UMR will receive more than $800,000 over the next three years to fund six Ph.D. fellowships for students to conduct research in materials engineering.
The Ph.D. Fellowship Program in Interdisciplinary Graduate Education in Materials Engineering is funded through the Department of Education’s Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need Program (GAANN) and UMR through matching funds. The fellowship is designed to encourage some of the best students from the United States to pursue Ph.D.s, and it offers them a multi-faceted approach that provides hands-on research, community outreach and management experience.
"Materials engineering is a key area of national need, especially if you consider where technology is going in microelectronics and optical communications, says Dr. Robert Schwartz, professor of ceramic engineering and GAANN project director. "Advances in these areas are based on ever higher levels of integration and miniaturization leading to increased device functionality. New materials and processes are required for this advancement in both the commercial and national defense sectors. The design and engineering of materials for these applications are going to build technological infrastructure in the United States for at least the next 25 years."
Each student can receive up to $41,511 a year for up to three years based on financial need, which includes graduation fees, and an extension of support for two more years. When the GAANN scholarship is finished, UMR is still committed to supporting the students until completion of their degrees. The program, which received $249,066 in support this year, provides financial assistance to the fellows to allow them to pursue their Ph.D. and covers educational expenses including the cost of textbooks and other materials, computer hardware and software, travel to professional meetings and seminars, membership in professional organizations, involvement in research and training, and involvement with professional research grant-writing.
"I really think this is an awesome opportunity. Students get a lot of extra opportunities in terms of structured leadership development and teaching experiences," says Schwartz.
Through the program, UMR is looking for citizens or permanent residents of the United States who have an undergraduate grade-point average of 3.5 or better, demonstrated financial need and a commitment to teaching and research careers. The GAANN fellowship recipients will study in chemistry, ceramic or metallurgical engineering and will conduct research with the UMR Graduate Center for Materials Research.
The center houses cooperative research from faculty from the three departments as well as the departments of civil engineering, mechanical and aerospace engineering, and chemistry.