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Scholarships and Awards

Graduate Physics and Astronomy Scholarship and Award 

Scholarship and award opportunities are available to graduate students in WVU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy.

In the spring semester, all physics graduate students will be emailed a link to an electronic application form. Submitting the form will apply a student for all Department scholarships for which they are eligible. For inquiries about the application process or any other questions, please email Physics-Scholarships@mail.wvu.edu.

The deadline for applications is March 1, 2022 – applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

The list below gives the scholarship names, descriptions, and eligibility requirements. Unless otherwise noted, every scholarship has some universal eligibility requirements:

  • Must be a currently enrolled graduate student majoring in physics.
  • Will be enrolled full-time in the following fall semester.


Outstanding TA Award

Description: Given to an outstanding teaching assistant in physics and astronomy. The recipient's name will be inscribed on a plaque in the main office of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Students will be considered by nomination from the Laboratory Manager or Physics and Astronomy faculty only.

Eligibility: Must have been a Graduate Teaching Assistant for at least one semester in the previous calendar year.


Robert T. Bruhn Physics Research Award

Description: This endowment shall provide funds to support the research effort of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Specifically, this endowment will advance WVU Research Initiatives approved for WV Research Trust Fund matching gifts in nanotechnology and materials science.

Eligibility: Must have a faculty research adviser and be participating in research in the fields of nanotechnology or materials science.


O. Rex Ford Scholarship in Physics

Description: This endowment shall provide undergraduate or graduate scholarships for majors in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Recipients shall demonstrate good academic standing by maintaining a GPA of 3.5. A student who is a recipient one year is eligible for consideration in any other year provided they continue to meet the selection criteria.

Eligibility: Must have a GPA of 3.5 or greater.


Oleg D. and Valentina P. Jefimenko Physics Fellowship

Description: This endowment shall provide funds to create a Graduate Fellowship to benefit currently enrolled graduate students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Specifically, this endowment will advance research in energy and environmental sciences as well as nanotechnology and material sciences activities in the department consistent with the requirements of the WV Research Trust Fund. 

Eligibility: Must have a faculty research adviser and be participating in research in one of the scientific fields listed in the description.


Carl A. Rotter Graduate Teaching Award

Description: This award will support a graduate student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy who shall be recognized for their outstanding teaching either in the classroom or the laboratory. A student may receive this award no more than two times. This recommendation shall come from a committee of Physics faculty which will be composed of the chair of the department, the graduate student advisor, and the laboratory manager. The specific nature of the monetary support to the graduate student (or students, depending on the size of the endowment) will be determined in consultation with the student recipient and may come in any one of a variety of ways depending on student need: for example, salary enhancement, funds for teaching development, travel support, research support, scholarship aid, etc. All awards from this fund shall be made in the name of Dr. Carl A. Rotter, Professor of Physics and Eberly Professor for Outstanding Teaching at WVU.

Eligibility: (1) Must have been a Graduate Teaching Assistant for at least one semester in the previous calendar year. (2) Must have not won the award twice previously.

This award was established by Mary Ann Hayes-Rotter, wife of Professor Carl Rotter, to recognize and celebrate her husband’s abiding interest in physics education and teacher preparation. Rotter taught high school physics and mathematics for several years after earning a B.S. in physics at St. Mary’s University in 1958. He returned to academia and earned a Ph.D. in solid state physics at Case-Western Reserve University in 1966, and that same year he came to WVU as an assistant professor. During his 36 years on the faculty, Rotter was the recipient of numerous teaching awards, including being named the West Virginia Professor of the Year in 1988 by CASE and an Eberly Family Professor for Outstanding Teaching in 1996. 


Dr. Mohindar S. Seehra Research Award and Research Trust Fund Seehra Research Award

Description: This endowment will provide Research awards recognizing the recipient's research efforts within the discipline of physics. All physics doctoral students will be eligible for consideration. The award in a given year may be shared among equally qualified applicants. If there are no applicants meeting the selection criteria, then the available funding should be held in reserve for the next academic year. The intent of the donor is that this gift will qualify for a match in accordance with the West Virginia Research Trust Fund.

Eligibility: Funds are awarded in the summer rather than fall, so a student graduating in the spring semester is eligible to receive these awards.

These awards were established by Dr. Mohindar Seehra, professor emeritus of physics at WVU, who was initially educated in India before completing his doctorate in the United States. He joined the faculty of WVU in 1969 and has since been active in the Department of Physics and Astronomy as a researcher and teacher. 


H. Arthur Weldon Prize

Description: This endowment shall provide funds to recognize an academically outstanding student in their first year of graduate school in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at WVU. Selection shall be determined by the Department of Physics Chair and approved by the Dean of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.

Eligibility: Must be a first-year graduate student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.


Office of Graduate Education & Life Fellowships

Follow this link to view all Office of Graduate Education & Life (OGEL) fellowships. Students must be nominated for fellowships and may not apply directly.

National Fellowships

Beyond WVU, there are nationally competitive fellowships, including:

For more information please contact the Chair of the Graduate Recruitment Committee, Dr. Loren Anderson.