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Stengl-Wyer Graduate Fellowships

The endowment supports year-long fellowships for doctoral candidates pursuing dissertation research in the area of Diversity of life and organisms in their natural environments. Funded by the Stengl-Wyer Endowment, fellowship recipients will receive a 12-month stipend of $34,000, full tuition and fees, staff health insurance, and an allowance of $2,000 to cover research and travel expenses.


Spring 2020 Stengl-Wyer Graduate Fellowship Awardees

Angelina Dichiera

Andrew Esbaugh

Carbonic anhydrase function and evolution in the respiratory gas exchange system of fish

Colin Morrison

Lawrence Gilbert

The passion vine community phytochemical landscape

Alex Nishida

Howard Ochman

Specificity of host-microbiome interactions

Julia York

Harold Zakon

Evolution of temperature sensation


Initial awards were announced in Spring 2020 to support students from Sept 1, 2020 to Aug 31, 2021. Four Fellowships were awarded in the inaugural year. The form and timing of Stengl-Wyer Graduate Fellowships may change in subsequent years.

The application deadline for 2020 has passed.

Eligibility & qualifications

Applicants must be in candidacy for a doctoral degree in a CNS graduate program. They must demonstrate an outstanding record of academic distinction and evidence of scholarly achievement, as evidenced by first- or sole-authored publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, oral presentations at national or international scientific meetings, or other comparable recognition. Successful applicants will demonstrate independence and creativity in their proposed research projects and scholarship. Preference will be given to applicants whose proposed project broadens the scope of research in CNS, but still highly relevant to the theme of Diversity of life and organisms in their natural environments.


Stengl-Wyer Graduate Fellowship holders will devote themselves full time to research and scholarship. They may not serve as TAs or RAs during their scholarship tenure. They must reside locally and be regularly present on campus (unless fieldwork or other research-related activities require their absence).

Although the bulk of the students’ time will be devoted to their own research, analysis, and/or writing, each Fellow is expected to make a contribution towards public science communication in the general area of biological diversity. Suitable contributions will typically require less than one week of time for preparing and carrying out the activity. For example, this might be a talk in the “Science Under the Stars” sequence or organizing a table at “Explore UT” or a similar event.

application instructions

Application Instructions: Applications must be submitted through CompetitionSpace, UT Austin’s online submission interface by the deadline. When the link is available, to apply: 

  1. Click the “Apply” button on the CompetitionSpace page.
  2. This will take you to a login screen. Select the “University of Texas Web Login” button and use your UT EID and password to login.
  3. You will be taken to an online applications form. Complete the form and upload the required submission materials (as described below) and click “Submit Application” at the bottom of the page. You also have the option to save the application as a draft and return later to submit it.

Required Documents: Applications should include the following:

  • A description of the research topic, including a summary of results to date and a statement of planned activities to be undertaken during the fellowship year (two-page limit, including figures, not including literature citations)
  • A short-form CV listing publications, awards, talks at conferences or other institutions, outreach activities, and other evidence of scientific creativity, productivity, and leadership.
  • Transcript of graduate coursework (obtain unofficial copy from graduate coordinator)
  • A letter of support from dissertation advisor describing the accomplishments of the applicant and their potential for development into an independent scientist. The letter should be submitted confidentially per the instructions below.

Application pages should have 1-inch margins and use a 12-point font. Applicants should upload the description of the research topic, short form CV, and transcript as a single pdf document. The applicant's dissertation advisor should email the letter of support to swe@austin.utexas.edu. The applicant should not be copied on the email.