US Department of Education Award to provide Fellowships to Computer Science PhD Students

The US Department of Education (ED) awarded UH’s Department of Computer Science a grant to provide fellowships to Computer Science students working toward their Ph.D. degrees. The objective of the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) award is to enable qualified doctoral students in need of financial aid to be able to pursue a PhD. degree. DOE provided $525,060 federal fund for the 3-year project and UH provided an additional $131,245 as cost-sharing. Professor Stephen Huang is the project director with his Computer Science colleagues Drs. Rong Zheng and Ricardo Vilalta serving as the co-directors.

PhD production is one of several benchmarks set by the Coordinating Board to be eligible for the National Research University Fund (NRUF). NRUF will ultimately provide additional funding for qualifying institutions to achieve Tier One status. Dr. Huang expects the GAANN Grant to significantly increase the enrollment of US students in the Computer Science Ph.D. program.

This is the second GAANN award the department has received from ED. The first award supported six students between 2007 and 2010. Huang has already recruited three new doctoral students for the fall semester with the new funding. The fellowship will cover all costs (tuition, fees, living expenses) toward PhD study for three years.  UH has committed to two more years of financial support for each GAANN fellow. It is not too late to apply for the financial support for the current year. Students interested in the fellowship should contact Dr. Huang ( or the Computer Science Department.

UH is one of the five universities receiving the award in the area of Computer Science in this year’s GAANN competition. The other four universities are: U. Missouri, U. Minnesota, U. Boston, and U. Alabama.