Program Guidelines


  • The applicant must be working toward a Ph.D. in an established doctoral degree program. (Please note: the applicant must be accepted into a Ph.D. program.)
  • No limitations are placed on citizenship.
  • Fellowships are only available to students enrolled at U.S. or Canadian Universities.

Award Details

The award consists of a one-year fellowship of $35,000 to be used for the Fellow’s academic year and summer stipend. Funding for year 2 is possible, but will be evaluated competitively and is contingent upon satisfactory progress in year 1. Fellows will be required to prepare a formal report describing their activities due by September 1 following the expiration of the fellowship.

Examples of charges NOT considered appropriate include:

  • Tuition – it is expected that the Fellow’s institution will waive or assume tuition charges
  • Summer salary or other compensation for the research advisor
  • Pooled or overhead costs, and salary for support staff (e.g., secretarial or clerical help)
  • Set asides for research expenses rather than paying the whole amount as a stipend

Fellows must be enrolled on a full-time basis for the duration of the award. Fellowships are awarded to students who devote full-time to their research projects for the entire fellowship period (e.g., they are not actively working elsewhere in addition their proposed research).


Applications will be evaluated by a panel of experts in the field of Modeling, Simulation, and Training. Criteria for evaluation will include:

  1. The project.  Is it innovative? Is it technically sound? Does it fit in the context of current activities of research in its respective field? Is it well planned out and achievable in the scheduled time?
  2. The research.  Does the research have the potential to advance the field of training using simulation?

The Foundation is especially interested in research that is ultimately applicable to human-in-the-loop simulation. Areas of research emphasis include:

  • Modeling and simulating interactive, real-world environments in which people function.
  • Training and preparing individuals to perform in interactive environments through the use of simulators.
  • Developing or applying technologies that enables or improves modeling and simulation as described in the previous bullets.

Preference will be given to students who have entered into candidacy, have a well-defined thesis direction, but who still have enough remaining time to work toward their Ph.D. such that the receipt of a Link Foundation Fellowship could make a difference.

Frequently Asked Questions

General and Essay

I am not sure if my research is a good fit for this fellowship. What areas of research is the Link Foundation interested in funding?

You can review topics that have been funded on the Projects Awarded page. It is up to you to explain to the evaluation committee how your research fits into these areas of emphasis.

Is there a requirement on format for the essay portion?

There is no format requirement. APA is preferred. Images may be used. The file submitted must be in PDF format.

Project Objective, Timeline and Budget

Since the fellowship is explicitly given as a stipend, what information should be included in the budget?

The budget is for your research and is not how you will spend the stipend. A good budget shows us you have a well-planned project and are more likely to be successful in your work.

How detailed should the project objectives be?

The project objectives and timeline help show how well you have planned and understand your project. Most applicants have one page for this.

What are you looking for in terms of project objectives?

We are looking to assess your probability of success. This is also a good place to put in information that doesn’t fit in the 500-word essay. Format is your choice.

Letters of Recommendation

Can I change my advisor?

Yes. You will need to change it in two places. First in your profile. And then in the letters of recommendation.

My research advisor submitted the letter of recommendation for me, but now wishes to resubmit an updated letter. Is there any way that we can do it?

Yes, but you cannot do it yourself. Please have your recommender email the Letter of Recommendation to and I will swap the updated letter for the old letter in your application file. Have them include applicant’s name and project title in the email.

Can a letter of recommendation come from outside the U.S.?

Yes, however the application system will not give you an option to enter a mailing address outside of the U.S. Enter the recommender’s name, institution and email, and use your institution’s mailing address.


How are stipend funds delivered?

The money will be sent to the university, and the university will distribute it to the Fellow. How the university disperses it is up to the university. Some schools disperse it to the student the same way they pay GSAs and probably start at the beginning of the Fall Term. The physical check probably will not actually get to the school until July.

What if I complete my degree early or withdraw from their degree program?

If a student does not expend the full amount of an awarded fellowship, either because the student completes work toward their degree in less time than the full duration of the fellowship or because the student withdraws from their degree program, unexpended funds will be returned to the Link Foundation.