology changing so rapidly, it is next to impossible to do cutting edge research without access to the latest hardware as well as insight into where GPUs are going in the future. The NVIDIA fellowship provided me with not just the hardware necessary to succeed, but also provided me the opportunity to talk with NVIDIA architects to ensure that my research will have an impact far beyond the capabilities of today's GPUs.
NVIDIA's recent innovations in support of high-performance computing have allowed scientists to broaden their computational horizons. In offering the Graduate Fellowship, NVIDIA demonstrates their willingness to collaborate directly with young researchers in order to put even more power in the hands of those scientists. Beyond simply providing funding, the Graduate Fellowship facilitates direct interaction between industry and academia, allowing for faster adoption of innovations across the broader community.
Working alongside NVIDIA has allowed our group to partake in the GPU computing revolution by drastically shortening time-to-discovery, and by popularizing high-throughput computational science. We are truly honored to have NVIDIA's support in both our research and teaching
Apart from being one of the most prominent platforms for showcasing ongoing research across a broad range of research areas, NVIDIA fellowship helps foster a fruitful collaboration between industry and the academia. I am fortunate to be a part of this prestigious program; NVIDIA's support has been extremely encouraging.
The relationship NVIDIA fosters with university researchers through its fellowship program provides a conduit for ideas and technology to flow between academia and industry. In addition to financial sponsorship, the fellowship affords student researchers a unique opportunity to cultivate a dialogue with the finest engineering minds in the industry. As a recipient of the NVIDIA Fellowship, I am grateful that the financial and intellectual support I receive from NVIDIA ensures my research is useful and relevant to the graphics industry at large.