Find answers to the most common questions about the IBM PhD Fellowship Awards Program
The IBM PhD Fellowship Awards Program is an intensely competitive worldwide program, which honors exceptional PhD students who want to make their mark in promising and disruptive technologies.
- must be nominated by a doctoral faculty member; students cannot nominate themselves.
- must be enrolled full-time in a PhD program over the two consecutive academic years of the award or forfeit the fellowship.
- must have three years remaining in their program at the time of nomination so the fellowship can be applied to the last two years of study.
- from U.S. embargoed countries are not eligible for the program.
- receiving a comparable fellowship, internship, or support from another company or institution (exception for academic scholarships) during the IBM PhD Fellowship funding period are ineligible for this award.
- must stay in the same program for the duration of the award —no transferring of departments or schools.
Awardees will be selected based upon
- their potential for research excellence. All awardees will have an IBM mentor for the duration of the award period and are strongly encouraged to intern during the first or second year of their award. If All student visas must align with terms of the internship.
- the degree to which the nominees’ research aligns with IBM focus areas. See the FAQ covering focus areas.
- academic standing, publications, and endorsements from faculty advisors and department heads. receiving a comparable fellowship, internship, or support from another company or institution (excepting in the case of academic scholarships).
Nominating faculty must submit thoroughly developed proposals, remain engaged during the vetting and due diligence process, and use the university domain email address for all correspondence.
No, however, IBM may solicit local country residency and citizenship information for legal compliance purposes as part of the award process. IBM is a US headquartered company and complies with all applicable laws and regulations.
Faculty submit nominations for the annual IBM PhD Fellowship program in the fall of every year, and exact times may vary from year to year. The 2022 application window will run from October 11 through November 5. Notification of nominee status takes place in early spring and are contingent upon the completion of all required documentation and due diligence requirements.
Students receiving a comparable fellowship, internship, or research funding from another company or institution (does not include academic scholarships) during the same IBM funded academic period may not be eligible for an IBM PhD Fellowship.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
All nominations for the IBM PhD Fellowship must be submitted by faculty electronically over the Web on a standardized form to facilitate an open and uniform competition. The nomination form will be available on the IBM PhD Fellowship Awards Program website until November 5, 2021, at 12:00 midnight United States Eastern Time (GMT-5).
Once access to the application is made, the application must be filled out in one session.
PhD Nominee information
Name, Department, Academic or professional website, phone, university name, country, entry date into the program, expected graduation date, current completed degree, visa status if applicable. Google Scholar publications and citations, latest completed degree, career goal (professional researcher, professor, etc.) Interest in an IBM internship, list of all IBM activities (communities, sponsored collaborations, activities, conferences, courses, internships, presentations, events, promotions, products, services, etc. with which the student has engaged.
Student Curriculum Vitae (CV) — limit three pages, PhD Project or Dissertation Title, and then a 2,000 chars limit description that should be organized into sections: Research Question or Hypothesis, Methodology Summary, and Analysis. Include an answer to, “What would be the impact if this was work was not conducted? Why did the student select this field of study and line of inquiry?
Faculty Advisor Information
Name, University, Department, Title, Professional/Academic Website that ties you to the university, phone, university email, university street address, country. Include an answer to, “There are many Fellowship programs available to students. Tell us what prompted you to nominate this student for the IBM PhD Fellowship Award?” Evaluation of the student and list of personal attributes, accolades or awards. If possible, provide the name of an IBM Colleague and the manner of acquaintance.
Department Head Information
Name, Dept, email and a short supporting statement that is customized to the student and not a boilerplate recommendation.
University Administrator Information
Names and email of university admins that process donations to the university; also university officials with signator capacity. Privacy and Consent Statements for Faculty and Nominee. Once you gather all of the information, and access the form, follow all of the instructions. You will be allowed to cut and paste text into text fields. Stay away from highly formatted source material, .txt work the best.
The application is then put through a rigorous vetting process. You will send and receive information through email that you provide, which must contain a university domain address. If the nominated student is notified that they are being considered for an award, the faculty member must stay engaged to provide all due diligence material and documentation necessary to finalize the award.
No. Students must be nominated by a faculty member. The nomination form must be prepared and submitted by a faculty member.
Faculty should coordinate their nomination(s) with their department chair because there is a limit of three nominations per department. Four nominations are allowed from each university. If four nominations are submitted, it is IBM Global University program’s expectation that two of the four applications are for diversity candidates or underrepresented populations in technology.
A student does not submit any nomination or documentation to IBM; only faculty may nominate students. Students are encouraged to provide preparation material to the nominating faculty member. See the list of application contents under the FAQ, “What preparation is necessary before a faculty member fills out an application?”
The 2022-2023 IBM PhD Fellowship begins in the fall semester of 2022 and covers the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 academic years. The associated internship may be a summer assignment in 2022 or 2023, or an on-site assignment during the academic year, depending on the arrangements made between the awardee, the IBM mentor, and the faculty advisor.
IBM employees, IBM supplemental employees and IBM contractors may not submit IBM PhD Fellowship nominations.
IBM PhD Fellowships are not intended for IBM employees. IBM offers education reimbursement and leave programs and employees should work with their managers on eligibility.
Submit proposals that address accelerating the discovery process in scientific inquiry and impact real issues. Submittals should support one of the subsets of a major category in the following list:
AI advancements in hardware or training models, characterizing and classifying unknown instances, and federated learning. Security topics are highly encouraged: data encryption, storage advancements, unified endpoint management, and firmware or chip-level proposals.
Neuro Symbolic AI
Secure, Trusted AI
The internship is not mandatory; but, it is encouraged. Many IBM PhD Fellowship interns tell us that the internships help them to understand the industrial research, development environment or consulting services, which helps in making better career decisions. It also broadens their range of technical contacts and strengthens their technical experience.
Award recipients will be selected based on their overall potential for research excellence, the degree to which their technical interests align with those of IBM, and their progress to-date, as evidenced by publications and endorsements from their faculty advisor and department head.
The program seeks to increase the number of under-represented minority students in the referenced science topics of interest by encouraging a diverse applicant pool.
Award recipients will be finalized in 2Q 2022. Shortly after, all nominees will receive an email informing them of their nomination status. A formal letter of congratulations will be sent to the award winners, but finalization of the award is contingent upon the faculty member engaging with IBM Global University Program to complete all required due diligence documentation.
Please note, because IBM PhD Fellowship awards to students are governed by US charitable giving rules and regulations, the recipient institutions will be required to provide additional documentation.
The IBM PhD Fellowship payments are sent out to the university no later than the last quarter of the year. The timing of the payment depends heavily on the engagement of the nominator and the university in returning all documentation expeditiously. Awards are payable to the university or foundation, not directly to the student awardee. All nominations must include contact information for a university finance administrator for the department (designated in the nomination form by the faculty advisor) who can confirm details for payment.
The IBM PhD Fellowship program may survey, arrange an outcomes call, or engage with the awardees mentor, the awardee, or the faculty for updates. The results and feedback are used to better the program.
You may request a copy of the submitted nomination form from the faculty who submitted the nomination.
Address all questions to email@example.com.