GAANN Ph.D. Fellowship

GAANN in Interdisciplinary Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering
U.S. Department of Education

Fellowships awarded include full tuition and up to
$34,000 stipend annually.

GAANN Fellowship Committee:

Contact Us:

Dept. of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 Eighth Street
Troy, NY 12180

About the GAANN Ph.D. Fellowship

The Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) provides fellowships to assist graduate students with excellent academic records who demonstrate financial need and plan to pursue a Mechanical or Aeronautical Ph.D. with an emphasis on teaching and research.

This program enables a greater number of students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, including women and minorities, to pursue doctoral degrees.


  • Be enrolled or accepted as a full-time Ph.D. student in MECL or AERO Engineering.
  • Demonstrate financial need based on FAFSA.
  • Have an excellent academic record.
  • Anticipate a future career in teaching or research.
  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident of the United States.


The research and expertise of our faculty members exemplify the vision of the New Polytechnic, emphasizing the emerging paradigm for teaching, learning, and addressing global challenges.

GAANN fellows will have opportunities to be co-advised by both Mechanical and Aeronautical faculty.


Application materials must be received a minimum of six weeks prior to the start of the semester in which funding is to be applied.

To apply for a GAANN fellowship, admitted MECL or AERO Ph.D. students must submit the following materials:

  • Current curriculum vitae or resume
  • A personal statement
  • A current transcript
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Complete a FAFSA

About GAANN program requirements

  • Students receiving GAANN fellowships will be required to complete at least one academic year of supervised training in instruction at the undergraduate or graduate level, at the schedule of at least one-half-time teaching assistant (GAANN regulation 648.61). To accomplish this, GAANN fellows will participate in a number of supervised instructional training opportunities that sustain, enhance and assess teaching effectiveness and student learning.
  • GAANN fellows are expected to maintain satisfactory academic progress, following the degree requirements of their specific departmental doctoral program. Fellows must also maintain full-time status in their graduate program.
  • GAANN fellows will take a selection of graduate courses in MECL and AERO fields and will have mentors in both disciplines.
  • GAANN fellows must file a new FAFSA prior to every academic year.
  • GAANN fellows may participate in broader campus social and academic programs geared towards identifying, recruiting, and retaining of students from traditionally underrepresented groups in mechanical and aeronautical engineering.
  • GAANN fellows will be required to complete annual program surveys while enrolled at Rensselaer and provide post-graduation employment data.

GAANN Application Materials Required

  • Current curriculum vitae or resume.
  • A personal statement (2 page limit) describing your background (e.g., first generation college student, educationally disadvantaged, financially challenged), a brief description of your research experience and interests, relevant accomplishments to date, immediate plans after graduation and eventual career goals, and reason for applying for a GAANN fellowship. Indicate gender and if you belong to a group traditionally underrepresented in mechanical or aeronautical engineering (American Indian or Alaskan Native, Black or African American, Latino/Hispanic ethnicity).
  • A current transcript for both undergraduate and graduate coursework.
  • The GAANN Committee will request two letters of recommendation from professionals who can evaluate your academic performance and research potential. Submit your recommender’s information by completing the Letter of Recommendation Form and return to
  • All applicants must complete a FAFSA, as the amount awarded by GAANN will not exceed the student’s demonstrated level of financial need. Questions on completing the FAFSA should be directed to Rensselaer’s Financial Aid Office at Rensselaer’s federal school code is 002803.

Application Submission

All application materials should be addressed to the GAANN Fellowship Committee and submitted by email to


Contact Dr. Theo Borca-Tasciuc at