The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD), colloquially the Quad, is a diplomatic network of four countries: Australia, India, Japan, and the US. The Quad leaders, in their summit, launched the Quad Fellowship programme through which 100 students from the member nations will be sponsored to study in the US for graduate programmes in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
First announced in September 2021, the Quad is the first-of-its-kind fellowship programme meant to connect the next generation of scientists and technologists. Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative, will run and manage the fellowship programme in collaboration with a non-governmental task force composed of academic, foreign policy, and corporate sector professionals from each Quad country.
The fellowship is launched with a vision to build a network of science and technology experts who are committed to bolstering innovation and collaboration in the public, business, and academic spheres, in their respective countries, and for all Quad members. To help Quad Scholars develop a fundamental understanding of one another's societies and cultures, the program will provide cohort-wide travels and comprehensive programming with each country's leading scientists, technologists, and politicians.
Indian students aspiring to pursue STEM education in the US must look into this fellowship which provides a unique combination of financial benefits, cross-cultural exposure, networking opportunities, and content programming.
Benefits of Quad Fellowship
If a student is selected as a Quad Fellow, they will receive a one-time award of $50,000. It is upon the fellow's discretion to use the sum for educational expenses such as tuition, books, room and board, registration fees, research-related travel, etc.
Additionally, if need be, all Quad fellows are eligible to apply for a separate demonstrated need-based funding of up to $25,000 to offset costs associated with completing the graduate-level study.
Apart from the financial support, the fellowship entails various programmatic benefits for pre-programme for fellows elect that will allow fellows to participate in organised virtual learning sessions and guest speaker events. They will also receive guidance on how to navigate the university application process. The final stage in the pre-programme element will be the "send-off" in the respective Quad countries.
The Core Programme for fellows will be a multi-day residential experience beginning in August. It will be a customised experience with opportunities to participate in individual or small group experiences focused on Quad nation priority focus areas. They will be able to participate in virtual programming with some of the best minds in STEM, government, and society.
Last but not least, the alumni programming for senior fellows will open doors for alumni to be a part of a growing and lifelong, global network of extraordinary engineers, mathematicians, scientists, and technologists committed to promoting innovation and research for positive societal impact.
Why should you apply?
With so many fellowships available from governments, universities, and organisations, one could be tempted to think as to what distinguishes the Quad fellowship from others.
The Quad fellowship is the first STEM-focused multinational fellowship programme of its kind. The fellowship's overarching purpose is to develop the fellow's ability to use science and technology for social good. The $50,000 personal financial award can be combined with other grants and scholarships that a fellow may receive to maximise their STEM education.
The fellowship is a progeny of four nations' efforts, and no other fellowship operates without the explicit endorsement of four national governments. This bestows tremendous opportunities for fellows to benefit from quadrilateral cross-cultural exchange and exposure. It will provide unparalleled opportunities for the fellows to connect with global leaders in STEM, government, business, and social impacts.
Overall, the Quad fellowship is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Indian students aspiring to pursue STEM education in the United States. The programme was founded with the noble goal of harnessing the power of STEM for constructive societal impact. Aspirants from the four countries who plan to utilise innovation and research for the greater good should consider applying for this fellowship.
The author is founder and CEO, iSchoolConnect