Carnegie Mellon University

Kwolek Presidential Fellowship in Chemistry

With gratitude for a very generous bequest from alumna Stephanie Kwolek (S‘46), Carnegie Mellon University has established the Kwolek Presidential Fellowship in Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University

The maximum amount of the fellowship is $50,000. Since fellowships only provide partial funding, departments or faculty advisors need to cover the portion of tuition, stipend and fees not covered by the fellowship. The fellowship funding can be used to support a student’s academic expenses, such as tuition, fees, and stipend for one academic year (9 months).  It does not provide supplemental stipend or travel funds.

The department may nominate up to two students (ranked) for a Presidential Fellowship.


Women Ph.D. students who have reached ABD status and are one or more years from graduation are eligible for nomination. The nominees must have successfully completed all of the requirements expected at that stage in their degree program. A student cannot receive support through a MCS Presidential Fellowship for more than two academic years.

Nomination Package

Nominations must include:

  • The student’s name, email, advisor(s), year of entry into the Ph.D. program, estimated graduation date
  • The nominee's statement of her research accomplishments, research goals for the next 1–2 years, and how this fellowship would specifically impact her research (2–3 pages),
  • The nominee's up-to-date curriculum vita,
  • A short letter of support from the student’s research advisor describing the student's accomplishments and commenting on the impact of those contributions at the current stage of the student’s research.

Nominees and letter writers are encouraged to include information that will make the candidate's credentials clear for review at college and university levels.

Selection criteria

For current students, priority will be given to students who are in their third to fifth year of graduate study at CMU and have shown significant advances in their research. Criteria such as creativity and initiative, contributions to collaborative efforts, and record of publications and presentations will be considered.

A student cannot receive support through a MCS Presidential Fellowship for more than two academic years.


The complete nominations should be submitted electronically as a single pdf for each student nominated to Rea Freeland, by April 23. The department head may form a small ad hoc committee to rank the nominees.

The Dean will appoint an ad-hoc selection committee to make a recommendation regarding fellowship recipients that are then recommended by the Dean for the final selection that is made through a process overseen by the Provost.