Presidential Fellowship Program


Northern Arizona University announced the Presidential Fellowship Program (PFP) in 2015, which offers generous support packages of $23,000 (or higher, depending on the specific program) per academic year to highly qualified incoming PhD students beginning each fall.  Fellowship awards consist of a graduate assistantship stipend, a supplemental fellowship stipend, full tuition remission, major medical insurance benefits, and annual professional development funding.  Awards are renewable for up to four years.

Academically outstanding students who are considering a PhD program at NAU are encouraged to submit admission materials as early as possible to be eligible for this fellowship program. 
Review of degree program applications will begin October 1, and degree applications will be reviewed as they are received.  Following an interview and acceptance into a PhD program, NAU faculty members may nominate top students to receive fellowships.
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The program is designed to recruit outstanding doctoral students to NAU and increase the numbers of PhD students involved in research and instructional activities. 

Program Availability

Awards are available for students in the following PhD programs:

  • Applied Linguistics, Department of English
  • Astronomy and Planetary Sciences, Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • Bioengineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Biology, Department of Biological Sciences
  • Combined Counseling/School Psychology, Department of Educational Psychology
  • Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability
  • Forest Sciences, School of Forestry
  • Informatics and Computing, School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems
  • Political Science, Department of Politics and International Affairs

Additional Benefits

Fellowships are awarded to academically outstanding students beginning in academic year 2017-18.  Fellows will receive stipends totaling $23,000 or higher, depending on the specific program.  Additional professional development funding of up to $1,000 per year is available to support research, equipment needs, or conference presentation travel.  Both funding sources are renewable for up to four years.  Students will also receive full tuition remission and major medical insurance with their full-time graduate assistantship positions.

Recruitment Travel Funding

The program will also provide $20,000 per year in recruitment funds for departments to bring top students to campus for recruitment visits early in the annual recruitment cycle this fall.  The recruitment travel award requests will open on October 1.

Funding may be used for transportation, lodging, and other expenses associated with the recruitment visit.  Departments/units may request recruitment travel funds as targeted fellowship-eligible candidates are identified or admitted to NAU.  Students must have applied to an eligible PhD program before the program submits a travel request.  Travel requests should be submitted by the graduate coordinator or department chair.  

Requests will be evaluated and awarded as they are received after October 1.  The maximum allowable funding for one recruiting visit is $1,000.  The maximum allowable funding for any one program is $5,000.

Nomination Process and Timeline

Students cannot apply directly for these fellowships.  Nominations are made and submitted by PhD graduate coordinators or department chairs.

Student Qualifications

To be eligible for a Presidential Fellowship Program nomination, students: 
  • Must have applied to a PhD program, met all admissions requirements, and be awarded a graduate assistantship
  • Provide relevant nationally-normed standardized test scores (GRE, GMAT, etc.), with superior percentile
  • Demonstrate outstanding academic potential based on undergraduate or master's level academic record
  • Other department-specific criteria relevant to decision making
We encourage students to apply for degree program admission early in the fall semester before they plan to start, as there are a limited number of fellowship positions available. 

Faculty Nominations

Faculty members may nominate incoming PhD students for the fellowship.  Nominations open November 1.  Nominated students must have applied for admission, met all admission requirements for acceptance, and the department must identify a graduate assistantship funding source and expedite an early review of the application materials.

Selection and Decisions

Fellowship selection is made by a Fellowship Committee composed of deans, the Provost, and the Vice President for Research.  Fellowships will be awarded immediately upon committee approval.

Professional Development Workshops

Fellows will engage actively in our community of scholars through participation in seminar series and professional development workshops offered by the Graduate College.  The activities will support an interactive support network to facilitate Fellows' timely degree completion.