SURGE Fellowship Program
The SURGE Fellowship Program provides new Ph.D. students with financial support, including:
- A 5-year financial support package at a cumulative nominal value of at least $141,000, provided that a fellow meets the eligibility requirements outlined in the Grainger College of Engineering's Five-Year Ph.D. Funding Guarantee
- Full tuition waiver during five years of enrollment in a Ph.D. program
- University-sponsored health, vision, and dental insurance coverage
- Peer mentorship and networking opportunities
- Fellows will be selected based on materials submitted in their academic application. No additional materials are required.
- Fellowship decisions are made and communicated after students are admitted to a Grainger Engineering Ph.D. program for an upcoming fall term.
increase in underrepresented students in engineering since 2013
increase in the number of women in engineering since 2013
Advanced graduate degrees for the next step in your career
Grainger Engineering offers Ph.D. programs across 12 departments. These programs enable you to interact with leaders of their field, make an impact on science and industry, and explore innovation and discovery across disciplinary boundaries.
Diversity-Focused Organizations and Programs for Graduate Students
As a member of the Academic Research Leadership Network, we have access to a wide network of resources dedicated to creating opportunities in government, industry, and academia for people typically underrepresented in these fields. The network creates collaborative opportunities, prepares underrepresented minorities for leadership and success in the engineering field, and increases participation in these fields.
Accelerating Women and Underrepresented Entrepreneurs (AWARE) is a collaboration among the College of Engineering, the Office of Technology Management, and the EnterpriseWorks incubator at the University of Illinois Research Park, and is being funded by a $100,000 award from the National Science Foundation to support entrepreneurship training, counseling, and networking. It includes an entrepreneur-in-residence familiar with the needs of those from underrepresented backgrounds, small proof-of-concept grants, and targeted mentorship, training, and networking opportunities.
The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) is a national nonprofit organization focused on substantially increasing the representation of Indigenous peoples of North America and the Pacific Islands in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) studies and careers.
Graduate students from across the college address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion as part of the Engineering Graduate Student Advisory Committee (EGSAC). In particular, the EGSAC Diversity Advocate team works with individual departments to build a more inclusive community among engineering graduate students—providing input on and building diversity and inclusion initiatives within the departments.
The Grainger College of Engineering Diversity Committee is made up of faculty, students, and academic professionals. They advise the dean and college and departmental leadership on programs for recruiting students from underrepresented groups, hiring practices, strategic planning, and ways of fostering a more inclusive climate within the college.
As student leaders, Grainger Engineering Graduate Student Diversity Ambassadors assist with recruitment and retention of engineering graduate students with diverse experiences and goals, and who come from many educational, socio-cultural, geographic, and familial backgrounds. Ambassadors engage with prospective students, serve as positive role models, act as on-boarding mentors, host events, and support graduate students throughout their experience at Grainger Engineering.
The Academic Redshirt in Science and Engineering (ARISE) Scholars program prepares talented students from the state of Illinois to succeed in Engineering at Illinois. Up to 25 students are named ARISE scholars every year, giving them an extra year to get ready for traditional first-year courses. The program includes a customized curriculum, individual faculty mentors, tutoring, and career services.
The Morrill Engineering Program (MEP) works to attract and retain qualified students from underrepresented groups in engineering by providing academic support, scholarships, community, and other services. Activities such as the annual MEP Awards Banquet in late spring recognize the academic and leadership achievements of the students in the program. Attendance is generally around 350 students, alumni, corporate representatives, and College faculty and staff.
The mission of the IDEA Institute is to support scholarship, innovation, collaboration, and leadership in the areas of inclusion, diversity, equity, and access at all levels: faculty, staff, students, and K-12 outreach/public engagement.
Grainger Engineering encourages prospective graduate students from under-represented communities to apply to attend the MERGE recruiting event. This event provides a great opportunity to learn more about the exciting research projects at Illinois, to meet faculty and current students, and to learn how to prepare a competitive graduate application. MERGE brings promising students to campus for an all expenses paid, in-depth view of the outstanding programs and facilities available for graduate study in engineering at Illinois.
The National Society of Black Engineers increases the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically succeed professionally, and positively impact the community. NSBE develops its membership into responsible professional leaders through community service, pipeline development (pre-college outreach), and the promotion of STEM. NSBE is dedicated to creating the best engineers for a brighter future.
Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM) is dedicated to the development of LGBTQIA+ students in STEM fields. It organizes social, technology, professional development, and networking events.
At both the undergraduate level, the Society of Women Engineers, and the graduate level, GradSWE, provide mentoring relationships and professional development opportunities for a diverse network of women engineers on campus. SWE is the largest engineering organization on campus and also offers a variety of opportunities to engage with leaders in academia, industry, and government at the regional, national, and international level.
The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) changes lives by empowering the Hispanic community to realize their fullest potential and impacts the world through STEM awareness, access, support and development. SHPE's vision is a world where Hispanics are highly valued and influential as the leading innovators, scientists, mathematicians and engineers.
The SURGE fellowship program is for incoming graduate students from underrepresented communities planning to complete a doctoral program. SURGE is a five-year fellowship program, providing fellows a full fellowship in the first year and a partial fellowship plus their departmental research or teaching assistantship in years two through five. Incoming graduate students are nominated for this fellowship by the department that has offered admission.
The Grainger College of Engineering partners with the Sloan University Center of Exemplary Mentoring (UCEM) to support students underrepresented in STEM doctoral programs. UCEM scholars receive scholarship supplements to their waiver-generating assistantships and/or fellowships. In addition, scholars will participate in mentoring, professional development, and community-building activities. We highly recommend prospective students apply to their department by December 1 to be considered for the UCEM Scholars program.
Women in Engineering (WIE) provides a welcome and supportive environment for women students in the Grainger College of Engineering. Companies participate in programs to recruit, engage, and retain female students by providing funds for scholarships and other programs, serving as mentors to female students, and participating in WIE activities and events. Some companies sponsor or participate in Freshman Camp, the WIE freshman orientation program. This program, which takes place in August before classes start, enables the female students to get acquainted with one another and to develop a supportive community.