Graduate Engineering

Graduate Engineering

SIF100 Graduate Engineering

Project Manager: Scott Barker, School of Engineering and Applied Science

The purpose of this award is to increase the long-term School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) graduate student enrollment numbers and quality. Overarching goal is to matriculate 70 new & highly diverse engineering students over three years.

BoV Approved: December 2016

Project Dates: 2/16/2018 – 6/30/2023

Funding Awarded: $6,400,000

Executive Summary

The fundamental goal of this proposal is to increase the research productivity and reputation of UVA Engineering and to thereby achieve a top-thirty ranking in the next ten years. The strategy for accomplishing this goal is to grow and develop the graduate education mission of UVA Engineering. Through this award, the project team aims to bring in 70 new PhD students into UVA Engineering through a combination of one-year fellowships for PhD students matriculating into the program with a Master’s degree; and two-year fellowships for PhD students matriculating into the program with a Bachelor’s degree. All fellowships will be awarded based on merit and an applicant’s potential contribution to UVA Engineering’s core values: 1) Societal Impact, 2) Educating Engineering Leaders, 3) Innovation, 4) Excellence Through Diversity, which UVA Engineering defines as excellence expressing itself through every person’s perspectives and lived experiences, and 5) Collegiality.

Current Status: Active


The PAC conducted an annual review of this award in February 2021, and considered the project team’s request for a one-year no-cost extension. The PAC determined that this award is fulfilling the original goals and achieving benchmarks for outcomes with minor exceptions tied to timing of award commencement and plausibly related effects of COVID. PhD student enrollment has increased by 50% over 2016, and 70 Dean’s Scholars have been recruited. The pandemic was a factor negatively affecting PhD recruitment in 2020, and is contributing to delayed degree completion. The project team anticipates this factor will subside by May 2021. While mild success was reported in the recruitment of underrepresented minorities through the marketing efforts of this new fellowship program, the resounding success to date is the increase in female graduate student recruitment. The PAC determined that the no-cost extension request is justified, and approved an additional year for the project team to complete the original goals.