Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship

The Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship provides a unique opportunity for the most promising young entrepreneurs and innovators from India to pursue their dreams at one of the world’s most prestigious and impactful universities. This fellowship was established to honor the legacy of the late Dhirubhai Ambani, who was an Indian business tycoon and founder of the Reliance Industries. The fellowship provides full financial support for two years of graduate studies at Stanford University in the United States. It covers tuition, living expenses, travel, health insurance, and other related costs. The fellowship is open to Indians who demonstrate enormous potential and passion for entrepreneurship, leadership, and innovation. Each year, the fellowship selects a few outstanding applicants who are then invited to the Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellows Retreat in Palo Alto, California. This event serves as an opportunity for the fellows to connect with each other, build meaningful relationships, and gain valuable insights from Stanford faculty and alumni.

Stanford University is amongst the top 10 global universities offering courses in almost all fields of study. In fact, the MBA program acceptance is competitive and therefore the tuition fees are also expensive. The 2 year MBA program at Stanford Graduate School of Business costs INR 55.64 lakhs per year alone. This is where the Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship comes into action. Indian students can apply for the Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship to reduce the expense burden on their shoulders. 

Name  Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship
Funded by Reliance Industries 
Course  MBA (2-year program)
University  Stanford University 
Grant  $94,915 or INR 70.7 lakhs per year
Eligibility  Indian citizen 
No. of awards 

What is the Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship?

This scholarship program is funded by Reliance Industries helps Indian students with lower financial means to fulfil their dreams of getting an MBA at the prestigious Stanford University. Every year, 3 applicants are awarded the fellowship covering at least 80% of their tuition fee and associated fees. 

It all started 40 years back when Mukesh Ambani, now the richest man in India, had to drop out of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and return to India to help his father, Dhirubhai, build Reliance. What the Indian billionaire failed to achieve, he made sure that at least 3 Indians fulfilled their dreams. So, under the Reliance Foundation, a Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship was started in the year 2008. 

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Grant Details 

This scholarship awards a maximum grant of $94,915 or INR 70.7 lakhs per year to the fellows from India. The amount awarded to each fellow differs and depends upon their application. This grant can be used by the Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship for the following expenses while doing an MBA at Stanford:-

  • Tuition fee
  • Living expenses
  • Health Cover

Please note: The amount cannot be used for accommodation, airfare, travel expenses, spouse or child care and application process. 

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Important Dates 2022

The dates for the Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowships for September 2022 intake have not been released yet. However, it is important to know that the application for this fellowship is independent of your Stanford MBA program application. 

Entry Requirements 

Students must carefully check the entry requirements before applying for the scholarship program. If you meet these eligibility requirements, only then will your application will be considered.

  • Students must be Indian citizens.
  • They must be eligible for the Stanford MBA program.
  • They must have a graduate degree in hand.
  • English proficiency scores through IELTS/TOEFL are required.
  • They must have passed the minimum cutoff for GMAT or GRE.

You should also prepare the following documents before you apply for the fellowship:

  • All academic transcripts 
  • Letters of Recommendations 
  • Resume with latest professional qualifications 
  • 250-word essay 
  • Financial documents 
  • All awards, certificates and honours received before

Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship Application Process

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you with the Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship application process:

  • Firstly, you should know that you can apply for the fellowship before you apply for the Stanford MBA program. 
  • Gather all the important documents required for the fellowship application and prepare your 250-word essay on why you should be considered for this fellowship.
  • Submit the application before the deadline and wait for a month before you are notified. 

You can prepare for your Stanford MBA application during the waiting period of the Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship. Follow these tips to know how to get into Stanford.

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Selection Process

The Standford MBA acceptance rate is 5.4%-6.2% which is extremely competitive. Therefore, the selection process is also rigid and only those candidates are awarded who have promising careers after MBA. The selection process has been explained for your better understanding in the following table:

Stage  Selection is done by Selecting  Selection Criteria
Stage 1  Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship Top 50 finalists  MeritFinancial NeedCommitment to Development 
Stage 2  Stanford University  3 fellows  IntellectLeadership Personal Contribution

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Terms and Conditions 

If you are awarded, you are supposed to follow the terms and conditions given below to avoid the cancellation of this fellowship. 

  • Once your MBA program of 2 years is completed, you have to return to India. 
  • You have to work in an Indian company for a minimum of 2 years and cannot be employed anywhere else in the world. 
  • You cannot spend the grant on accommodation, airfare, travel expenses, USA Student visa application and Stanford MBA application.

Since this fellowship is a believer in developing India primarily, they have put forward a condition for all awardees to return and work in India for at least 2 years after their Stanford MBA program. After finishing their training, awardees are required to return to India in accordance with the fellowship’s rules. Additionally, they must spend two years working for a company in India. Working for Reliance Industries Limited is not required. Students who don’t comply will be required to reimburse the organisation for the fellowship expenses.

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