History: Hertz Foundation

History Video

The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation, a tax exempt, not-for-profit organization, provides PhD fellowships to exceptionally talented individuals studying in the applied physical and biological sciences, mathematics, and engineering, at over 40 of the nation's finest participating universities.

Each year the Foundation conducts a national competition for new Hertz Fellows. 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 140 excellent candidates of exceptional creativity from over 750 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 and biological sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

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

About forty 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. Each year the number of Hertz Fellowship awarded varies from 10 to 15.

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.