The Hertz Foundation Names 50 Top Finalists for the 2014 Hertz Graduate Fellowship

February 13, 2014

The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship is considered to be the nation’s most prestigious graduate education award in the applied physical, biological and engineering sciences. The finalists were selected from nearly 800 applicants.


The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation has named the 50 top finalists for the 2014 Hertz Fellowship, considered to be the nation’s most prestigious graduate education award in the applied physical, biological and engineering sciences. The finalists were selected from nearly 800 applicants. Up to 15 graduate students will be named 2014 Hertz Fellows in late March. Valued at more than a quarter million dollars per student, this support, lasting up to five years, is also considered to be the nation’s most generous. More than $200 million (present day value) in fellowships has been awarded for the graduate education of 1154 Hertz Fellows since 1963, in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Finalists represent 29 universities from across the nation, including Harvard, Stanford, the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, Berkeley, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Fields of study for the Hertz Fellowship range from neuroscience, bioengineering, materials science, physics, computer science, quantitative biology, astronautics and aeronautics to additional areas in STEM education.

“Every year we are inspired by our incredible applicant pool,” stated Jay Davis, PhD, Hertz Foundation President. “It is a highly competitive process to select only 50 finalists to advance to the next round of technical interviews. It appears that more than a third of our finalists are in bioengineering, neuroscience, biomedical engineering or computational biology. This follows a major trend we continue to see among our candidates: applying physical and computational tools to problems of biomedicine and health.”

The rigorous selection process includes a comprehensive written application, four references, and two rounds of technical interviews. The interview is a distinguishing attribute of the Hertz Foundation. This face-to-face conversation identifies creativity in a way that test scores and GPAs do not reveal.

“We base our decisions on many criteria that come through as a result of the in-depth interview process,” continued Davis. “The interview identifies those with exceptional creativity and the promise for innovative research. We select applicants who have great potential to impact and better the world.”

For more than half a century, the Hertz Foundation has contributed to the scientific, engineering and STEM education strength of the nation by finding the best and brightest graduate students. Hertz Fellows pursue the PhD and follow their own ideas with complete financial independence. These students are chosen for their intellect, their ingenuity and their potential to bring meaningful improvement to society. The Hertz Foundation also supports Hertz Fellows in building the vibrant Hertz Fellows Community, gathering in annual workshops and retreats to inspire and learn from one another across generations. Collaboration across disciplines further augments their powerful contribution and impact.

Download the PDF list of 2014-2015 Finalists.