Graduate Fellowship Program

Strengthening Graduate Studies Through Excellence In Education and Research


Formerly The POTUS Fellowship Program

The Graduate Fellowship Program emphasizes preparation, matriculation, and completion of doctoral-level Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs at Tennessee State University (TSU). The Fellowship attempts to address the global need to increase African American representation in the STEM disciplines. The Program uses best practices that have been effective in supporting the success of African American doctoral students in STEM. The Fellowship supports the following disciplines: Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Physical Therapy.

STEM Fellows serve as research and teaching assistants, produce scholarly works, and engage in professional development opportunities. The Fellowship benefits include:

  • Full Tuition (Fall, Spring, Summer)*
  • A monthly stipend ($3,000.00/month)*
  • Travel to professional conferences*
  • Increased academic enrichment
  • Faculty and peer engagement
  • Professional development
  • Financial assistance for textbooks*
  • Research supplies*
  • Faculty mentoring

*Total estimated value is $50,000.00/year

Monthly stipends are paid directly to Fellows, however all other funds are applied to their university accounts.

This support provides Fellows with opportunities that will empower them to excel in their academic programs at TSU. Ultimately, the Fellowship Program seeks to challenge its Fellows to take on leadership roles in their academics and chosen career.

Fellows are held to a high level of expectation. Fellows are expected to perform beyond the minimum to ensure their place among the leaders of tomorrow.


View Program Brochure >>



Amanda Ruff, Biology Fellow

"The fellowship has enhanced my research abilities through the availability of materials. Every semester, fellows are able to order materials that are beneficial to their projects. My project utilizes primary antibodies. These primary antibodies are expensive and average around a cost of $400 per 1 mL vial. These materials are vital for the completion of my project and in part due to POTUS, I have never lacked the supplies needed."


ZaDarreyal Wiggins, Biology Fellow

"The fellowship has helped me achieve my personal goals by allowing me to pursue and come so close to becoming the first PhD graduate in my family. It would my parents and my family proud to accomplish this goal. On a professional level, this fellowship has opened my eyes with opportunities to grow my employment value. Being able to present at conferences and having the modern day resources to complete my research has allowed me to learn and improve on various techniques and skills needed in the job market."