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Rolls-Royce Doctoral Student Fellowship Program


The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is seeking applications for Rolls-Royce Doctoral Students. The purpose of this fellowship award is to support outstanding PhD students in pursuit of research and scholarship on topics of interest to Rolls-Royce, Virginia Tech, and other partners. Each Rolls-Royce Doctoral Student will be supported for up to three years and will receive an annual stipend of $30,000, full tuition and fees, health insurance, and an annual travel budget of $2,500.


The University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Rolls-Royce, and the Commonwealth of Virginia have entered into an innovative strategic partnership to define the next generation of power systems for aerospace, energy, and marine applications. Examples of the partnership include the creation of the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing and the Commonwealth Center for Aerospace Propulsion Systems, which are being developed jointly by the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.  Such initiatives will serve as focal points for strong interdisciplinary collaborations between industry, government, and academic organizations.

Rolls-Royce Doctoral Students are expected to enroll in doctoral programs in the College of Engineering. Technical areas of interest include, but are not limited to: next-generation materials, coatings, and thin films; electrochemistry, including corrosion and high-temperature oxidation; propulsion; combustion, including afterburners; machine controls and mechatronics; computational fluid dynamics; energy storage; manufacturing systems; thermal management; mechanics; and multi-functional materials.

Selection Criteria

Applications are limited to new incoming Ph.D. students or current outstanding MS students interested in pursuing a PhD. Students should have strong academic credentials and aptitude for research, as evidenced by performance in coursework, research experience, and letters of support. Financial need is not a criterion used in the evaluation of nominations. While selected students will be encouraged to interact with Rolls-Royce Research Centers worldwide, a significant portion of award-relevant research will be performed at Virginia Tech.

Steps to Apply

Please complete the following steps to apply for this fellowship:

  1. Interested students should apply online to the Virginia Tech Graduate School. The application should clearly state the student’s interest in being considered for a Rolls-Royce Doctoral Student Fellowship.
  2. Interested students should also email their resume and a copy of their unofficial transcripts to Changmin Son, Rolls-Royce Commonwealth Professor, at The subject line of the email should be Rolls-Royce Doctoral Student Fellowship.

Submission Deadlines: The application deadline typically falls in March. Nominated students should be new graduate students able to start in the fall semester.