University Fellowships & Prizes

GSAS Endowment and Alumni Fellowships are internally distributed by the Financial Aid Office. Awardees are selected by the Graduate School, with input from Graduate Students Internal Awards Committtee.  Students do not apply to these fellowships and prizes directly, instead  nominations may be made by faculty. University endowment fellowships do not increase a student’s yearly stipend. Graduate prizes are awarded to entering students and do come with additional stipend monies. Awardees are encouraged to add named fellowships and prizes to their CVs.

Undergraduate

DEFOREST PIONEERS (1960). Board of Directors of DeForest Pioneers, Inc., in honor of the outstanding scientific achievements of Lee DeForest, Ph.B. 1896. For a senior physics major for distinguished creative achievement in physics.

2020: Elizabeth Ruddy (Physics (Int.))
2019: Andrew Lingenfelter (Physics (Int.))
2018: Arina Bykadorova Telles (Mathematics & Physics)
2017: Jedidiah Oliver Thompson (Physics (Int.))
2016: Alexandros Mousatov (Physics (Int.))
2015: Christopher Cappiello (Physics (Int.))
2014: Hendrik Kits van Heyningen (Mathematics & Physics)
2013: Dominic Kwok (Physics (Int.)) and William Wilkin (Physics (Int.))
2012: Travis Ing (Mathematics & Physics) and Daniel Kapec (Physics (Int.))
2011: Ivan Kozyryev (Physics (Int.)) and William Zeng (Physics (Int.))
2010: Patrick Madden (Physics) and Matthew Smith (Physics (Int.))
2009: Eli Luberoff (Physics (Int.)), Samuel Post (Physics), and Axel Schmidt (Physics (Int.))

Established in 1939 by friends of F. Wilder Bellamy Jr., B.A. 1937, the prize is awarded to a junior man or woman who best exemplifies the qualities for which F. Wilder Bellamy, Jr. is remembered, including personal integrity, loyalty to friends, and high-spiritedness in athletics, academics, and social life.

2020: Miles Waites (Physics)

The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities is pleased to award the Franke Fellowship in Science and the Humanities, which is made possible by the generous support of Mr. and Mrs. Richard (‘53) and Barbara Franke. Three to five fellowships of $2,000 will be awarded to rising seniors to support senior essay, research, or art project proposals that explore new and productive intellectual connections between science and the humanities. Interdisciplinary research or art projects should explicitly engage both scientific and humanistic issues or content. Awards are intended to support research during the summer between junior and senior year, or during the following academic year.

2017: Julia Menzel (Physics (Int.))

HOWARD L. SCHULTZ (1977). Howard L. Schultz, Ph.D. 1937. Awarded to an outstanding senior in the Physics department.

  • 2020: Lukas Baker (Mathematics & Physics), Sam Borden (Physics (Int.)), Tim Foldy-Porto (Physics (Int.)), Stuart Nicholls (Physics (Int.) ) and PJ Tuckman (Physics (Int.))
  • 2019: Henry Reichard (Mathematics & Physics), Cady van Assendelft (Physics (Int.)), Julia Wei (Physics (Int.)), and Jacob Zavatone-Veth (Physics (Int.))
  • 2018: Alexander Atanasov (Physics), Nathaniel Barbour (Physics (Int.)), William Eckner (Physics (Int.)), Aaron Hillman (Physics (Int.)), Ilana Kaufman (Physics), Gabrielle Roberts (Physics (Int.)), and Dylan Young (Physics (Int.))
  • 2017: Anthony Gagliardi (Physics (Int.)), Kenneth Jackson (Physics (Int.)), Jacob Marks (Physics (Int.)), Julia Menzel (Physics (Int.)), Grace Pan (Physics (Int.)), and Carolyn Zhang (Physics)
  • 2016: Owen Brown (Physics (Int.)), Juliana Coraor (Physics (Int.)), William De Rocco (Physics (Int.)), Miguel Goncalves (Physics), Mark Hamilton (Mathematics & Physics), Kenan Jia (Mathematics & Physics), Gregory Meyer (Physics (Int.)), Basil Smitham (Physics), Shilong Tang (Physics), and Anthony Tokman (Physics (Int.))
  • 2015: Aaron Effron (Physics), Maya Fishbach (Physics (Int.)), Catherine Harmer (Physics), Theodore Papalexopoulos (Physics), Robert Pecoraro (Physics), Nathan Sitaraman (Physics (Int.))
  • 2014: Nicolas Aldana (Physics), Katherine Lawrence (Physics (Int.)), Ryan McKinnon (Physics (Int.)), Pearson Miller (Physics (Int.)), Nicole Shibley (Physics), Qiwei Claire Xue (Physics), and Steven Zwick (Physics (Int.))
  • 2013: Emma Alexander (Physics), Ellen Klein (Physics (Int.)), and Rachel Kurchin (Physics (Int.))
  • 2012: Christopher Ell (Physics), Nabeem Hashem (Physics (Int.)), and Zachary Sethna (Physics (Int.))
  • 2011: Diana Qiu (Physics (Int.)) and Michael Weiner (Physics (Int.))
  • 2010: Rebecca Jackson (Physics (Int.)), Elizabeth Jerison (Physics (Int.)), Susan Scanlon (Physics), and Michele Trickey (Physics (Int.))
  • 2009: Adam Bouland (Physics), Lauren Rosenblum (Physics), Nathaniel Roth (Physics (Int.)), and Madeleine Udell (Mathematics & Physics)

Graduate

The Physics Department is pleased to announce the Leigh Page Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching, a new annual departmental graduate teaching award. The award seeks to acknowledge and celebrate excellence in graduate student teaching, distinct among the already high standard of teaching that graduate students in the physics department consistently achieve. This award will support the graduate program learning goal that “Students will become educators and communicators with the ability to promote an understanding and appreciation of physics across the university and in society” and help solidify in our community that effective and informed teaching is one of our core values.

Award Description: This is an annual award given by the Physics Department to one or two physics graduate students for excellence in teaching at the undergraduate or graduate level, and/or significant teaching contributions to scientific outreach or public education events. Recipients of the teaching award will receive a $500 prize.

Eligibility: Graduate students in the Department of Physics who have fulfilled the teaching requirement for the program.

Selection Criteria: Excellence in teaching is based on the following criteria, where applicable:

  • Establishing an inclusive classroom environment, providing support and flexibility so that all students can thrive.

  • Inspiring students to develop the habits and skills of independent thinking and scientific inquiry and engagement.

  • Enthusiasm for the craft and practice of teaching, with a focus on continuous development and consistent improvement

  • Demonstrated leadership/mentorship of peer educators and encouragement of effective teaching in others

Nomination Process: Nomination letters may be sent by faculty or staff members from teaching or outreach programs, or graduate students may self nominate. Up to two supporting letters can be sent in addition to the nomination letter. Please send nomination and supporting letters to Rona Ramos (rona.ramos@yale.edu), by Friday, July 16th. Letters should address the relevant selection criteria above. The Graduate Student Awards Committee will review applications and select recipients. Awards are presented in the fall during the orientation program for new graduate students

If you have any questions about the award, please email rona.ramos@yale.edu

We are pleased to announce a pilot program of Physics Diversity Fellowships for graduate students to promote student efforts in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) in the Physics Department. This pilot program anticipates supporting 2-3 diversity fellows each semester in the 2021-2022 academic year and recognizes that graduate students play an important role in advancing DEIB activities in the Physics Department. The fellowships will be awarded on a competitive basis following an application process and committee review. 

Compensation and Commitment: Physics Diversity Fellows will receive an additional $2,500 to their semester stipend and are encouraged to add the distinction as a synergistic professional development activity on their CV. The Physics Diversity Fellowships are modeled after the McDougal graduate teaching fellow program. Fellows typically work 6-8 hours/week in a flexible schedule that fits with most coursework. Proposed projects should be of a scope that is appropriate for the time commitment in one semester and expand on or complement existing department activities.  At the end of the semester, a short final report or presentation must be submitted.

Experience: We anticipate several networking events throughout the 2021-2022 academic year for the cohort of Yale Physics Diversity Fellows and for participants in a similar pilot program in the Earth and Planetary Science Department (EPS). We plan for the Physics Fellows, along with their colleagues in EPS, to present their projects at an event open to members of both departments at the end of the academic year.

Application Procedure: Applications will be due the semester prior to the proposed work. The application and proposal must be developed together with, and supported by, a faculty mentor (or staff from a campus center like the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning) who is responsible for supervising the work during the semester. All graduate students are eligible to apply but we expect that most of the fellowships will be awarded to students in their second year or higher. Applications consist of a short proposal (< 2 pages) and must describe clearly  

  • Project title and faculty mentor
  • Applicant’s motivation for the work proposed
  • A well-defined project or set of activities including goals and timelines
  • Expected products and outcome of the work
  • Methods to assess and measure the impact of the project in the department and beyond

Please submit your completed applications and a letter from your faculty mentor via email to Graduate Registrar stacey.watts@yale.edu by Friday, May 28, 2021. For any questions or feedback on your project ideas during the application process please contact graduate program coordinator Rona Ramos rona.ramos@yale.edu. A few examples for potential DEI projects are listed below.

Applications for the fellowships will be evaluated by an ad hoc committee consisting of the graduate program coordinator, registrar, the DGS, faculty lead of the CDC, and Chair. Criteria for selection will include the feasibility and likely impact of proposed projects. Applicants for the Fall 2021 fellowships will be notified before July 2021.

Graduate Prize Awards

the Dean’s Emerging Scholars Fellowship is awarded to graduate students who exhibit outstanding academic promise and achievement and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • they come from backgrounds that have been underrepresented in their chosen fields of study, including historically underrepresented minority students, first-generation college graduates, students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, or women in STEM fields;
  • they plan to pursue research related to issues of diversity and identity, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, religion, sexual orientation, and ability;
  • they have previously been or are currently involved in diversity-related initiatives by volunteering for community service or outreach on a college or university campus.

2019 - Samantha Pagan
2017 - Elena Gramellini
2016 - Brooke Russell

The Leigh Page Prize is offered to first year graduate students in recognition of their fine academic record and for the promise of important contributions to the field of physics. 

2020 - Sophia Hollick, Matthew Stortini, and Talia Weiss
2019 - Ryan Mescall, Alex Reda, and Arina Telles
2018 - Daniel Green & Qian Wang
2017 - Yunpeng Ji & Lauren Saunders
2016 - Kelly Backes, Emma Castiglia, Volodymyr Sivak, Sohan Vartak, and Jaya Venkatraman
2015 - Amber Hudspeth, Mariel Pettee, and Daniel Seara
2014 - Shany Danieli
2013 - Tonima Tasnim Ananna, Charles Brown, Elena Gramellini, Dandan Ji, Danielle Norcini, Michela Paganini, Meredith Powell, Brooke Russell, Lucie Tvrznikova, and Jared Vasquez
2012 - Derek Murray
2011 - Anna Kashkanova & Xin Li
2009 - Alice Ohlson & Tomomi Sunayama

The Prize Teaching Fellowships recognize outstanding performance and promise as a teacher. They are considered among the most important honors that Yale bestows upon graduate students.

2019-2020: Ryan Mescall
2017-2018: Stefan Krastanov

In Fall 2017, WFF launched its Seed Grant program and began accepting applications from undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty. These grants identify innovative ways to support the WFF mission by investing in the diverse work of scholars at Yale. We extend this program to support our tripartite mission of fostering gender equity throughout the University via policy initiatives and research; promoting scholarship on women and gender across the university; and promoting mentorship, collaboration, and networking. The program aims to expand research in areas of gender study and build visibility for issues and policies relating to gender in higher education.

2018-2019: Mariel Pettee

Graduate Endowment Fellowships

2020-2021: Sohan Vartak
2019-2020: Kimmy Cushman

The D. Allan Bromley Fellowship is awarded annually to support one or more students in Physics who have advanced to candidacy in the Ph.D. program, with attention to students who exhibit a broader interest than just physics, including, but not limited to, science and public policy, engineering, and applied science. In this way, the recipients will reflect and celebrate Dr. Bromley’s distinguished and honorable persona in the exceptional scope, standing, talent, and character of his distinguished personal, public, and academic life.

The students shall be nominated by members of the faculty of the Physics department, and shall be selected for the fellowship by the D. Allan Bromley Chair in Physics, the Director of Graduate Studies of the Physics department and the Chair of the Physics department.

The recipients shall be bound by the standards of academic integrity and conduct enshrined in the Yale tradition and specified by the policies and regulations of personal and academic conduct of the Graduate School. Failure to honorably uphold these academic and personal standards, for conduct unbecoming in violation of these standards, shall result in immediate loss of the fellowship.
 

2020-2021: Kimmy Cushman
2019-2020: Kelly Backes & Emma Castiglia
2018-2019: Jared Rovny
2017-2018: Savannah Thais & Danielle Norcini
2016-2017: Tonima Ananna & Charles Brown
2015-2016: Alexandru Georgescu
2014-2015: Marco Bonett-Matiz
2013-2014: Emma Ideal & Chris McKitterick
2012-2013: Camille Avestruz
2011-2012: Aaron Mertz
2010-2011: Merideth Frey
2009-2010: Benjamin Zwickl & Stephen Eckel

2020-2021: Lauren Saunders
2019-2020: Emily Kuhn

2020-2021: Caitie Beattie
2019-2020: Kyungjoo Noh

For students who have attained high scholastic standing in the fields of Physics and Mathematics.

2020-2021: Connor Hann
2019-2020: Paul Fanto
 

2020-2021: Iris Ponce

Awarded to a Yale College graduate studying Physics.

2020-2021: Ariana Telles
2019-2020: Sisi Zhou
 

2020-2021: Ananya Rai

Awarded to an outstanding student pursuing a Ph.D. in Physics.

2020-2021: Luna Zagorac
2019-2020: Jingping Li

2020-2021: Charles Lomba

2020-2021: Sanah Bhimani
2019-2020: Sean Frazier

Alumni Awards

The Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences presents its highest award, the Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal, to our most outstanding alumni. The medal recognizes distinguished achievements in scholarship, teaching, academic administration and public service, areas in which the legendary Dean Cross excelled. During the fall term medalists spend a day in their departments and receive the medal at a gala dinner.

Physics Winners

2009 William J. Willis, B.S. ’54, Ph.D. ‘58 
2003 Gerald Brown, Ph.D. ‘50
1999 Allen L. Sessoms, Ph.D. ‘72
1998 David Lee, Ph.D. ‘59
1991 Joseph Percival Allen, IV, Ph.D. ‘65
1991 W. Edwards Deming, Ph.D. ‘28
1986 Robert Joseph Birgeneau, Ph.D. ‘66
1985 John Paul Schiffer, Ph.D. ‘54
1981 Henry Margenau, Ph.D. ‘29
1976 James Henry Wakelin, Jr. Ph.D. ‘40
1968 William Martin Fairbank, Ph.D. ‘48