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Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowships Application and Eligibility

Stanford Neurosciences Institute, Tommy Li

Applications for 2018 Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowships are now open

Three independent institutes under the Dean of Research: Bio-X, Stanford Neurosciences Institute, and ChEM-H, in conjunction with the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, are working together to award this year's graduate fellowships in the biosciences. Applications received will be considered for SIGFs affiliated with the Neurosciences Institute, Bio-X-Bowes Fellowships, Bio-X SIGFs, and SIGFs affiliated with ChEM-H. Graduate students in the Neurosciences should apply through the Bio-X application process.

Graduate students including neuroscience-themed research proposals in their application and interested in being sponsored by the Neurosciences Institute should select "Stanford Neurosciences Institute Fellowship" on their application to be considered for the SIGF affiliated with the Neurosciences Institute as well as for Bio-X Fellowships. The Neurosciences Institute is grateful to Bio-X and the Bio-X Leadership Council for incorporating the SIGFs affiliated with the Institute into this year’s round of their long-standing and successful program.


Key Dates for 2018 Scholars Awards
Application Deadline February 26, 2018 at 5:00 pm PST
(including recommendation letters and mailed materials)
Notification of Awards May 16, 2018
Award Start Date Fall Quarter 2018
Funding Period Fall 2018 through Summer 2021
To Apply Online Application

Eligibility Criteria

Graduate students must read the full eligibility requirements from VPGE and Bio-X before applying. 

It is extremely important that your proposal is interdisciplinary (bringing together two or more separate fields of study) with at least two faculty members involved in your proposed project as mentors. The interdisciplinary nature of the proposal must be clearly defined and evident in the research plan submitted as part of the application. Preference will be given to students who are jointly mentored by at least two faculty members who are expert in distinctly separate areas of science and technology.

Stanford graduate students must fulfill specific criteria to be eligible to apply for an SIGF. SIGF requirements and eligibility

Eligibility requirements for the SIGFs affiliated with Stanford Neurosciences Institute, Bio-X SIGFs, Stanford Bio-X Bowes Fellowships, as well as SIGFs affiliated with Stanford ChEM-H, are found in the  2018 Bio-X Fellowship Announcement as well as on the Bio-X 2018 Fellowship website.

Ideally, applicants will be in the second or third year, and have demonstrated academic excellence and evidence of the potential for innovative research in an interdisciplinary area. Ability to link intellectual innovation with solving societal problems, an interest in communicating research to a broader audience, and a capacity for future leadership will also be considered positive qualifications.

Additional Application Guidelines:

  • Your faculty advisor (not postdocs, consulting faculty, etc.) is a Stanford Bio-X affiliate. Visit: to confirm.
  • You must identify at least one faculty co-advisor (or co-mentor) for your work. For the purposes of the application, a faculty co-advisor does not have to be an officially recognized departmental co-advisor; instead, this is a second faculty mentor who is integral to your proposed project. Both of your faculty mentors must be Stanford Bio-X affiliated faculty.
  • You are active in a PhD program by Winter 2018. This must be reflected in your Stanford transcript.

Application Materials

  1. Introductory page

    • This includes your name, the title of your research proposal, a 100-word (maximum) abstract of your research, and a 50-word (maximum) explicit explanation of how your project is interdisciplinary and includes the involvement of the two faculty mentors.
    • We require you to list your advisor, co-advisor, and any additional faculty collaborator(s) on the proposed project. (Your reference letters must be from your advisor and co-advisor on the project.)
    • We require the description of any sources of present forms of tuition or stipend funding (please let us know if you are applying for any other fellowship simultaneously).
  2. Interdisciplinary research plan

    • The plan, including all text, figures, references, etc., must be no more than four pages in length.
    • At least two faculty mentors must be involved in the proposed project.
  3. Curriculum vitae

    • This must be no more than two pages in length
  4. Two recommendation letters, one from your faculty advisor and one from your co-advisor

    • Letters must include a statement regarding the interdisciplinary nature of the proposal.
    • Give the faculty a few weeks' advance notice and check with them several times to ensure that your letter is done on time.
  5. Transcripts from other institutions

    • We require PDF scans of official copies of transcripts from all higher education institutions attended. These scans must also include a grading legend (i.e. explanation of the grading system of the institution). The grading legend is typically found on the reverse page of a transcript.

  6. Stanford transcript

    • We require an unofficial copy of your Stanford transcript including Winter 2018.
    • The transcript must show that you are active in a PhD program by Winter 2018.
  7. Education information

    • Include your educational information along with education level, institution name, department, degree, date, and current GPA at Stanford.
  8. Test scores

    • At minimum, you must provide the scores for either the GRE or the MCAT. We ask for GRE subject test and TOEFL scores if you have taken those as well.