Prizes & Fellowships

The Department of Physics offers a number of awards of various types and sizes in order to enhance our student's abilities to pursue their academic goals. The awards mentioned on this page are those that are awarded regularly by the Department. Other Fellowships are Prizes are given from time to time; those will be announced to the community when they are available.

Undergraduate Prizes

  1. Lewis Prize: This is to be awarded by the Physics Fellowship Committee to the "best graduating senior in physics". The Senior Thesis is likely to be the most important consideration in awarding the Lewis Prize, but it is not the only factor considered. The amount of the award is: $3,500 for a single winner; $2,500 each for 2 co-winners; $2,000 each for 3 co-winners. Nominations for the Lewis Prize should be solicited by the end of March, with a decision made in mid-April. The awardee(s) must write a brief biography and statement of career goals for the Lewis family.
  2. Selove Prize: A Summer Research Scholarship: This is to be awarded by the Physics Fellowship Committee on the basis of merit to outstanding undergraduates in Physics (or Astronomy and Astrophysics) for the support of summer research under the mentoring supervision of a member of the University faculty, normally for the summer following completion of the student's 3rd year of study. The award will provide a stipend to the student for the summer months during which he/she is undertaking the research. The number of such awards will be determined by the availability of funds. The amount of the stipend will exactly or approximately equal to the stipend given to our REU students. Nominations and/or applications will be solicited by mid-April, and the decision will be made by mid-May.

Graduate Prizes

  1. Wentzel Research Prize:This is to be awarded by the Physics Fellowship Committee to a graduate student who has done outstanding theoretical work in physics. The amount of the award is $2,000. Nominations should be solicited by the beginning of April, and the decision should be made by mid-May.
  2. Wentzel Teaching Prize: This is to be awarded to the most effective first-year graduate student teaching assistant. The award winner is selected by a committee appointed by the Chairman in consultation with the Undergraduate Program Chair. The amount of the award is $1,000. Nominations should be solicited by the beginning of April, and the decision should be made by early May.
  3. Winstein Prize in Instrumentation: This is to be awarded annually to a graduate student doing outstanding work in development or application of instrumentation. The amount of the award is $2000. Nominations should be solicited by the beginning of April, and the decision should be made by mid-May.
  4. Yodh Prize: This is to be awarded by the Physics Fellowship Committee to a graduate student who has done outstanding experimental work in physics. The amount of the award is $2,000. Nominations should be solicited by the beginning of April, and the decision should be made by mid-May.

Undergraduate Fellowships

Grainger Foundation Fellowship (undergraduate): This is awarded by the Physics Fellowship Committee to a junior who is majoring in physics who shows particular interest and aptitude in the laboratory as well as outstanding proficiency in formal coursework. The award normally consists of a tuition scholarship for the senior year. Nominations should be solicited by the end of March, with a decision made in mid-April. The University is expected to provide written reports to The Grainger Foundation when the awards are made giving (1) biographical notes on the student and (2) a description of progress made by the student in his/her respective area of study.

Graduate Fellowships

  1. Bloomenthal Fellowship: This is awarded by the Physics Fellowship Committee to the best graduate student in theoretical physics with advanced residency status. The award provides a stipend and tuition. Nominations should be solicited by mid-April, with a decision made by the end of May.
  2. Chandrasekhar Memorial Fellowship: This is selected from the applicants, previously educated in India, to the Ph.D. programs of the Departments of Physics and Astronomy and Astrophysics; no separate application is required. The term of the Fellowship is two years. During this period, the Fellowship will cover tuition expenses in full, and will pay a stipend above the rate normally paid to teaching assistants and research assistants. Chandrasekhar Fellows will be required to serve as teaching assistants for a total of two quarters during the two-year term, but otherwise will have no teaching or research duties associated with the Fellowship. It is expected that one Fellowship will be awarded each year.
  3. Clare Boothe Luce Fellowship:  The Henry Luce Foundation has generously awarded a grant to the University of Chicago to support four one-year Clare Boothe Luce Graduate Fellowships for women entering Ph.D. programs in Astronomy & Astrophysics, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Physics as early as the 2008-09 academic year. Applicants are required to be U.S. citizens. Each Fellow will receive (a) tuition for the first year of graduate study; (b) tuition for the summer following the fellowship year; (c) stipend and fees for the academic year commensurate with other department fellowships; (d) an expense fund of $3,000 for books and educational supplies; (e) additional funds for research and conference travel.
  4. GAANN Fellowships: These fellowships are funded by 3-year grants from the Department of Education and may not be available every year. When available, these are awarded through an application process to U.S. and Permanent Resident graduate students who demonstrate an interest in and aptitude for teaching physics. These fellowships provide 12 months of support plus tuition. The maximum yearly stipend amount is determined by the Department of Education. GAANN Fellows are chosen by a committee that consists of the Physics Fellowship Committee, the Chair of the most recent Admissions Committee, the Department Chair, and the Executive Officer. Applications are typically requested in late Spring.
  5. Grainger Foundation Fellowship (graduate): This is awarded by the Physics Fellowship Committee to a promising graduate student with demonstrated research ability in experimental physics. The award provides a stipend and tuition. All students are eligible (i.e., "advanced residency" is not required) but in the event of a tie, preference will be given to a student with advanced residency status. Nominations should be solicited by mid-April, with a decision made by the end of May. The University is expected to provide written reports to The Grainger Foundation when the awards are made giving (1) biographical notes on the student and (2) a description of progress made by the student in his/her respective area of study.
  6. Michelson Fellowships: These are awarded by the Admissions Committee to the highest rated applicants to the Ph.D. program of the Department of Physics, excluding those who receive a Chandrasekhar Fellowship. There are no citizenship or other restrictions. Both experimental and theoretical students are eligible. The Michelson Fellowship is for one academic year (9 months), with a monthly stipend equal to that of a TA and also covers full tuition. Students awarded a Michelson Fellowship will receive summer support through a separate award, normally a Sachs Fellowship.
  7. McCormick Fellowships: These are awarded by the Admissions Committee to highly rated applicants to the Ph.D. program of the Department of Physics, excluding those who receive Chandrasekhar and Michelson Fellowships. The terms of the award vary and are detailed in the admissions information for the students to whom it is offered.
  8. Parker Fellowships: These are awarded by the Admissions Committee to the highest rated applicants to the Ph.D. program of the Department of Physics, excluding those who receive a Chandrasekhar Fellowship (normally those offered Michelson Fellowships). The term is for two academic years and provides an annual supplement to the student's stipend equal to that of the McCormick Fellowship.
  9. Sachs Fellowships: These are awarded partly by the Admissions Committee to highly rated applicants to the Ph.D. program of the Department of Physics, and by the department of physics to top-performing first-year graduate students who are in need of summer support. The fellowship provides a stipend for the 3 summer months (July - September) at the end of the first year of graduate study.

Postdoctoral Fellowships

Grainger Postdoctoral Fellowship: This Fellowship is awarded by the Physics Fellowship Committee to a recent Ph.D. recipient in experimental physics to enable him/her to work either independently or in close association with present members of the Physics Department in areas of mutual interest. The Fellowship has a two-year term. In years when the Fellowship is being offered, ads should be placed and flyers printed and distributed in October, with an application deadline of mid-December.  For additional details and to apply for the fellowship, please visit the official website