Google PhD Fellowship - Call for Nominations

October 23, 2019

Dear Graduate Associate Deans,

The Google PhD Fellowship Program was created to recognize outstanding graduate students doing exceptional and innovative research in areas relevant to computer science and related fields. Fellowships support promising PhD candidates of all backgrounds who seek to influence the future of technology. Google PhD Fellowships directly support graduate students as they pursue their PhD, as well as connect them to a Google Research Mentor.

Students receive named Fellowships which include a monetary award for up to 3 years. The fellowship covers full tuition and fees (enrollment fees, health insurance, books) plus a stipend to be used for living expenses, travel and personal equipment.

I am writing to initiate the selection process for Pitt’s four nominations*. Since these fields span multiple schools here at Pitt, each school may submit two nominations. Please submit your candidate’s internal nomination packet to Meghan Culpepper by no later than November 4th, 2019.

*Please note: Universities in the United States and Canada may nominate up to four eligible students from Computer Science or related fields. If more than two are nominated, then in order to increase opportunities for students who are underrepresented in the field of computing, additional nominees must self-identify as a woman, Black/African American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Hispanic/Latinx, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and/or person with a disability. In other words, if a university chooses to nominate more than 2 students, then the 3rd and 4th student nomination should self-identify with the underrepresented group mentioned above.

Additional information about the competition can be found here:

Once all nominations are received, I will select four students which will be nominated for the Google PhD Fellowship Program. The finalists will then be asked to prepare an external nomination packet to be submitted to Google.

The internal nomination packet should include:

  1. Student CV with links to website and publications (if available)
  2. Short (1 page) CV of the student’s thesis advisor
  3. Transcripts of current and previous academic records
  4. Letter of recommendation from thesis advisor
  5. Names of 1-2 additional references.

The external nomination packet should include:

  1. 1-2 additional letters of recommendation from those familiar with the nominee's work
  2. Research / dissertation proposal including references (maximum 8 pages)
  3. Student essay response (350-word limit) to: Describe the desired impact your research will make on the field and society, and why this is important to you. Include any personal, educational and/or professional experiences that have motivated your research interests.
  4. Student essay response (350-word limit) to: Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.
    1. A leadership role can mean more than just a title. It can mean being a mentor to others, acting as the person in charge of a specific task, or taking the lead role in organizing an event or project. Think about what you accomplished and what you learned from the experience. What were your responsibilities?
    2. Did you lead a team? How did your experience change your perspective on leading others? Did you help to resolve an important dispute at your school, church, in your community or an organization? And your leadership role doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to school activities. For example, do you help out or take care of your family?

Please direct any questions about the process to Meghan Culpepper,, 412-648-4002.