Hertz Fellowship

Is it for you?

The Hertz Fellowship was designed to foster the graduate study for students likely to become leaders in scientific and technological advances, exemplary teachers in the applied physical sciences, and key contributors to the technological capability on which the well-being of the United States depends. Successful candidates have the choice of two award options, both of which include a $5,000 annual supplement for Fellows with dependent children:

  • Five-Year Hertz: a $34,000 stipend for nine months, plus a cost of education allowance paid to the graduate educational institution in lieu of tuition and fees, renewable for up to five years.
  • Five-Year Coordinated: a $40,000 nine-month stipend during Hertz-funded years, and cost of education allowance in lieu of tuition and fees from Hertz, coordinated with  fellowship from another source (e.g. NSF); supplemental funding will be provided during non-Hertz-funded years.

What are the key dates?

The application cycle for 2023 has closed. Please check back in spring/summer 2024 for updates on the next cycle. 

Deadline for NFP draft review: TBD for 2024 (normally mid-October)

Official deadline: TBD for 2024 (normally late October)

Are you eligible?

Candidates for the Hertz Fellowship must:

  • be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • be graduating seniors, or graduate students in their first year of study, pursuing a Ph.D. The Foundation does not support other professional degrees, such as the M.D., but may support the Ph.D. portion of a joint M.D./Ph.D. program.
  • study in a field of applied physical sciences, including but not limited to Aeronautics/Astronautics, Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Applied Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Earth and Geo Sciences, Electrical, Mechanical, Civil and Nuclear Engineering, Materials Science, Quantitative Biology and Bio-Engineering.
  • be enrolled at a “tenable school.” The Foundation posts a list of such schools on their website; however, students may petition the Foundation to attend a school that does not appear on this list.

How do you work with the NFP?

No institutional endorsement is required for applicants to complete the Hertz application and for this reason there is also no internal campus deadline at JHU. Applicants simply submit their complete application to the online portal by the official deadline. The NFP can provide feedback on one complete set of essays (if submitted to NFP by the deadline noted above)  and works with Hertz finalists to prepare them for interviews by connecting them to the Hertz community at JHU.

The timeline gives an overview of the application process and when to reach out to us. In preparation, see “have a closer look” below for more resources about the Hertz.

SeptemberContact NFP to learn more; begin gathering/preparing application materials
late September – mid-OctoberSubmit essay drafts to NFP for feedback
late OctoberMeet the Hertz official deadline

Are you competitive?

About 15 fellowships are awarded each year. Selection decisions are based on the following criteria:

  • Evidence of exceptional creativity: Evidence of exceptional creativity, broad understanding, and potential for innovative research is expected. Outstanding achievements in scientific or technological developments will be favorably noted as will papers published as an undergraduate, patents, and the like. These may balance a lower undergraduate GPA.
  • Field of study: The Foundation interprets the concept “applied” broadly and it is up to each applicant to defend his or her field as an “applied physical science” (the subject of one of the brief essays, discussed below).
  • Brief Essays: Applicants trace their career path by responding, in approximately 300 words per essay, to the following questions: “How did you choose your field and what are your primary expectations of your future career?” “How does your proposed field of study and career constitute an application of the physical sciences or engineering?” “What are the considerations involved in your choice of graduate school?”
  • Personal Essay: The Foundation intentionally leaves the personal essay open-ended, directing applicants to submit an essay “that reveals your creativity beyond your research” and suggesting that extracurriculars and leisure activities since high school could be included. There is no word limit.
  • Previous Research: Applicants list their most significant research experiences, and discuss one or two in more detail, highlighting how they exemplify the applicant’s personal creativity.
  • Transcripts of academic work: The transcript should reflect breadth of academic work, as well as depth in the chosen field.
  • Four Reference Reports: Applicants submit the email addresses of four senior technical professionals and/or faculty with and for whom the applicant has worked or studied. Referees will receive an email message instructing them on the process for completing the Reference Report.
  • GRE Scores: While GRE aptitude scores were previously required, this is no longer obligatory. Applicants may still submit GRE and subject test scores if they choose (code #4366), and Md/PhD students may submit MCAT scores in place of GRE scores.

Have a closer look:

Visit the Official Website

Hertz Foundation

Hear from JHU Recipients

HUB article about Katherine Xiang, 2020 Hertz Graduate Fellow

HUB article about Melissa Mai, 2019 Hertz Graduate Fellow

Start Your Application

Hertz Graduate Fellowship Application Portal