The 2019 IBM PhD Fellowship nomination period is now closed. Notification to IBM PhD Fellowship awardees will take place in March 2019.

About the program

Strong collaboration with faculty, students and universities is vital to IBM. The IBM PhD Fellowship Program advances this collaboration by recognizing and supporting exceptional PhD students who want to make their mark in promising and disruptive technologies. Focus areas include the following topics of particular interest:

• AI / Cognitive Computing
• Blockchain
• Cloud Computing
• Data Science / Big Data / Analytics
• Internet of things
• Quantum Computing
• Security

Since the creation of the IBM PhD Fellowship Program in 1951, we have supported thousands of PhD students -- with more than 700 students supported over the past 10 years alone.

Program details

The 2019 two-year IBM PhD Fellowships are awarded worldwide. A fellowship includes a stipend for two academic years (2019-2020 and 2020-2021) and, in the US, an education allowance for year one (2019-2020).

In the US, fellowship recipients while in school will receive a stipend for living expenses, travel, and to attend conferences ($35,000 for 2019-2020 and $35,000 for 2020-2021). US fellowship recipients will also receive $25,000 toward their education in 2019-2020.

Outside the US, fellowship recipients while in school will receive a competitive stipend for living expenses, travel, and to attend conferences for the two academic years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. Fellowship stipends vary by country.

All IBM PhD Fellowship awardees will be mentored by an IBMer in order to collaborate on a research or technology project for the duration of the award period and are strongly encouraged to do an internship during the first or second year of their award.


Students must be nominated by a doctoral faculty member and must be a full-time student in a PhD program over the two consecutive academic years of the award or forfeit their fellowship. Students should have three years remaining in their graduate program at the time of nomination. For example, nominees that are enrolled in a four year graduate program should have completed two years of their graduate program as of summer 2019 in order to benefit the most. Students from US embargoed countries are not eligible for the program. Award recipients will be selected based on their overall potential for research excellence, the degree to which their technical interests align with those of IBM, and their academic progress to-date, as evidenced by publications and endorsements from their faculty advisor and department head. Students receiving a comparable fellowship from another company or institution during the same academic period may not be eligible for an IBM PhD Fellowship.