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Cunningham Doctoral Assistantships

The Cunningham Fellowship is funded by the Cunningham Fund with the purpose of attracting top-quality students to choose Virginia Tech for their graduate work. Incoming students who represent extraordinary recruitment opportunities are eligible to receive these fellowships. 

Eligibility Requirements

Candidates must: 

  • Have an outstanding academic record and strong potential for completing a graduate degree
  • Be admitted to a degree-granting graduate program at Virginia Tech 
  • Be nominated by the admitting   department/program


  • One-time bonus of $7,500 to supplement assistantship stipend offered by nominating unit, to be paid as a lump sum once the student is enrolled and the first semester drop deadline is passed (or the semester is underway)
  • The nominating unit commits that their assistantship stipend will be provided at the level customary for the department/program and student's status.


  • There will be three “waves” of nominations due on: Jan 15, Feb 15, Mar 1. 
  • Nominations will be considered and approved on a rolling basis.
  • Academic departments may submit a nomination packet through the Fellowship Nomination Form that includes the following information:
    • Applicant’s name
    • Virginia Tech degree the applicant is seeking
    • Previous university
    • Recommendation letter from the department addressing eligibility requirements, including such elements as academic performance and any research productivity
    • Statement from department confirming assistantship offer amount 
  • Decisions will be made within 15 days of nomination deadlines.
  • Students must accept VT’s offer of admission by April 15.
  • Funds are not transferable to another candidate.