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Scholarships and Awards

Physics Department Fellowships: Incoming Students

The Physics Department has significant fellowships available through the generous gifts and endowments of friends and donors. These fellowships provide supplemental funds for first year students so they enjoy a teaching assistant appointment with this reduced effort. This provides students more time to identify research opportunities with physics faculty and researchers and secure funding through Graduate Student Research Assistantships (GSRA). The department also offeres a small number of highly selective graduate fellowships for incoming students. 

Regents' Fellowships

The University of Michigan Board of Regents established the Regents' Fellowships to recognize outstanding incoming graduate students. The fellowship is a two-year award consisting of a stipend, tuition, and health insurance. This is the most prestigious University of Michigan fellowship available to entering physics students. It is awarded in recognition of outstanding undergraduate accomplishment and future promise.

Helmut W. Baer Graduate Fellowship

The Helmut W. Baer Graduate Fellowship is sponsored by funding from the Helmut W. Baer Family in recognition of Helmut W. Baer. It provides full stipend, tuition, fees, and health insurance for one academic year.

Colegrove Fellowship

The Colegrove Fellowship for graduate study is sponsored by funding from Barbara Colegrove. It provides full stipend, tuition, fees, and health insurance for one academic year.

Physics Department Awards: Current Student Application

The Physics Department offers a number of awards and fellowships for students in the program. These awards are all supported through gifts to the department. They are described in the following. 

Parkinson Travel Funds

Award Criteria: Awards are available to Physics Ph.D. students who are presenting either a paper or poster at a conference. Students must be studying experimental physics. Additionally, awards cannot be in experimental high energy physics. To be considered for funds, a student must:

1) Complete the application.
2) Attach a copy of the program or letter of invitation (e-mail acceptable) with the applicant's name clearly stated verifying participation in the conference.

Award Amount: A student may receive only one domestic or international travel grant award per fiscal year (July 1- June 30).

1) Domestic- up to $400 for travel in the continental United States, and up to $600 for transcontinental travel, including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.
2) International- up to $600 for conferences in Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and Europe, and up to $900 for conferences in Africa, Asia, South America and Australia.

Number Awarded: 10-20 per yearDeadline: Applications must be received at least three weeks prior to the conference. Applications will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis.

Download: Parkinson Application

Notification: Applicants will be notified of the results in writing. All awards are taxable; international students will have taxes withheld prior to receiving funds so actual award amount will be less than indicated above.

Please Note: No application will be considered for funding retroactively. Funding is limited and may expire without notice. All awards are taxable; international students will have taxes withheld prior to receiving funds so actual award amount will be less than indicated above.

Kent M. Terwilliger Memorial Thesis Prize

A member of the Michigan physics faculty for more than three decades, Kent Terwilliger was internationally recognized for his leadership and achievements in particle physics. This annual award is given to a graduate student for the most outstanding Ph.D. thesis in physics.

Award Criteria: The selection criteria for this prize are the scholarship and importance of the research and its presentation in the doctoral dissertation. The timely completion of graduate studies is an important consideration as well. In addition:

1) The doctoral chair or co-chair must be a faculty member of the Physics Department
2) The doctoral degree must be either in Physics or in a joint program that includes Physics
3) The oral thesis must be defended by the end of the current winter term
4) The thesis must have been completed and submitted the previous year

Award Amount: $4,000

Number Awarded: One student per year 

To Apply: Students must submit a copy of their theis and have at least one letter of support from a faculty member. 

Deadline: Submit materials to the Physics Student Services Office (physics.sso@umich.edu) by the second Monday in March. This prize is awarded by a faculty committee each April.

The Kent M. Terwilliger Memorial Thesis Prize for 2017 was awarded to Dr. Stephanie Miller.

Past Recipients

2016

Dr. Steven Wolgast

 2015

 Dr. Dong-Ling Deng

 2014

 Dr. Yifan Zhang

 2013

 Dr. Christian G. Fink

 2012

 Dr. Xuhuai Zhang

 2011

 Dr. Kelly C. Younge

 2010

 Dr. Fang Yuan

Marcellus L. Wiedenbeck Teaching Award

The family of Marcellus Lee "Marc" Wiedenbeck established this award to honor Marc Wiedenbeck's 40 years of service on the Michigan faculty. The Wiedenbeck Award is presented to a graduate student that exemplifies outstanding teaching abilities.

Award Criteria:

1) Teaching evaluation scores
2) Student comments on teaching evaluations
3) Feedback from faculty supervisors
4) Feedback from lab supervisors
5) Portfolio submitted by student containing: a) class materials (handouts, quizzes etc.) developed by student b) a brief overview written by the student of the instructional materials used in the course c) any additional material the student wishes to submit

Award Amount: $1,500

To Apply: Students must submit a portfolio to Student Services 1440 Randall Lab containing:

a) class materials (handouts, quizzes etc.) developed by student 
b) a brief overview written by the student of the instructional materials used in the course 
c) any additional material the student wishes to submit.

Deadline: Students can self nominate by emailing the Physics Student Services Office, physics.sso@umich.edu, by the second Monday in March. The faculty committee will review the cases of all nominated students. They will narrow the field to between 3 and 5 candidates. Each finalist will be asked to discuss her/her portfolio in a 20 minute interview with the committee. A winner will be selected following these presentations.

The 2017 recipients of the Wiedenbeck Award are Ojan Khatib-Damavandi and Samuel Roland.

Past Recipients

2016

Yun Suk Eo

 2015

 Wen Guo

 2014

 Daniel Shafer

 2013

 Mallory Traxler

 2012

 Tim Saucer

 2011

 Brandon Erickson

 2010

 Cameron Gibelyou

Wirt & Mary Cornwell Prize

Funded by a bequest from the Cornwell family, the Wirt and Mary Cornwell Prize is awarded solely on the basis of merit. The Prize is distributed to a uniquely qualified graduate student who, during the four previous years, shall have demonstrated the greatest intellectual curiosity [and] given most promise of original study and creative work in one of six disciplines - one being physics.

Award Amount: $10,000

Award Criteria: Eligible students shall be drawn from the pool of those who have passed the Qualifying Examination.

Other factors include:

  1. Grades in graduate courses
  2. Independent study
  3. Research experience and accomplishments
  4. Demonstrations of intellectual initiative and originality
  5. Any other evidence of creative activity and potential shall be a factor, such as reports or papers written, apparatus designed or constructed, experiments carried out, and other notable citations received or academic competitions won.

To Apply: Students must submit a copy of their CV and have at least one letter of support from a faculty member. 

Deadline: CVs and letters of support may be submitted to Student Services Office, physics.sso@umich.edu, by the second Monday in March. The prize is awarded in the month of April.

The 2017 recipients of the Wirt and Mary Cornwell Prize are Alex Page and Zhengkang (Kevin) Zhang.

Past Recipients

2016

Shengtao Wang

 2015 

 Alex Burgers

 2014

 Hang Chi

 2013

 Aaron Armbruster

 2012

 Ryo Saotome

 2011

 David A. Adams

 2010

 Brian Karrer

Physics Department Awards: Faculty Nominations

Peter Franken Award

Peter Franken was a leading member of the Michigan physics faculty for two decades whose contributions include pioneering discoveries in non-linear optics, novel developments in spectroscopy, and detailed studies of physical symmetries.

Award Criteria: The Franken Award is presented every year to honor outstanding work by a first- or second-year Physics graduate student. Selection factors will include grades in graduate courses, involvement in research, and a letter of support from the student's advisor.

Award Amount: $1,500-$2,000

To Apply: The student’s faculty advisor must submit a letter of nomination and support which includes the student’s involvement in research.

Deadline: Materials must be submitted to the Student Services Office, physics.sso@umich.edu, by the second Monday in March. This prize is awarded by a faculty committee each April.

The 2017 recipients of the Peter Franken Award are George Cantwell, Rachel Hyneman, and Andrei Klishin.

 Past Recipients 

2016

Trevor Bailey

 2015

 Jessica Muir

 2014

 Zhengkang Zhang

 2013 

 Benjamin Lawson

 2012

 Jack Kearney

 2011

 Daniel Wilcox

 2010

 Benjamin Norman

Frank Sevcik Award

The Frank Sevcik Award is awarded to a committed physics student who enhances the international environment of the University and plans to contribute to academic, government, or corporate research communities based in the United States.

The 2017 recipient of the Frank Sevcik Award is Shruti Paranjape.

 

For more information on any of these awards, please contact the Physics Student Services Office at physics.sso@umich.edu.