The application period for the 2019-2020 academic year is now CLOSED. Award decisions will be announced mid-December 2018.

Solve the Most Complex Visual Computing Challenges

NVIDIA partners with industry leaders to tackle some of the most complex computing challenges. We're creating profound change in industries such as medical imaging, 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.

"The NVIDIA Graduate Fellowship Program recognizes and supports excellence in GPU computing research in universities worldwide and builds relationships between NVIDIA and the academic community. We believe past recipients are the most talented graduate students in the world and the work they have proposed will help define the future of computing." -- NVIDIA Sr VP and Chief Scientist Bill Dally

About NVIDIA's Graduate Fellowship Program

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 now provides funding in the amount of up to $50,000 per award to Ph.D. students who are researching topics that will lead to major advances in the graphics and high-performance computing industries, and are investigating innovative ways of leveraging the power of the GPU. NVIDIA particularly invites submissions from students pushing the envelope in artificial intelligence, deep neural networks, autonomous vehicles, and related fields. We select up to ten 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. We will be inviting the next round of Fellows to join us for a summer internship prior to the start of their Fellowship year.


Eligibility Criteria:

  • Students must have already completed their first year of Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. student during the 2019-2020 academic year (9 months) of the award -- this means they should not be expecting to graduate sooner than May/June 2020
  • Note: The award must be administered through the student's university; payment will be made to the university, not directly to the student

Evaluation Criteria

Each proposal will be evaluated for:

  • Student quality
  • Research quality
  • Relevance to NVIDIA

Application Instructions

Your Graduate Fellowship Application must include:

  • Research summary/thesis proposal - up to 2 pages, plus bibliography
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV) including contact information
  • Professor nomination letter (1 letter minimum (thesis advisor), up to 3 letters maximum -- OK to have nomination letter(s) from non-professors, as long as you have one from your thesis advisor/professor)

New 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 new 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 resesearch summary thesis proposal and resume (CV)
  • add contacts for the letter(s) 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 letter(s) 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 2 days 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 26, 2018
  • communicate with the recommender(s) 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 28, 2018




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 transferrable 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.


"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." – Ian Buck, Software Team, Former NVIDIA Grad Fellow

"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."– Henry, NVIDIA Grad Fellow

"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."- Nicolas, NVIDIA Grad Fellow

"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.” – Anjul, NVIDIA Grad Fellow

“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.”–  Jared Hoberock, Research Team, Former NVIDIA Grad Fellow

Graduate Fellowship FAQs

Do you have a specific research field requirement in EE, CE, or CS?
No. There are many ways that Engineering fields can touch NVIDIA, and we are open to considering them.

I am just starting my Ph.D. this Fall.  Am I eligible to apply?
You should have completed your first year of your Ph.D. 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.

What are my chances of being awarded a Graduate Fellowship?
The Graduate Fellowship Awards are very competitive.  Many qualified candidates will not receive Graduate Fellowships, as the competition is of very high quality.  We received over 280 applicants for the 2017/2018 academic year and were only able to award 11 Graduate Fellowships.  The finalists include students with multiple papers in top venues showcasing their results in GPU computing, or absolutely fascinating and exciting research proposals, or both. In all cases, they have outstanding letters of recommendation with many details and facts to back up their advisor's stated high opinion.

Is there a limit on how many Graduate Fellowship Awards one Ph.D. student can receive from NVIDIA?
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!

Is there a limit to the number of NVIDIA Graduate Fellowship Awards granted per University or per Research Team?
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.

I am a current Graduate Fellowship Recipient, can I apply again?
Yes. You can apply each year you are enrolled in your research project until you get your Ph.D. You can follow the same guidelines and application process as any new applicant.

Are International Ph.D. students eligible?
Yes. International students are eligible to apply. Keep in mind, the Graduate Fellowship Award amount may vary by country, region or location.

Can I have more than one Professor Nomination Letter?
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.

What if my professor/advisor doesn’t submit the Professor Nomination Letter?
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.

How are the Graduate Fellowship Recipients selected?
NVIDIA's Graduate Fellowship Program has a committee of engineers headed by our Chief Scientist, Bill Dally. The committee is comprised of 25-30 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. This review process usually takes 4-6 weeks.  Unfortunately, many qualified candidates will not be selected due to the high quality of proposals and limited number of awards available.

Can I work a part-time job during my Fellowship?
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.