Inspiring futures: CSGrad4US fellowships for computing PhDs
Are you or someone in your network in the tech industry contemplating a career change?
If exploring a PhD in computer science, computer engineering, or information science is on your radar, and you see the value in mentorship and financial support, then the NSF Computer and Information Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program (CSGrad4US) might be an excellent fit.
CSGrad4US aims to increase the number and diversity of domestic graduate students pursuing research and innovation careers in computer and information science and engineering fields. The program helps bachelor’s degree holders return to academia and pursue their research interests, enabling them to engage in innovative and high-impact projects without the burden of financial constraints. Each year, a diverse cohort of CSGrad4US fellows is selected based on their demonstrated interest and potential in pursuing a doctorate in a CISE field.
CSGrad4US makes graduate school more accessible through mentorship and funding. All mentees participate in a year-long preparation program, during which mentors and coaches help them identify a graduate program, find a research mentor, and apply to graduate programs. Once enrolled in a qualifying graduate program, fellows receive funding for three years of their selected graduate program. Fellows also form a network with one another, and with faculty advisors, for support on their educational journeys and beyond.
To learn more about this funding opportunity, register to join the informational webinar on February 13, 2024 from 7:30 pm to 8:00 pm ET, with the CSGrad4US team as they provide an overview of the program, discuss funding, and answer questions.
Empowering Futures: CSGrad4USFellowships
In 2023, The Computing Research Association (CRA) received its largest-ever award, $42.1 million, from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to expand its role in the CSGrad4US program. The CRA manages all phases of the fellowship application process, subaward management, evaluation, and continuing to run the mentoring program developed for the first two cohorts.
To guide fellowship recipients through the PhD application and program selection process, CRA operates (since 2021) an associated mentoring program which includes group mentoring sessions, 12 weeks of coaching, and network opportunities for participants.
CSGrad4US fellowships are three-year fellowships awarded to United States citizens or permanent residents currently in the workforce and planning to return to graduate school to pursue a PhD program in a CISE field (i.e., computer science, computer engineering, or information science).
Professor Susanne Hambrusch is one of four co-principal investigators of the CSGrad4US award. She has been involved in developing and managing the mentoring program which is currently working with fellowship recipients of the third cohort.
“Many of our most talented undergraduates do not consider graduate school or a research career after graduating," said Hambrusch. She added, "The mentoring component of the CSGrad4US fellowship allows them to work with researchers in their area of interest to identify PhD programs matching their interests and put together a strong application. It is a unique opportunity.”
Hambrusch has served as the vice-chair of the CRA Board of Directors from 2015-2019 and she is one of the co-founders and past co-chair of CRA-E, CRA’s Education Committee.
Professor Eugene H. Spafford and Associate Professor Aniket Bera are serving as coaches in the third cohort for future fellows planning to pursue research in security and robotics, respectively.
Spafford, a security researcher focused on issues of computer and network security, cybercrime and ethics, knows not all are interested in pursuing a PhD upon completion of their bachelor's degree.
"Not everyone wants to pursue a PhD, while some decide to continue on after receiving their undergrad degrees," said Spafford.
Spafford added, "Other people don't know they want that degree until years after they graduate and gain some experience, although it may seem too late to do so. It's not! The CSGrad4US program is intended for this second group: providing counseling, group support, and a scholarship opportunity. It is never too late to pursue your dreams, and the CSGrad4US program might be how to do it."
Associate Professor Aniket Bera's research focuses on modeling the human and social aspects using AI in robotics, graphics, and vision. His purpose of serving as a CSGrad4US coach is to help those who are ready to pursue an advanced degree.
"The CSGrad4US program opens a new chapter of possibilities for those ready to embrace the journey of pursuing a PhD in computer science," said Bera.
"It's not just about going back to school; it's about igniting your passion for innovation, unlocking the frontiers of technology—maybe even in the world of robotics and AI,” said Bera.
He added, “I challenge you to seize this opportunity to shape the future and inspire the next generation of minds, for in the realm of computer science, the only limit is the one we set for ourselves."
For more information, please visit CSGrad4US.
About the Department of Computer Science at Purdue University
Founded in 1962, the Department of Computer Science was created to be an innovative base of knowledge in the emerging field of computing as the first degree-awarding program in the United States. The department continues to advance the computer science industry through research. Purdue CS is part of the Purdue Computes initiative. US News & Reports ranks Purdue CS #20 and #18 overall in graduate and undergraduate programs respectively, 6th in cybersecurity, 8th in software engineering, 13th in programming languages and systems, 15th in data analytics, and 18th in theory. Graduates of the program are able to solve complex and challenging problems in many fields. Our consistent success in an ever-changing landscape is reflected in the record undergraduate enrollment, increased faculty hiring, innovative research projects, and the creation of new academic programs. The increasing centrality of computer science in academic disciplines and society, and new research activities - centered around data science, artificial intelligence, programming languages, theoretical computer science, machine learning, and cybersecurity - are the future focus of the department. cs.purdue.edu