PhD Excellence Initiative

In support of the University at Buffalo’s PhD Excellence Initiative, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences offers competitive, elite fellowship packages designed to attract the best and brightest scholars in the world.

Two PhD students working in a geotechnical lab at UB with faculty member.

At a time when higher education is engaged in a national conversation about how to advance interdisciplinary collaboration and impact in research and how PhD programs can best prepare students to be leaders across a wide range of careers and professions, UB’s PhD Excellence Initiative seeks to ensure that our PhD programs remain among the strongest in the world. This campus-wide, student-centric effort aims to:

  • Continue to recruit the best PhD students to UB
  • Enhance diversity and inclusion in PhD programs
  • Improve alignment of program-level PhD curriculum with intended program outcomes
  • Enhance PhD degree completion and time to degree
  • Balance teaching and scholarship for PhD students, as relevant to discipline

This year, funding for new research awards in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences has grown over $10 million, an increase of about 35%, increasing our need to recruit Research Assistants to support our efforts. 

The success of our PhD programs depends on the success of our PhD students. Enhancing the experience of our doctoral scholars and researchers and providing competitive funding packages is one of our top priorities."

Rajan Batta
Interim Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Presidential Fellowships

The Presidential Fellowship offers outstanding prospective graduate students an elite fellowship package to the top 10% incoming enrolled doctoral students each academic year. This competitive package pays a stipend of up to $43,000 USD per year for up to 4 years and includes summer support. This award also includes a full tuition waiver of $11,310 USD for New York State Residents and $23,100 USD for Non-Residents bringing the total package of support to $54,310-$66,100 dollars per year. Other benefits include additional travel grants to support our fellows research and exclusive professional development opportunities.

Eligible students are automatically nominated by their academic program of interest but are strongly encouraged to apply early, preferably by January 1 for Fall entry or by November 1 for Spring entry as this is a highly competitive package and funding is limited.

Arthur A. Schomburg Fellowship Program

The Arthur A. Schomburg Fellowship is a distinguished graduate fellowship program designed to support eligible high achieving prospective underrepresented minority students. This competitive package pays a stipend of up to $36,000 per year for up to 4 years and includes summer support. This award also includes a full tuition waiver of $11,310 USD for New York State Residents and $23,100 USD for Non-Residents bringing the total package of support to $47,310-$59,100 dollars per year. Other benefits include additional travel grants to support our fellows research and exclusive professional development opportunities.

Eligible students can choose to self-nominate or be nominated by their academic program of interest but are strongly encouraged to apply early, preferably by January 1 for Fall entry or by November 1 for Spring entry as this is a highly competitive package and funding is limited.