Program Guidelines

Award Details

Each year, the foundation conducts a national competition and awards up to four fellowships in Modeling, Simulation, and Training.

For the 2022-2023 academic year, the award consists of one year renewable of $32,500 that is to be used towards the Fellow’s academic year and summer stipend. All of the money is to be paid to the student as a stipend.

Download our flyer here.

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


  • The applicant must be working toward a Ph.D. in an established doctoral degree program. (Please note: the applicant must have already been accepted into a Ph.D. program.)
  • No limitations are placed on citizenship.
  • Fellows must be enrolled as full-time students during the fellowship year
  • 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). Those working full time may be considered if they are taking a leave of absence during the fellowship year in order to devote full time to their research.
  • Fellowships are only available to students enrolled at U.S. or Canadian Universities.

Application Evaluation Information

Applications will be evaluated by a panel of experts in the field of Modeling, Simulation, and Training. The main 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?

Preference will be given to candidates who:

  • 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
  • Are doing research applicable to simulating real-time complex, interactive environments, or training and preparing individuals to perform in such environments.

Other requirements

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 fellowship program manager's institution in an amount pro-rated based on the fraction of the fellowship tenure during which the student was actively working on Link-supported research.

Frequently Asked Questions

General and Essay

I am not sure if my research is a good fit for this fellowship. Can you tell me more about what areas of research the Link Foundation is interested in funding? For the Modeling, Simulation, and Training Fellowship, the Foundation is especially interested in research that is ultimately applicable to human-in-the-loop simulation. Areas of research emphasis include

  • Developing or applying technologies that enables or improves modeling and simulation
  • 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

Please read the information on the web site carefully about what the Foundation is interested in funding. You should also review the topics that have been funded for fellowships on the Projects Awarded page. As the researcher, it is up to you to explain to the judges how your research fits into these areas of emphasis. There is additional information in the Fellowship’s flyer, available here and on the Program Guideline page.

Is there a requirement on the format for the essay portion? Can I use images?

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

Project Objective, Timeline and Budget

For the budget plan, since the fellowship is explicitly given as a stipend, I am not certain about what information should be included.

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 us how well you have planned and understand your project. Most applicants have one page for this.

Should project objectives simply be listed and described? 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.

May the associate dean/department head write the letter of recommendation instead of the dean?

The Foundation requests the letter of recommendation come from the dean. With a letter of recommendation from the dean, you and your research get visibility at the highest level in your college. An assurance for financial support should come from the highest level so the dean is aware, and agrees with, this agreement. We may allow an exception on a case-by-case basis. Email the fellowship administrator if you need an exception.

Recommenders are not be able to upload their letters. How do they submit their letters?

If this should occur, have your recommender email their letter, in pdf are on letterhead with an original signature directly to Have them include applicant’s name and project title in the email.

What should a dean’s letter of support include?

  • Verification that there are adequate facilities for the applicant's research.
  • Statement that acknowledges that “the university will provide or arrange for additional tuition support, if needed, from institutional resources as a condition of accepting the fellowship” This information is sent to the dean with the automatic request for a recommendation.
  • What should the research advisor’s letter of support include?
  • Verification that the applicant will be a full-time Ph.D. student during the fellowship year
  • Where the applicant is in the Ph.D. process
  • Whether the proposed research will lead directly to completion of the applicant’s dissertation. These details are in addition to explaining why you and your research are worthy of receiving the Link Fellowship. A strong letter from your research advisor is one of the most important pieces of your application.

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 me at 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.

Submission Process

The deadline is 15th Jan (11:59pm). Is this pacific time or eastern standard time?

Eastern Standard Time

I have loaded everything and tried to submit it several times without success.

The submit button will not show complete unless everything, including the letters of recommendation have been received. If you believe there is a problem, email and we will get back to you regarding the progress of the application and attempt to fix it from our side.

How can I confirm everything is complete for my application?

The web site, there are green checkmarks as each piece of the application are received. The application process will not be complete until all the letters of reference are in. After the deadline, we will review your application and confirm that it is complete or let you know what is missing. Once we confirm your application package is complete, you will not hear anything until we announce the winners in late March.


Our fall semester will begin in August 2020. Is there a way to have the start of the fellowship to be in August 2020 instead of July 2020?

The fellow is mailed a contract (Conditions of Acceptance Form) by USPS that has to be signed by the Administrative Officer of the University as well as you and others and returned by June 1.

The Foundation’s fiscal year is July 1 to June 30 so that is the term of the fellowship cannot be changed. How the university disperses the stipend it is up to the university.

How would stipend funds be delivered

The money will be sent to the university in two payments, and the university should then 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 late July, so this works out well. Then, some schools just put the money in the student’s account and the student can with draw it out as they want.