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IBM Academic Awards

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IBM Education and Skills

Find answers to the most common questions about the IBM PhD Fellowship Awards Program

Must I be a citizen of the country of application to qualify?

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.

When is the IBM PhD Fellowship nomination period?

The 2023 application window will run from December 15, 2022 through March 24, 2023. Notification of nominee status takes place in May/June and are contingent upon the completion of all required documentation and due diligence requirements.

Am I eligible if I hold more than one fellowship/scholarship/internship during the award period?

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 phdfellow@us.ibm.com with any questions.

Where can I get the forms for an IBM PhD Fellowship nomination?

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 March 24, 2023, at 11:59 pm United States Eastern Time (GMT-5).

What preparation is necessary before a faculty member fills out an application?

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 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.

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.

What happens after I submit the form?

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.

Can students submit nominations themselves?

No. Students must be nominated by a faculty member. The nomination form must be prepared and submitted by a faculty member.

Is there a limit to the number of applications that a department may submit?

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. IBM expects that Faculty will consider a diverse slate of candidates for the program.

What information does a student have to submit?

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?”

What are the effective dates of the 2023 PhD Fellowship?

The 2023 IBM PhD Fellowship begins in the fall semester of 2023 and covers the 2023-2024 academic years. The associated internship may be a summer assignment 2023 or 2024, or an on-site assignment during the academic year, depending on the arrangements made between the awardee, the IBM mentor, and the faculty advisor.

Can an IBM employee or IBM contractor nominate a PhD student for an IBM PhD Fellowship award?

IBM employees, IBM supplemental employees and IBM contractors may not submit IBM PhD Fellowship nominations.

Can an IBM employee be nominated for an IBM PhD Fellowship?

IBM employees are not eligible to be nominated for an IBM PhD Fellowship.

Is the internship mandatory?

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 or consulting services environments better, which then helps them in making better career decisions. It also broadens their technical network and strengthens their technical experience.

How are IBM PhD Fellowship recipients selected?

Award recipients will be selected based on their overall potential for research excellence, the degree to which their technical interests align with those of the IBM focus areas listed in this call, and their progress to-date, as evidenced by publications and endorsements from their faculty advisor and department head.

How will I know if my Nominee is awarded an IBM PhD Fellowship?

Award recipients will be finalized in 2Q 2023. 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 to complete all required due diligence documentation.

How do I find out about the use of my personal data?

Information provided in the IBM PhD Fellowship application is used only to vet your application. The faculty member will be given an opportunity to consent to a privacy policy, and all nominees will also be asked to return a consent as well. Privacy is of utmost importance to us and records are retained as applicable to U.S. Tax regulations. To learn more about IBM's data privacy, read IBM's  Privacy statement.. For a particular inquiry please send an email to: phdfellow@us.ibm.com

What are the award payment documentation requirements for IBM PhD Fellowship Awardees?

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.

How and when are payments made?

The IBM PhD Fellowship payments are sent 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.

What follow-ups occur with IBM PhD Fellowship program?

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 improve the program.

As a nominated candidate how do I gain access to the information provided by the faculty?

You may request a copy of the submitted nomination form from the faculty who submitted the nomination.

What if I have more questions?

Address all questions to phdfellow@us.ibm.com.