Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program

Deadline for applying:

Friday, May 17, 2024 at 5:00 PM MT 

The Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program (DDETFP) provides funding for the pursuit of university degrees in a wide range of academic fields, including both engineering and non-engineering disciplines. The goal is to attract the nation's brightest minds to the field of transportation. Past Eisenhower fellows have had diverse interests and have studied a broad range of topics. All have been talented students who were selected based on merit.

Eligibility Requirements

The UNM competition for this fellowship is open to both undergraduate (juniors or seniors) and graduate students (masters or doctoral). All students who apply must be:

  • Pursuing a degree in a transportation-related discipline
  • Enrolled in a full-time program for the entire academic year
  • Conducting ongoing research in one or more transportation-related disciplines - research topics can address any transportation mode and any topic that relates to transportation in a meaningful way (e.g., environmental impacts, social impacts, etc.)
  • Planning to enter the transportation profession after completing their higher-level education

Please note that students who apply for graduate level funding must possess a baccalaureate degree from an Institution of Higher Education (IHE) that has been accredited by a federally-recognized accrediting agency. The IHE must be located within the United States or its territories (both administratively as well as the campus the student attended). Students who are not U.S. citizens must provide a valid copy of their student I-20 ID from UNM or I-551 Permanent Resident Card issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS).

Program Requirements

All fellowship recipients must:

  • Prepare a thesis/dissertation or research paper on a topic directly related to a transportation problem or issue. The student’s faculty advisor must approve the research topic.
  • Attend the Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board in January 2025 in Washington, D.C. and be prepared to potentially present on their research project.

Fellowship Application

A complete student application consists of the following: 

  • Student File Information Sheet [click here to open]
  • Application for Federal Assistance (Form: SF 424 Individual) 
  • Personal Statement:  This should include relevant information about your background, your educational and professional development plans, and your career goals.  It should describe how your education will prepare you for a career in transportation. (Limit = 8000 characters)
  • Research Plan & Impact Statement: This should summarize both your plan of study and research plan.  It should describe how your research will impact and enhance the field of transportation; contribute to an understanding of transportation; and provide societal benefits.  Your proposed research must be conducted in one of the approved transportation-related academic disciplines.  (Limit = 8000 characters)
  • Résumé
  • Letters of Recommendation (must submit exactly 2, one of which must be from a UNM faculty member who would advise you on your project)
  • Official Transcripts
  • All files should be saved with the conventions provided. Please note: an email alias is the portion before the @ symbol. Do not include the portion including the @ symbol and beyond. 

Instructions for Completing and Submitting Application Materials

Student File Information Sheet:

  • Download the Student File Information Sheet (SFIS).  Note: It will open in your browser but you will need to save a new copy to your computer to fill it out.  Save the file using the following naming convention:  “2024_LC_Student Application_University of New Mexico_<your email alias>”.
  • Open the SFIS in Adobe Acrobat and review it carefully (you can download Adobe Acrobat reader for free).
  • In the “Fellowship Category” section (at the top of the SFIS), be sure that “HSI” is selected.
  • Fill out the remainder of the SFIS, as appropriate, but please be careful not to change any of the fields that have already been filled out for you.  Now save the file again.

Form SF424:

  • Select this hyperlink for the Application for Federal Assistance Form SF 424. Download and save a copy of the file to your own computer using the name convention:  “DDETFP_UNM_SF424_<your email alias>”. Complete the form by navigating to the Tools section of Adobe Acrobat. Select Fill and Sign. You might be directed to a page stating "Who needs to fill and sign first." Select "Me" and fill in the yellow fields on the form. If it is not already complete, write "This information is reflected in the applicant's Personal Statement and Research Plan & Impact Statement" under the Project Description section.  When complete, save the file again using the correct naming convention. 
  • Funding Opportunity Number for Box 4 of the SF424:  693JJ322NF5202-2024

Personal Statement:

  • Please create your Personal Statement in Word or equivalent software. Save a copy of the file to your own computer using the following naming convention:  “DDETFP_UNM_Personal Statement_<your email alias>”.  Please note that the 8000 character limit includes both words and spaces between words.  Now create a PDF version of the file and save with the same naming convention. 

Research Plan:

  • Please create your Personal Statement in Word or equivalent software. Save a copy of the file to your own computer using the following naming convention:  “DDETFP_UNM_Research Plan_<your email alias>”. Please note that the 8000 character limit includes both words and spaces between words.  Now create a PDF version of the file and save with the same naming convention. 

Resume, Letters of Recommendation, and Transcripts:

  • Save your resume, letters of recommendation, and transcripts using a naming convention like the following for these files:
    • Resume:  DDETFP_UNM_Resume_<your email alias>
    • Letter of Recommendation #1:  DDETFP_UNM_Ltr1_<your email alias>
    • Letter of Recommendation #2:  DDETFP_UNM_Ltr2_<your email alias>
    • Transcript #1:  DDETFP_UNM_Transcript1_<your email alias>
    • Transcript #2:  DDETFP_UNM_Transcript2_<your email alias>

Submit Application

  • Attach all of the required documents to a single email in the order shown on the SFIS.  Be sure to enter the following text into the subject line of your email:  “DDETFP Application for <your email alias>”.  Address the email ferenchak@unm.edu.   Please send only one email with all of the required attachments. Be sure to double check that the email address is correct, the subject line is correct, and all of the required documents are actually attached!  (Better yet ask a friend, spouse, grandmother, etc. to check for you if you are tired.)

Deadline For Applying

The deadline for submitting application packages is Friday, May 17, 2024 at 5:00 PM MT    Application packages must include all required elements in order to be eligible for review by the UNM Selection Panel. Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted. 

Application Evaluation Criteria

Fellowships will be awarded based on merit. Merit includes:

  • Academic record (GPA)
  • Proposed research plan/plan of study and impact statement
  • Potential for outstanding career in transportation
  • Faculty recommendations (maximum of two)
  • Academic and personal achievement

 Please click here for more information on the evaluation criteria

Fellowship Award Details

Fellowship awards will be based on rankings made by the DDETFP Selection Panel @ UNM.  All fellowship recipients will receive up to $1,500 to be used toward attending the Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies in Washington D.C. in January 2025.

Tuition & Stipend

A maximum of $8,500 may be awarded to cover either stipend, tuition, mandatory fees, or some combination of the three.  Each awardee will have the option of distributing their award amounts into each of these three categories as they see fit (i.e., some, none or all).  The UNM campus manager for the DDETFP will determine stipend levels based on local cost of living.  Maximum allowable stipends are as follows:  bachelor level (up to $1,450 per month); master level (up to $1,700 per month); doctoral level (up to $2,000 per month).  Please note that the stipend portion of the award is taxable.

Informational Meetings


Please feel free to view the presentation we made to students in past years.  Click here to download a copy of the presentation.


For more information or questions

Please e-mail the local competition program manager Dr. Nick Ferenchak and include "DDETFP Question" in the subject line.


Nick Ferenchak, PhD, PE

Center Director - USDOT Center for Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety

Assistant Professor - Gerald May Department of Civil, Construction & Environmental Engineering

University of New Mexico 

E: Ferenchak@unm.edu