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Fellowships and Awards

The Graduate School



Health Insurance Assistance*

Tuition Assistance

Departmental Deadline

University Deadline

Recruitment Fellowships [website]

[See website and materials accompanying this table].

Continuing Fellowships [website]

Harrington Fellowships

$40,000 for 12 months


Full tuition and fees (9 SCH)

1 Dec 2019

24 Jan 2020

University Continuing Fellowships

$30,000 for 12 months


Full tuition and fees (9 SCH)

Bruton Fellowships




OGS Summer Only

$7,000 for 3 months


Full tuition and fees (3 SCH)

1 March 2020


Professional Development Awards

amount varies




throughout semester

[see website]

The Department

General Summer Fellowships

[These are awarded based upon financial need, no separate application is required].

Summer Fellowships for Senior Students

The Peter R. Antoniewicz Endowed Presidential Fellowship in Condensed Matter Physics

1 March 2020


The Jane and Mike Downer Endowed Presidential Fellowship in Laser Physics in Memory of Glenn Bryant Focht

The Dr. Byron P. Leonard Memorial Endowed Presidential Fellowship

Other University Awards [website]

The Michael H. Granof Outstanding Dissertation Award


1 Dec 2019

Feb 2019

The Outstanding Master’s Thesis/Report Award


William S. Livingston Outstanding Graduate Academic Employee Award


Externally-Funded Fellowships [website]

[The externally-funded fellowships listed below are only those which require a nomination from the Department, all others are listed on the website linked above].

Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowship

1 Dec 2019

Jan 2020

Luce Scholars Program

1 August 2019

October 2019

Emergency Funding

Emergency Cash Loans




The Student Emergency Fund






There are three major sources of internal fellowship funding for graduate students in Physics at The University of Texas at Austin: The Graduate School, The College of Natural Sciences, and the Physics Department itself.

The University of Texas at Austin, through The Graduate School, provides fellowship funding in three main phases of a student’s graduate career: Graduate Recruitment Fellowships (nominations for which are handled by the Graduate Recruitment Committee of the Department of Physics), Continuing Fellowships (funding generally intended to help a student in the final year of her or his dissertation), and Professional Development Awards (to fund giving a paper at a conference, which usually occurs between recruitment and the final year of dissertation).

The Department of Physics offers fellowship funding in two of these phases: Graduate Recruitment Fellowships, and Fellowships for Senior Students. Most Professional Development is funded at the departmental level by the research group to which the student belongs, though there are exceptions to this generalization. The Department also offers Summer Fellowships based upon financial need, however, no separate application is required for those fellowships.

There is one fellowship that is an exception to all of these statements, The Provost’s Graduate Excellence Fellowship is a graduate recruitment fellowship which is funded jointly by The Graduate School, the College of Natural Sciences, and the Department of Physics.

All those who are admitted to the graduate program of the Department of Physics at The University of Texas at Austin are automatically considered for Graduate Recruitment Fellowships regardless of the funding source, therefore, there is no need to apply for these fellowships. More information about these fellowships can be found here.

In all cases, the materials required by the Department for all fellowship nominations include:

  1. A current CV,
  2. A current Research Statement, and
  3. A Letter of Support from your Research Supervisor.

All materials are due by the end of day on the deadline. Please note that, if you are selected by the Department for nomination to one of University’s fellowships, following the departmental process you will be required to submitted additional materials prior to the University deadline in the table below.

The Graduate School

The first three Continuing Fellowships described in the table above share a combined nomination process with the specific awards being chosen by the University-wide committee at The Graduate School.

Professional Development Awards fund travel to conferences for the purpose of delivering a paper or making a presentation. There are multiple deadlines each semester, so the best place to get information regarding these awards is from the source—The Graduate School—here.

You will note that The Graduate School offers summer support fellowships (OGS Summer Only fellowships) through each college, the departmental deadline for such nominations is 1 March.

Departmental Fellowships

In addition to regular summer fellowships (which are determined annually based upon financial need), the Department of Physics offers a number of fellowships for advanced doctoral students in the summer, the deadlines for applying for these fellowships, which are generally awarded to support a student fully over the summer, is 1 March.

Emergency Funding

There are two University-wide resources available to students to access emergency funds should the need arise, though neither is designed to provide more than temporary financial help:

  • The office of Financial Aid has Emergency Cash & Tuition Loan programs. The cash loan program is limited to $500, but exceptions can be made in extraordinary cases. Students would need to apply in person for larger loans.
  • The Dean of Students has a Student Emergency Fund. This offers aid in much smaller amounts (typically $25-$150), but it is not a loan and thus would not need to be repaid.

Other Awards

In addition to these funding resources, the Department awards a prize for the Outstanding Dissertation completed in the previous calendar year, the deadline for faculty to nominate their student’s dissertation for this prize is 1 March.

Similarly, there is an annual prize offered by the Department for the Outstanding Teaching Assistant or Assistant Instructor, the nomination deadline for this award is also 1 March.

Finally, The Graduate School offers several awards annually that are generously underwritten by the University Cooperative Society, more detailed information about these is available here.

The Graduate School also provides four Professional Awards, also underwritten by the University Co-Op Society: Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, Outstanding Graduate Adviser Award, Outstanding Graduate Coordinator Award, and Outstanding Alumnus Award, details are available at the webpage linked above.

Outside Awards

The department encourages all of its students to take advantage of funding opportunities from sources outside of the University. The Graduate School maintains a very useful website on such opportunities, here.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPTs are temporary employment authorized directly related to a student’s major.  To apply for a CPT, students must do the following:

  • Review all required steps found on Texas Global’s CPT
  • The CPT may only be signed by Professor John Keto, Physics Graduate Advisor. Establish a meeting with Dr. Keto to discuss the internship.
    • Your supervising professor/PI may not sign-off on your CPT as they may not be aware of all details that the internship may affect.
  • You must specify your Graduate student status and disclose ALL all-funding sources including fellowships you receive.
  • Texas Global International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) works with students to get the CPT.

Important items to consider:

  • If you are currently on a fellowship or scholarship, many fellowships do not allow external employment or internships.
  • You must receive course credit (be enrolled for 3 credit hours) in order to be eligible for CPT.
  • Extension courses do NOT count toward this requirement
  • Full time CPT’s (more than 20 hours per week) may impact your ability to obtain an Optional Practical Training (OPT) when you graduate.


Physics department staff are not tax experts and will not answer any taxes questions or provide advice. 

Refer to resources below.


Reminder: your fellowship is taxable income

In the spring you will receive a 1098T with your fellowship tax info from the University.  You will NOT receive a W2 on the fellowship money because W2s are for salary, not fellowship payments.

If you are a US student, then taxes are not withheld from your fellowship payment.  Information relating to taxes for students can be found at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-benefits-for-education-information-center   

If your fellowship is large enough and you need to make quarterly payments, information on how to report your fellowship income and make quarterly payments is available in IRS Form 1040-ES.  Look for that information at http://www.irs.gov/Forms-&-Pubs  


Using the Tax Withholding Estimator will help taxpayers avoid surprises next year

Using the IRS Tax Withholding Estimator can help taxpayers have the right amount of tax withheld and avoid surprises when filing next year.

Income taxes are pay-as-you-go. By law, taxpayers are required to pay most of their tax as income is received. There are two ways to do this:

  • Through withholding from paychecks, pension payments, Social Security benefits or certain other government payments including unemployment compensation.
  • Making quarterly estimated tax payments for income not subject to withholding.

Income tax withholding is generally based on the taxpayer’s expected filing status and standard deduction. Adjusting withholding on their paychecks or the amount of their estimated tax payments can help prevent penalties. This is especially important for people in the sharing economy those with more than one job and those who experienced major life changes in the last year.

The IRS also reminds people affected by COVID-19 to review their withholding status, particularly those receiving unemployment during this period.

The Tax Withholding Estimator on IRS.gov is designed to help taxpayers determine how to have the right amount of tax withheld. 


Quarterly estimated tax payments

People with a large amount of their income not subject to withholding may need to make quarterly estimated tax payments

Some financial transactions, especially when made late in the year, can have an unexpected effect on taxes. These include year-end and holiday bonuses, stock dividends, capital gain distributions from mutual funds and stocks, bonds, virtual currency, real estate or other property sold at a profit.

Taxpayers have two free electronic options for scheduling their estimated federal tax payments. With IRS Direct Pay, people can schedule payments up to 30 days in advance. Using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, they can schedule payments up to 365 days in advance.

Share this tip on social media -- #IRSTaxTip: Using the Tax Withholding Estimator will help taxpayers avoid surprises next year. https://go.usa.gov/xfvUX