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Doctoral Scholars

The ICTAS Doctoral Scholars Program helps attract top graduate students to Virginia Tech, strengthening the university's research programs and increasing the diversity of educational, research, and experiential backgrounds represented on campus. This program offers faculty and departments in partnering colleges (COE, CNRE, COS, CALS, and CVM) an opportunity to nominate exceptional PhD applicants for a competitive 4-year fellowship. The overall aim of the ICTAS Doctoral Scholars program is to support the advancement of the Virginia Tech academic, research, teaching and service missions through inclusive excellence.

This collaborative program is led by ICTAS and jointly supported by significant contributions from the Graduate School, ICTAS, each scholar's college, and the scholar’s department/advisor. The program is a targeted recruitment tool for use by faculty and departments in five Virginia Tech colleges for attracting top Ph.D. candidates from outside of Virginia Tech. We strongly encourage the nomination of students from underrepresented groups in STEM disciplines.

Since the Doctoral Scholars Program was established in 2007, it has supported 136 doctoral candidates from programs within five Virginia Tech colleges. Past graduates have gone on to careers in academia and with employers including Apple, Inc., Weyerhauser, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the University of Alabama, among others.

Meet our recent Doctoral Scholars

Application and Award

Potential candidates from outside of Virginia Tech must be nominated by Virginia Tech faculty advisors or departments, and candidates must have applied to the Graduate School through its standard online application

Announcement and Nomination Instructions for 2023-2024 ICTAS FY25 Doctoral Scholars Program

Review of applications begins in December of each year. Recipients are notified on an on-going basis until the available slots are filled. The full cohort of scholars is formally announced after all acceptances are received.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Only students currently outside of VT can be nominated by faculty or departments. The program is targeted for the highest-caliber new Ph.D candidates. Selection criteria includes academic credentials, research contributions, and demonstrated leadership. We strongly encourage the nomination of students from underrepresented groups in STEM disciplines.

For more information, contact Mary Kasarda at (540) 231-8552 or via


  • Full graduate tuition support and some fees 
  • Competitive stipend and associated benefits for the period of Ph.D. pursuit, to a maximum of four years
  • Partial travel support for professional development and external presentations
  • Value-Added short workshops and events to support professional leadership success
  • Community-building activities