The Best Scholarships for PhD Candidates

By Victoria Goldberg , last updated December 28, 2011

A PhD, or a doctorate in philosophy, is the common thread linking 99.9% of college professors. It is the most advanced degree a person can acquire, and should only be sought by those determined to passionately study and teach for the rest of their lives. If you look fabulous in tweed, and fantasize about researching, solving, reading, and writing 90 plus hours a week, a doctoral degree may be for you. Worried about the cost of another three to ten years of schooling? Don’t be discouraged, Professor. Most legitimate doctoral degrees are funded via small stipends paid in exchange for assisting and teaching class. Need a little extra scratch, even after a stipend to play the ponies, or to devote to even more hours “geeking out” over algorithms, microbiology, Descartes or Faulkner? Never fear; additional scholarships are available in a variety of fields from many organizations. Read on for the best scholarships for PhD candidates!

The Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship

The Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship is a new element of the famous and highly esteemed Fulbright U.S. Student Program. This policy program places doctoral candidates in jobs for foreign government ministries or institutions so they can gain real experience while engaging in academic research. Placements are available in ten countries and tend to be related to public policy areas such as public health, education, agriculture, justice, energy, environment, public finance, economic development, information technology, and communications. Candidates must have a master's or J.D. degree by the beginning of the Fellowship, or be enrolled in a PhD Program. Applicants must also have at least two years of work experience in public policy-related fields.

Inter-American Foundation (IAF) Grassroots Development Fellowship Program

PhD candidates currently enrolled at a US university, and who are citizens of either the US, or an independent country in Latin America or the Caribbean (excluding Cuba) may apply for the IAF Grassroots Development Fellowship Program. Prospective recipients must have advanced to candidacy for a PhD in the social sciences, physical sciences, or technical fields “as related to grassroots development issues in Latin America or the Caribbean.” The IAF prizes include a stipend of up to $3,000. This includes a $1,500 monthly allowance for varying amounts of time, international round trip transportation to the research site the student has selected, health insurance, and full attendee registration to a mandatory mid-year conference.

The IBM PhD Fellowship Awards Program

The IBM PhD Fellowship Awards program does require that a student be presented by a faculty member in order to be considered. Prospective geniuses must also be full-time enrollees in a PhD program at a legitimate institution, for which they have finished at least one year when they apply. This is a global Fellowship, and it awards a stipend for one full academic year. An aggressively competitive program, IBM selects exceptional PhD students who have indicated an interest in alleviating global issues intrinsically important to IBM, and fundamental to innovation in many academic subjects and areas of study. Areas of study include, but are not limited to: computer science and engineering, electrical and mechanical engineering, physical sciences, mathematical sciences, public sector and business sciences, and service science, management, and engineering.

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