Skip to Content
Blue Waters Graduate Fellowship Program

Fellows 2019-2020

Fellows 2018-2019

Fellows 2017-2018

Fellows 2016-2017

Fellows 2015-2016

Fellows 2014-2015

University of Illinois
New Frontiers Initiative
Graduate Fellowships


Deadline is April 5, 2021 - Anywhere on Earth (AoE).

Decisions are expected to be announced by the end of May 2021.

Applications may be submitted using this form.

Letters of reference may be submitted using this form.

The New Frontiers Initiative Graduate Fellowships provide PhD students with a year of full-time research support, including a $38,000 stipend, up to $12,000 in tuition allowance, an allocation of up to 100,000 node-hours on the powerful Blue Waters petascale computing system, and funds for travel to visit the University of Illinois to present their research goals and develop computational research plans that will utlilize high performance computing (HPC) resources.

Applicants must be enrolled in a full-time PhD program at an accredited U.S. educational institution. Applicants are required to be in the second or later year of their graduate program with a well-developed, research proposal. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents by the time of the application deadline. Women, minorities and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Preference will be given to applicants engaged in geospatial and geointelligence research projects at scale that combine disciplines such as computer science, applied mathematics, and computational science applications. Examples of geospatial and geointelligence research areas of interest follow.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Bathymetry
  • Computer vision
  • Crisis mapping and management
  • Data analytics
  • Data visualization
  • Data modeling
  • Geomatics
  • Geodesy
  • Geodetics
  • Geospatial data management
  • Geospatial intelligence
  • GIS analytics
  • Machine Learning (ML)
  • Remote sensing and imagery analysis
  • Spatial statistics

Applicants must not have received previous fellowship support from the Blue Waters fellowship program and must not have support from any other fellowship during the period of the fellowship, which is expected to be May 2021 through April 2022.

Applicants will be evaluated based on:

  • Academic record from undergraduate and graduate work
  • GRE scores
  • Research plan and its relationship to the use of the Blue Waters supercomputer
  • Related experience and service
  • Two letters of reference

Frequently asked questions can be found at the FAQ page.

Questions? Contact

The New Frontiers Initiative (NFI) is an activity of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign that partners with federal agencies on research, development and educational projects to bring Illinois expertise and resources to enhance the nations national security and safety.

Blue Waters is supported by the National Science Foundation through awards OCI-0725070 and ACI-1238993.