Qualifications / Application

The Josephine de Karman Fellowship Trust was established in 1954 by the late Dr. Theodore von Karman, world renowned aeronautics expert and teacher and first director of the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, in memory of his sister, Josephine, who died in 1951. The purpose of this fellowship program is to recognize and assist students whose scholastic achievements reflect Professor von Karman’s high standards.





Complete applications, including unofficial transcripts of applicant’s graduate and undergraduate studies and two letters of recommendation, must be received by the fellowship committee IN ONE PACKAGE postmarked no later than midnight, January 31, 2020. Late applications will not be considered.

Announcement of 2020-2021 award recipients will be made approximately April 15, 2020.

Approximately eight (8) dissertation fellowships, in the amount of $25,000 each, will be awarded for the regular academic year (fall and spring semesters or the equivalent where the quarterly system prevails), paid through the fellowship office of the university in which the recipient is enrolled for study in the United States. Study must be carried out only in the United States and all funds must be expended only within this country.

The fellowship is for one academic year and may not be renewed or postponed.

DeKarman fellowships are open to PhD students in any discipline, including international students, who are currently enrolled in a university located within the United States. Only PhD candidates who will defend their dissertation in or about June 2021 are eligible for consideration for a 2020-2021 fellowship. Undergraduate students, master’s degree students, and postdoctoral scholars are not eligible for consideration. Special consideration will be given to applicants in the Humanities.

Potential applicants should note that the competition for DeKarman fellowships is extreme. For the 2019-2020 cycle, the committee reviewed over 400 applications and awarded seven (7) fellowships. To be competitive, applicants should have outstanding letters of recommendation, significant early scholarly contributions, and have completed a significant portion of the dissertation at the time of application. Although the competition is open to graduate students from any US university, the vast majority of awards go to students at top-tier schools.

Additional Information of Interest to Applicants:

1. 1. PhD students who are not citizens of the United States may apply for a Josephine de Karman Fellowship if they are already enrolled in a university located in the United States.

2. The fellowships will be paid directly through the fellowship office of the university in which the successful candidate is enrolled for study in the United States. One half will be paid in September and one half the following February. NO UNIVERSITY OVERHEAD MAY BE APPLIED TO THE FELLOWSHIP AWARD. UNIVERSITY FINANCIAL SUPPORT IS VIEWED AS SEPARATE FROM DE KARMAN FELLOWSHIP SUPPORT. THE DE KARMAN FELLOWSHIP IS FOR MERIT, BASED ON A NATIONAL COMPETITION. THEREFORE, IT IS HOPED THAT ONGOING UNIVERSITY SUPPORT COMMITMENTS ARE MAINTAINED WHILE A DE KARMAN FELLOWSHIP IS HELD.

3. The names, universities, and departments (and dissertation titles) of Josephine de Karman Fellowship awardees may be published on the Dekarman.org website.

4. By the end of December following completion of their fellowship year, awardees are required to submit a current abstract of their dissertation and a one or two-page report on their achievements as a result of having held a Josephine de Karman Fellowship. The report should include a brief breakdown of how funds were utilized. This should be in the form of a letter to the Josephine de Karman Fellowship Committee, P.O. Box 3389, San Dimas, CA 91773.

Contact Information: Judy McClain, Fellowship Secretary
Josephine de Karman Fellowship Trust
P.O. Box 3389
San Dimas, CA 91773
Website: www.dekarman.org
Email: info@dekarman.org