History: Hertz Foundation

History Video

The Foundation provides Fellowships to exceptionally talented individuals studying in the applied physical, biological and engineering sciences.

We are a tax exempt, not-for-profit organization which provides fellowships tenable at over 40 of the nation's finest universities for graduate work leading to award of the PhD degree in applications of the physical sciences.

Each year the Foundation conducts a national competition for new Hertz Fellows. Of those who apply, only about one quarter will be interviewed. Of those who are interviewed, approximately one in ten will be awarded a Hertz Fellowship.

We look to support the graduate education of America's most promising technical talent, the PhD-directed effort of the young men and women who can be expected to have the greatest impact on the application of the physical sciences to human problems during the next half-century. If you reasonably believe that you are one of these, we cordially invite your Fellowship application.

The Graduate Fellowships of the Hertz Foundation are widely considered to be among the most prestigious offered anywhere. The Foundation's standing policy is that they will be structured to be the most attractive in their class in both material terms and duration of tenure.


Each October, using a rigorous merit based system, the Hertz Foundation selects roughly 150 excellent candidates of exceptional creativity from over 600 written applications received each year. Almost all candidates are either seniors or first year graduate students planning to do graduate study in the applications of the physical, biological and engineering sciences.

Each candidate is interviewed by one of our technical interviewers (many of whom are Hertz Alumni Fellows). The interview process, which measures the leadership and creative potential of the candidate, is the hallmark of the Hertz Foundation's program.

About fifty candidates from this pool are selected for a second round interview. To ensure consistency and quality, a small number of experienced PhD engineer/scientist interviewers, who worked together in past years, conduct the second round interviews. Between 15 to 20 students are awarded a Hertz Fellowship.

In addition to financial support, the Foundation provides on going mentoring, symposia and a network of peers providing Fellows with a forum to share ideas and explore opportunities throughout their careers. The Foundation is developing ways for Hertz Fellows to communicate with their peers across generational and disciplinary lines, further enhancing their opportunities to gather information, form scientific networks and make contributions.