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Fellowships and Assistantships

Graduate Student Funding

Financial aid for international graduate students is provided primarily by the department. This aid is provided as Research Assistantships (RAs) and Teaching Assistantships (TAs).

Research assistants are chosen by individual professors who have openings in their research programs. RAs are expected to contribute to the research effort in accordance with the student’s experience level and the specific responsibilities defined by the funding professor. In addition to being a source of financial aid, a research assistantship is an opportunity to gain hands-on research experience that can form the basis of a graduate thesis. There is no formal application process for research assistantships, but all mechanical engineering professors have access to the files of graduate school applicants and may chose to contact you about a RA position. Alternately, you may directly contact any professor whose research interests you. Short biographical sketches of faculty members, including their research interests and contact information, are available here.

Teaching assistants are chosen by the department based on the needs of the course schedule for a given semester and the input of concerned faculty members. TAs are expected to grade assignments, be available to answer questions from students in the class and otherwise assist the professor in class preparations. Teaching assistantships are typically given on a semester-by-semester basis and students may be both a TA and a RA over the course of a given academic year. Like research assistantships, there is no formal application process for a teaching assistantship. However, if you are a new Ph.D. student and are interested in a teaching assistantship, please contact Dr. Karaca, director of graduate studies.

There is no set timetable for the awarding of RAs and TAs. These decisions are made on a continuous basis. If you are offered an assistantship, you will be notified immediately.

At the university level, there is no institutional financial aid designated for international students. For further assistance, you may contact the Office of International Students and Scholars at (859) 257-2755, or 112 Bradley Hall, Lexington, KY 40506-0058. You might also contact the International Affairs Office at (859) 257-4067, or 311 Bradley Hall, Lexington, KY 40506-0058. The International Affairs Office also has a website here.

Other possible sources of financial support are fellowships granted from outside the university. The eligibility of international students for these awards is determined by the granting organization. A regularly updated (but not exhaustive) list of outside fellowship opportunities is located on the prospective graduate student website under the Fellowships, Assistantships, and Support Funding topic.

Mechanical Engineering Fellowships

TVA Graduate Fellowship 

One fellowship is available for an outstanding graduate student applying to the UK ME graduate program (Ph.D. or thesis-option Masters). The award is $18,000 for one year (12 months). The recipient of the fellowship shall engage in power engineering research with a major professor who is a full-time member of the Mechanical Engineering Department. If the student desires a teaching experience, that is allowable under this fellowship.

Criteria for Eligibility

  1. Eligible students are new Ph.D. students applying to the graduate program in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Kentucky.
  2. Candidates must have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.5 or higher; likewise, candidates must have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher for any graduate work.

Nomination Process

Candidates for the TVA Graduate Fellowship must be nominated by an ME faculty member or by one of the four technical area committees of the Mechanical Engineering Department.

In the following order, nomination packages must include:

  1. a letter of nomination from the student’s undergraduate faculty advisor, elaborating on special qualifications of the candidate (previous scholarships, honors and awards, research papers, publications, etc.);
  2. resume;
  3. letters of recommendation from at least three current or former professors;
  4. copies of transcripts from all schools attended;
  5. copies of GRE and TOEFL (if applicable) scores.

Selection Process

The final ranking of the fellowship will be determined by the Graduate Studies Committee in consultation with the TVA professor after reviewing the nomination packages. Based on the ranking, the Dean of Engineering will then make and approve the final selection.

Due Date for Nominations: TBA

Please submit applications to:

Will Aaron
151 Ralph G. Anderson Building
Lexington, Kentucky 40506-0503


Harper Industries Incorporated Graduate Fellowship

One fellowship is available for an outstanding graduate student applying to the UK ME graduate program (Ph.D. or thesis-option Masters). The award is $18,000 for one year (12 months). If the student desires a teaching experience, that is allowable under this fellowship.

Criteria for Eligibility

  1. Eligible students are new Ph.D. students applying to the graduate program in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Kentucky.
  2. Candidates must have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.5 or higher; likewise, candidates must have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher for any graduate work.

Nomination Process

Candidates for the Harper Industries Fellowship must be nominated by an ME faculty member or by one of the four technical area committees of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

In the following order, nomination packages must include:

  1. a letter of nomination from the student’s undergraduate faculty advisor, elaborating on special qualifications of the candidate (previous scholarships, honors and awards, research papers, publications, etc.)
  2. resume
  3. letters of recommendation from at least three current or former professors
  4. copies of transcripts from all schools attended
  5. copies of GRE and TOEFL (if applicable) scores

Selection Process

The recipient of the fellowship will be determined by the Graduate Studies Committee after reviewing the nomination packages.

Due Date for Nominations: January 15th

Please submit applications to:

Will Aaron
151 Ralph G. Anderson Building
Lexington, Kentucky 40506-0503


Click here for other fellowships provided by the UK Graduate School