Materials Science and Engineering Fellowships

Request for proposals

Fellowships are being provided to grow the Materials Science and Engineering doctoral program. The aims are: (1) to recruit outstanding graduate students intent on pursuing an interdisciplinary doctoral degree with a materials emphasis, and (2) to initiate interdisciplinary materials research leading to proposals with a significant prospect of external funding.

An important aim of the fellowships is to expand the base of graduate funding in materials research. The fellowships will support the stipend of one graduate student for one year, with the expectation that faculty will secure support for the remaining research and student sponsorship. Incoming students, first-year students, and second-year students are eligible to receive the fellowship. Fellowships are contingent on a student remaining in good standing to meet the host department's doctoral requirements at the time of use. For incoming and first-year students, fellowships will begin in the student’s second year. For all other current students, fellowships will begin in the year of the award.

Proposal requirements

The research proposal is limited to two pages, with one-inch margins and 10-point font. The following format is requested. Proposals are to be submitted by faculty members, not students.

  1. Title
  2. Student and host department
  3. Principal investigators (PIs) and departments
  4. Motivation and proposed research
    Does the proposal provide a compelling motivation with clear objectives? Does the proposed research open up a new research direction for the PIs, distinct from their current areas of research? How will the student be mentored?
  5. Plan to fund program beyond the period of the fellowship
    Will the proposed research allow the PIs to submit proposals that they would not be able to write without the interdisciplinary collaboration? What are the specific funding targets and plans to secure funding? Avoid giving a general list of all possible sponsors.
  6. Ability of the research to advance ND in strategic research directions
    How does the proposal align with strategic research directions for Notre Dame as defined by the PIs? How does the proposal articulate a distinctive research vision that can be used to build ND’s reputation in materials? How does the research increase synergy with potential to create research centers?
  7. Recommendation of the student
    Why is this student well suited to receive this fellowship? Is this a top-tier recruit for your department? What makes this student stand apart from others?

The following additional materials are requested, not subject to the two-page limit.

    8. Student resume or curriculum vita
    9. Student statement of interest in materials (one page max.)
  10. References (optional)


Proposals will be evaluated by the Materials Executive Committee, who will consider the questions above. Preference will be given to multidisciplinary collaborative proposals that allow faculty to expand their areas of research and provide students with cross disciplinary mentors.

Submission and deadline

Please send completed proposals for consideration to Heidi Deethardt,

  • Proposals for incoming students should be submitted between December 15, 2020 and February 26, 2021.  Incoming student proposals will be reviewed in a timely manner during this period.
  • Proposals for current Notre Dame graduate students must be submitted by July 15, 2021.  

For more information

Contact Derek Lake, NDnano Associate Director