[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 14-Nov-2012
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Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
iqbal@ucr.edu
951-827-6050
University of California - Riverside

UC Riverside receives 3 grants to assist graduate students in pursuing doctoral degrees

The university has received grants for chemistry, bioengineering and electrical engineering; a total of 12 graduate students will be supported

IMAGE: UC Riverside is one of the most diverse research universities in the country and one of the most successful at graduating underrepresented minorities.

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. The University of California, Riverside has received three grants from the U.S. Department of Education to assist graduate students with excellent records who demonstrate financial need and plan to pursue the highest degree available in a field of national need.

Called "Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need" (GAANN), the national program will provide fellowships to graduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents through academic departments at UC Riverside. The fields designated as areas of national need are biology; chemistry; computer and information sciences; engineering; mathematics; nursing; physics; and educational assessment, evaluation and research.

This year, UCR received GAANN grants for chemistry, bioengineering and electrical engineering.

The grant to chemistry, totaling $660,000 for three years, will support six graduate students.

"The grant program aims to increase the number of chemistry Ph.D. students from underrepresented populations and increase the proportion of these students entering the professoriate," said Eric Chronister, a professor of chemistry and a member of the GAANN committee in the Department of Chemistry.

The grants to bioengineering and electrical engineering, totaling about $400,000 each for three years, will support three graduate students in bioengineering and three graduate students in electrical engineering.

"These fellowships will help us recruit more top-quality U.S. applicants to BIG, the Bioengineering Interdepartmental Graduate Program, and increase the diversity of our applicant pool," said Victor Rodgers, the chair of the Department of Bioengineering and the principal investigator of the Bioengineering GAANN grant. "The selected students will be involved in local K-12 outreach and be given opportunities to develop strong skills as educators and researchers."

A graduate program must be in existence for five years before it is eligible to apply for GAANN. This was the Department of Bioengineering's first application for a GAANN.

"These GAANN fellowships are particularly important because of the current lack of a sufficient pool of domestic Ph.D. applicants in electrical engineering," said Yingbo Hua, a professor of electrical engineering, the principal investigator of the grant, and the chair of the Electrical Engineering GAANN Committee. "In order to increase the number of eligible domestic faculty candidates, it is essential to increase the number of domestic Ph.D. students."

Christopher Bardeen, a professor of chemistry, is the chair of the Chemistry GAANN Committee. Besides Bardeen and Chronister, Michael Pirrung, Cynthia Larive and Catharine Larsen are on the committee.

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Besides Rodgers, the following faculty members are members of the Bioengineering GAANN Committee: Jerome Schultz, Bahman Anvari and Dimitrios Morikis.

Besides Hua, the following faculty members are members of the Electrical Engineering GAANN Committee: Amit Roy Chowdhury, Jay Farrell, Mihri Ozkan, Sheldon Tan and Ertem Tuncel

UCR is one of the most diverse research universities in the U.S. and one of the most successful at graduating underrepresented minorities (African-American, Native American, Latino). In 2011, UCR was ranked sixth nationally in the category of most diverse universities by U.S. News and World Report. The campus is one of only three UC campuses to be designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution.

The University of California, Riverside is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus will open a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion. A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.



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