The Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship (SIGF) Program is a competitive, university-wide program that awards three-year fellowships to outstanding doctoral students engaged in interdisciplinary research. Since 2008, 295 students have received a SIGF. The SIGF supports Stanford doctoral students in undertaking novel, cutting-edge research and pursuing questions that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries. Examples include:
The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education (VPGE) and the Graduate Fellowships Faculty Advisory Committee (GFFAC) are pleased to announce the 13th competition to award Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowships for autumn quarter 2021-22.
Application Opens: January 6, 2021
Application Deadline: February 22, 2021
Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all materials are submitted before the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Award Notifications: May 17, 2021
SIGF Acceptance Deadline: May 24, 2021
Stanford graduate students must fulfill the following criteria to be eligible to apply for the SIGF:
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.
Applications are submitted online. Applicants are required to enter requested information, upload several documents and request two reference letters. Applicants are urged to carefully read instructions and eligibility requirements before beginning the application, paying special attention to field descriptions. Please be sure that you are eligible and intend to apply for the SIGF before requesting reference letters from faculty members. References will be requested online. Once you enter the faculty member’s information and request the reference, they will receive a link to upload their reference letter, which will then be attached to your application.
The application provides the ability to return to the application for further changes before submitting. You can complete your application at one time and submit, or save it for editing and submitting later. Reference letters can be requested prior to submission of your online portion.
Once an application is submitted, no further changes are possible.
Students may submit one application, choosing one of three categories for faculty review. VPGE will reposition applications, if needed, to the area with the deepest faculty expertise for review.
An application submitted to the Bio-X, Biomedical Research, and Biosciences area is considered for two fellowship programs - the Bio-X Bowes Fellowships and SIGFs affiliated with Bio-X (Bio-X SIGF), as determined by the applicant's eligibility for each competition. The SIGF eligibility rules, fellowship policies and terms described above apply to all Bio-X SIGFs, but applicants should refer to information on the Bio-X website for instructions about application materials, submission of the application and selection criteria.
Each of the categories will forward the most competitive applications to VPGE for a university-wide review by the Graduate Fellowships Faculty Advisory Committee. All applicants will be notified via email mid-May 2021.
Q. Where can I get help with my research statement?
A. The Hume Center for Writing and Speaking offers Graduate Workshops. Read more here. Students in the School of Engineering can request a consultation from the Technical Communication Program. Read more here.
A. The practice that's established is for students to be no further along than at the start of their fourth year when the 2021 SIGF begins in autumn 2021-22. Students who matriculated as graduate students prior to September 2018 are ineligible to apply. If you are concerned about your eligibility, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. If I am an M.D. student doing interdisciplinary research for a master's degree am I eligible for a SIGF?
A. No. All applicants must be pursuing a dissertation-based doctoral degree.
Q. I am pursuing a joint degree, a JD-PHD. Do JD years count as years of graduate study for eligibility purposes?
A. Yes, and no.
Those seeking two degrees, for example, a JD and a PhD, are subject to the SIGF eligibility rule of currently being in the first three years of graduate study.
However, for an applicant pursuing a cohort-based professional degree along with the PHD, one year need not be counted as one of the first three years of graduate study when determining eligibility for the SIGF, IF during that year, the applicant took only professional degree units for the professional degree. This often is the case for those in the first year of law school. This caveat will apply to those seeking these types of degrees: MD and PHD, MBA-PhD, and MOM MSM and PhD.
Regardless, students should enter the matriculation date for the graduate degree they started first. JD first, PHD first and both at the same time are all possibilities for those seeking a joint degree.
Q. If I applied last year, may I apply again?
A. There is no restriction against applying multiple times, if eligible.
Q. If I have a Stanford Graduate Fellowship, can I apply for a Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship?
A. For 2021, students with two or fewer quarters of SGF for 2021-22 can apply, if otherwise eligible.