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The Julian Chin Ph.D. Fellowship in Cybersecurity

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To honor his memory, the Julian Chin Ph.D. Fellowship in Cybersecurity will enable students to follow in the footsteps of Julian Chin, renowned for solving the most challenging technical problems facing the national security community.  He was called upon over his career to unravel the most difficult problems and vexing issues for the intelligence community, technical collection systems developed and guided by his expertise and troubleshooting skills decades ago are still making a difference today for our nation.  Fellows earning this opportunity will be expected to exhibit traits that Mr. Chin embodied, which was high technical competence, motivation, efficiency, and thoroughness, and above all else strong collaboration and teambuilding skills.


The Julian Chin Ph.D. Fellowship in Cybersecurity is open to U.S. citizens who plan full-time, uninterrupted study toward a Ph.D. at Virginia Tech and under the supervision of faculty at the Virginia Tech National Security Institute.  We encourage applications from students in engineering and the physical, computer, mathematical or life sciences who meet the following eligibility requirements. The fellowship provides four years of support, but must be renewed each summer. The deadline for application is January 31, 2022.

The following criteria will be used to determine the eligibility.  Measured at the time of application, eligibility will be extended to:

  1. Undergraduate seniors
  2. Applicants with no more than B.S. or B.A. degrees who are not enrolled in graduate school
  3. First-year graduate students (M.S. degree or Ph.D. students without an M.S. degree)
  4. Enrolled M.S. degree students beyond their first year provided that they plan to pursue a Ph.D. at Virginia Tech
  5. Other non-traditional Ph.D. students may be eligible, and should contact for more information

During the fellowship period, fellows are required to conduct research in areas related to cybersecurity.  The summer should be spent conducting full-time research related to the completion of one's degree program, or on a practicum assignment.

This equal opportunity program is open to all qualified persons who are U.S. Citizens, without regard to race, gender, religion, age, physical disability or national origin.


The Julian Chin Fellowship has extremely generous benefits which place it among the most competitive and prestigious Ph.D. fellowships in the USA. It includes:  

  • A yearly stipend of $38,000
  • Payment of full tuition and required fees during the appointment period.
  • $5,000 professional development allowance which can be used for conference travel, and other approved expenditures
  • Up to four years of total support, depending on renewal
  • Opportunities to pursue practicum experience at government and industry partner facilities
  • Opportunities to conduct research with faculty from the National Security Institute
  • Flexibility to study cybersecurity in any relevant discipline at Virginia Tech

Application Process

Step 1. Apply to the Virginia Tech Graduate School. (If you are already a Virginia Tech Graduate student, skip to Step 1a.)

  • The complete application includes:
    • Virginia Tech Graduate School online application form; nonrefundable application fee $75.00.
    • An up-to-date, electronic copy of all official transcript(s) must be submitted with your on-line application. Please do not mail your official transcript(s) to the Graduate School until you have received an offer of admission from Virginia Tech. (Note that the ECE department does not require an official copy of your transcript(s).
    • Three (3) letters of recommendation.
    • Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Some departments waive this requirement based on experience or undergraduate degree from VT.
    • A Resume and a Statement of Purpose submitted with the on-line application.

Step 1a. If you are already a current Virginia Tech graduate student, you may apply for the fellowship using this form.

  • This form should NOT be completed by Virginia Tech undergraduate students or students external to Virginia Tech who have not already been admitted to the Virginia Tech Graduate School (see Step 1).

Step 2. Notify staff at the Virginia Tech National Security Institute that you would like to be considered for the Julian Chin Ph.D. Fellowship in Cybersecurity by emailing