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.


Applications are available at www.dekarman.org. If you wish to receive an application in the mail, submit your request via the website.

Complete applications, including transcripts of applicant’s graduate and undergraduate studies at institutions in the United States and Canada and two letters of recommendation, must be received by the fellowship committee IN ONE PACKAGE postmarked no later than midnight, January 31, 2018. Late applications will not be considered.

Announcement of 2018-2019 award recipients will be made approximately April 15, 2018.

Approximately eight (8) fellowships, $25,000 for graduate students and $15,000 for undergraduate students, 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 students in any discipline, including international students, who are currently enrolled in a university or college located within the United States. Only candidates for the PhD who will defend their dissertation in or about June 2019 and undergraduates entering their senior year (will receive bachelors degree in or about June 2019) are eligible for consideration for a 2018-2019 fellowship. Postdoctoral and masters degree students 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 2017-2018 cycle, the committee reviewed 375 applications and awarded eight (8) fellowships. To be competitive, graduate applicants should have outstanding letters of recommendation, significant publications, and have completed several chapters of the dissertation at the time of application. Undergraduate applicants should have exceptional recommendations and grades plus a compelling record of original research or scholarship. Although the competition is open to students from any US university or college, the vast majority of awards go to students at top-tier schools.

Additional Information of Interest to Applicants:

1. 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 and if they will be in the United States by the July preceding the fall semester of the academic year for which they have enrolled.

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 PhD candidates) 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 one to two page report on their achievements as a result of having held a Josephine de Karman Fellowship. This will normally be in the form of a letter to the Josephine de Karman Fellowship Committee, P.O. Box 3389, San Dimas, CA 91773. Graduate student awardees are asked to include with this letter a current abstract of their dissertation.

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