Graduate Fellowships


The Illinois Center for Advanced Studies of the Universe (ICASU) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is pleased to announce its annual Graduate Student Fellowship competition. These one-year fellowships support graduate research on topics of direct relevance to ICASU. Fellowships start at the beginning of the fall semester of the given year, with a duration of one year through the end of the summer of the following year.

The deadline application for the 2023 ICASU Fellowships is June 2nd 2023.

Your two page research statement should be combined with the CV, the publication list and the list of presentations into a single pdf document with the file name: FellowshipApp_[your_last_name]_[your_first_name]_2023.pdf

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This year, ICASU anticipates awarding three fellowships. One will be joined with the Center for AstroPhysical Surveys (CAPS) at the University of Illinois' National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Another one will be joined with NCSA, and the last one will be joined with the University of Illinois Department of Physics. The ICASU-CAPS fellow will be devoted to theoretical work with synergistic overlap between these two centers. The ICASU-NCSA fellow will be devoted to theoretical work with an overlap in scientific computing and with the goal to generate future joint proposal opportunities to continue collaborations between ICASU and NCSA. The ICASU-Physics fellow will be devoted to theoretical work on the physics aspects of the ICASU mission.

The evaluation criteria will be based on scientific merit and relevance to the ICASU mission, putting special emphasis on theory proposals that can strengthen the connections between ICASU and its partners. In particular, applicants interested in the ICASU-CAPS fellowship should clearly state how the research intended will enhance synergies between CAPS and ICASU, while applicants interested in the ICASU-NCSA fellowship should state how the research performed will lead to future collaboration with NCSA.

Fellowship Details

The graduate fellowship includes one year (12 months) of funding at $30k/yr for a stipend (with tuition remission) starting in the fall of the given year and extending through summer of the following year. The ICASU-CAPS fellow will also have computing resources available.

Application Materials:

Cover page

The cover page should be limited to 1 page and it should contain the following information:

  • full name, email, and home department of the applicant,
  • year of study of the applicant,
  • whether the applicant has passed the qualifying examination (or equivalent),
  • whether the application is intended for the ICASU-CAPS, ICASU-NCSA, or ICASU-Physics. The applicant must select a primary program. These fellowships are open to graduate students in any department on campus. 

Research Statement

The research statement is limited to two pages and it must be concise and clear. The statement should contain four sections: Motivation, Methods, Deliverables, and Synergy.

  • The Motivation Section discusses the scientific context, including the big picture and how it fits within the ICASU interdisciplinary mission. 
  • The Synergy Section describes how the research will develop connections between ICASU and one of its partners, clearly delineating the connections to CAPS, or NCSA, or Physics.
  • The Methods Section describes what theory, equations, simulations, etc, will be performed in the project. 
  • The Deliverables Section will contain a list of the expected outcomes from this funded 1-year research and it should contain a clear timeline.

Figures and references are encouraged, but cannot exceed the page limit. The text layout should be standard 1-inch margins and 10 to 12 point font.


A brief 1-page CV with the applicant's greatest achievements (do not include papers or presentations).

List of Publications

A list of publications (including full author lists and publication titles). Indicate also if any papers are Editor Choices or have been highlighted in any way. Please also include conference proceedings and papers submitted to the arXiv which are still under review.

List of Presentations

A list of invited presentations (including the talk title, the paper the talk refers to, and the inviting organization). Exclude any internal talks at UIUC.

Letters of Reference (2)

Once you submit your complete application, the system will automatically send an email request to two people that you select (you will be asked to input their email addresses), requesting that they write a letter of reference for your application. One letter must be from your adviser and the second letter from the person you want to collaborate with, in addition to your adviser. Please be sure to ask your references to upload their letter before the application deadline.

Questions can be directed to Professor Nicolás Yunes at