New Grant to Increase Ph.D. Enrollment in Computer Science

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) awarded the University of Houston’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 Ph.D. degree. DOE provided $525,060 in federal funding for the three-year project, and UH provided an additional $131,245. Professor Stephen Huang is the project director, with his computer science colleagues Drs. Rong Zheng and Ricardo Vilalta serving as the co-directors.

Ph.D. production is one of several benchmarks set by the Texas Higher Education 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.  

This is the second GAANN award the department has received from the DOE. 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) for three years.  UH has committed to two more years of financial support for each GAANN fellow.

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: University of Missouri, University of Minnesota, Boston University and the University of Alabama.

Staff reports