UA Receives More Than $4M in Fellowships From Science Foundation Arizona

Fifty top graduate researchers were recruited to the UA through Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship program.
July 23, 2008

Science Foundation Arizona is awarding 50 incoming graduate and doctoral students at The University of Arizona with fellowships totaling $4.4 million.

The awards, part of Science Foundation Arizona’s Graduate Research Fellowship program, have enabled the UA to recruit top graduate researchers in science and technology from across the country. The innovative fellowship program is the largest of its kind in the United States.

The new fellows all will receive $30,000 to cover tuition and living expenses and enjoy opportunities to work in the laboratories of the UA’s premier researchers. The UA will receive additional funds to cover support programs and tuition for the fellows.

"These fellowships are an extraordinary gift to the citizens of Arizona," said UA President Robert N. Shelton. "Our fellows were recruited by the very top public and private institutions in the country, and bringing them to the UA will enhance Arizona's research profile, create high-tech, high-wage jobs and enhance the quality of life for the citizens of our state."  

The UA will provide each fellow with a structured resource program, which will include professional development opportunities, visits by guest speakers, support by dedicated University staff and a range of other enrichment activities. Fellows also will receive funds for travel, research expenses and conference fees.

Each new fellow from the UA, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University will come together for a conference at the UA’s Biosphere 2 facility at the outset of the 2008-09 academic year.

”These activities will help unify the students at the highest scholarly level,” said Andrew Comrie, UA associate vice president for research and dean of the Graduate College. “This is one of the highest profile fellowship awards we have and recruiting students of this caliber can only help us in recruiting and retaining the best faculty.”

“In the 21st Century, it is all about brain power,” said William Harris, president and CEO of Science Foundation Arizona. “Now, with a total of 180 first and second year Graduate Fellows, SFAz has the largest non-federally funded graduate research fellowship program in the United States focusing on science and engineering. That is a brain power pipeline that creates excellence for our universities and ensures our state’s future competitiveness.”

Through the Graduate Research Fellows program, now in its second year, Science Foundation Arizona is partnering with Arizona’s state universities to:

  • Build a culture of continual innovation in areas of strategic importance to Arizona, including information and communications technology, sustainable systems and biomedicine.
  • Attract and retain the best and brightest graduate students to Arizona who are the innovation leaders in the growing of Arizona’s knowledge-based sectors.
  • Expose these talented graduate students to opportunities in Arizona for exciting career development and professional growth within industry, research and the nonprofit community.
  • Encourage students to consider Arizona their permanent home in the future. In the first year of the Graduate Research Fellows program, the UA received 35 fellowships – awarded to students from throughout the United States, Canada, China and India.

As expected, the students are excelling academically and are engaged in research in areas ranging from cancer-fighting drugs, bioinformatics and mine lands in the American Southwest.

Science Foundation Arizona’s goals are to help build a world-class science, engineering and medical infrastructure in Arizona by fostering innovative research programs.