Fellowships and Prizes

Research Fellowships

The Department of Physics offers several opportunities for support of undergraduate research. Interested students should discuss potential research with a faculty mentor. Students who wish to work with a mentor who is not in the Physics department should find a Physics faculty member to be a co-mentor. For additional information and/or to discuss potential mentors, contact the undergraduate research coordinator.

Summer Fellowships

Apply by March 29, 2024

Greg Delos Summer Fellowship (1 award):

Greg Delos was an excellent student who died during his junior year. In his memory, the Delos family generously supports the annual stipend to support a student working with one of the research groups during the summer. This award is publicized each spring semester and the winner is selected based on performance in physics courses and possibly research thus far.

Undergraduate Physics Fellowship (4-6 awards):

This fellowship is for ten weeks in the upcoming summer and pays a total of $5,000 to provide a gateway for summer research in an on-campus laboratory with an appropriate faculty mentor. Nomination for this fellowship is made by a faculty member; we encourage you to discuss potential nominations with faculty members who are doing research that interests you.

DEI Summer Research Fellowship for Undergraduates

The Department of Physics offers the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Summer Research Fellowship to support undergraduate students from underrepresented and minoritized groups* in Physics. Interested students should discuss potential research with a Physics faculty who will act as a mentor or co-mentor.

* American Indian or Native Alaskan, Black, Hispanic, Multi-Racial Minority, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander

McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowships (5 awards)

This fellowship is geared toward undergraduate students who may be considering graduate school.  McDonnell Center faculty fellows guide the student on a specific space-science-related research project during the summer.  Students interested in applying should discuss potential research with a McDonnell Center faculty member and apply below through the Department of Physics. The term is for ten weeks in the upcoming summer and pays a total of $5,000. 

Dr. Kazimierz (John) Luszczynski Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship

The Dr. Kazimierz (John) Luszczynski Summer Research Fellowship provides support to undergraduates seeking to do a summer research project in the Department of Physics. The fellowship covers an hourly research salary. In exceptional cases, the fellowship can also cover the costs for accommodation in St. Louis. Interested students are invited to explore the webpages of the physics faculty to identify a faculty member who they are interested in working with. Please contact the professor(s) by email and inquire about research opportunities. The students are invited to develop a research plan in conversation with the faculty member. Applications for the fellowship require a 1-page research plan in which the research objectives and deliverables (e.g. a report) are summarized, as well as a CV of the applicant. Please email the documents to the undergraduate research advisor. Applications can be submitted at any time. 

Professor Luszczynski is an emeritus professor at Washington University. He joined Washington University in 1959 as a Research Associate in Physics. He moved to an Assistant Professor position in 1961 and to Professor of Physics in 1974. He retired in 2001. Professor Luszczynski  made major contributions to the study of helium at extremely low temperatures. He conducted high-precision measurements of the nuclear magnetic susceptibilities, self-diffusion coefficients, and spin lattice relaxation times of helium-3 and helium-4 in various mixtures. His work made use of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements and included the development of a nuclear spin pulse apparatus for the measurement of nuclear spin-lattice relaxation times with high accuracy. Professor Luszczynski advised numerous graduate students and led them to complete their PhD, including David Kalman Biegelsen, David Fenner, Derrick Peter Grimmer, Robert William Guernsey, Paul Koppel, Edwin Ernest Nothdurft, and Charles Dean Pfeifer.

Selections for fellowships will be announced in March. 

We request that summer award recipients not participate in any summer employment or summer school. If you are awarded funding from other sources (e.g. Pfizer, HHMI, Mellon Mays) you may accept the funding of only one source. Students who receive an award must also present their work at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Fall.

Academic Year Fellowships

This fellowship, funded by Professor and Mrs. Randall D. Knight, is for the Fall and/or Spring semester. This Fellowship provides a gateway to begin or continue existing research in an on-campus laboratory with an appropriate faculty mentor. Nomination for this fellowship is made by a faculty member; we encourage you to discuss potential nominations with faculty members who are doing research that interests you.

Students may apply for support for one or both academic semesters. Full academic year support is contingent upon a positive review by the faculty member. 

Apply for Research Fellowships

To apply for a summer research fellowship, please complete the appropriate application:

Academic Year Research Fellowship Application

OR

Summer Research Fellowship Application

In addition to completing the application, please do the following: 

  1. Email your unofficial transcript (student record printout) to ugresearch@physics.wustl.edu
  2. Request that your advisor fill out the Mentor Nomination Form

Please direct any questions to the undergraduate research coordinator.

 

Summer Research Fellowships for High School Students

The Department of Physics offers the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Summer Research Fellowship to support high school students from underrepresented and minoritized groups* in Physics. Interested students should contact the program coordinator. The program coordinator will inform the students about available scientific projects and put them in contact with a Physics faculty member who will act as a mentor or co-mentor. More information.

* American Indian or Native Alaskan, Black, Hispanic, Multi-Racial Minority, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander

To apply for a summer research fellowship as a high school student, please complete the application:

SUMMER RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION for High School Students 

 

Prizes

The Department of Physics awards prizes to students who have excelled in various ways.

Robert N. Varney Prize

This prize is awarded each fall to the best student in the introductory courses (Physics I & II) the previous year. Professor Varney was a member of the faculty for many years, carrying out research in gaseous electronics. This prize was established to commemorate his deep and long-time interest in physics instruction. 

Nishi Luthra Senior Prize

Selection for the Nishi Luthra Senior Prize is based on performance in physics courses and is made by the department's major advisors. The prize is awarded in a ceremony in the department after Commencement.