Professor Walter G. Mayer Endowed Scholarship Fund

Prof. Walter Mayer
Prof. Walter Mayer


This merit-based scholarship supports graduate students pursuing doctorates in Experimental Physics. This scholarship fund has been endowed through the generous support of Dr. David Auth (G’69), a former graduate student of the late Professor Walter Mayer. Walter was a well-loved and respected member of the department from 1965 to 2011 who directed a highly successful research program in acoustics and served as an outstanding teacher and research mentor to many graduate and undergraduate students in the department. Dr. Auth was one of Prof. Mayer’s first graduate students, and went on to a highly successful career as an academic researcher, entrepreneur and business leader.


To be eligible for nomination, a student must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and be pursuing a Ph.D. in experimental physics.

Dr. David Auth
Dr. David Auth

Application Process

This scholarship has traditionally been awarded to students that have at least one year of research or apprenticeship experience. Candidates will be nominated by ordinary faculty in the Physics department. The submission deadline is June 1st for the following academic year.

A complete application will consist of:

  1. Research statement with references to anticipated achievements over the next academic year (2 to 3 pages with references (references not included in the page count)) and CV prepared by the candidate. If the candidate is a prior awardee, the statement should contain a description of prior results during the funded period.
  2. Letter of support from the candidate’s advisor.
  3. Copy of the candidate’s transcript, prepared by the Graduate Program Coordinator.

The applications will be reviewed by the Graduate Program Committee and an awardee chosen by majority vote of the committee. All faculty in the department of Physics will be invited to attend the committee meeting at which the candidates are discussed and will be able to provide input on the selection. Committee members who are advisors of applicants will recuse themselves from the voting. In the event that the committee cannot reach a decision the vote shall automatically go to the full faculty at the next scheduled faculty meeting.

Note: Renewals for multiple years will be subject to a higher level of scrutiny in regards to the results of previous years of support. Please provide an additional 1 page statement of accomplishments made during the previous funded year. 

The fellowship covers the student stipend during the academic year. Tuition, travel costs, research supplies, etc. need to be covered by other resources.

Selection Criteria

Our selection is based on the five criteria given below:

  1. Project goals and their impact: Clear description of the state of the art in the field supported by relevant references. Clear description of how the research project will contribute to significantly advance the field.
  2. Research products: Examples could include manuscripts published or in preparation, contributions to conferences, preliminary data used for grant proposal submissions (the candidates have at least one year of research or apprenticeship experience), preliminary research results necessary for the next stage of the project.
  3. Transcript: GPA in graduate courses
  4. For candidates applying for a renewal: Research products and results from the past year, description of progress towards research goals.   
  5. Faculty support letter: articulating and supporting the research identified in the candidate statement.



2024 – 2025 applications are due June 1, 2024