Postdoc, PhD, Masters and Bachelors scholarships and fellowships

GAANN Ph.D. Scholarships in Big Data Computing Research, USA


The WPI Department of Computer Science is pleased to announce that Data Science Program Director Elke Rundensteiner, Ph.D. is the recipient of a GAANN Grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant, titled "Ph.D. Fellowships to Support Data-Driven Computing Research," will support six Ph.D. fellows for three years. 

The GAANN program provides fellowships to assist U.S. citizens with excellent grades while in their pursuit of doctoral degrees in fields deemed to be 'areas of national need.' This GAANN Grant focusses on big data analytics, large-scale data management, and visual data mining. These fields of data research have an impact on sensor-driven smart communities, on improving mobility and sustainability, and on fundamentally changing how we learn. It also impacts health analytics that support wellness, and on social media analytics that provide citizens a global voice.

The Data Science GAANN Grant recipients will joint the big data research group affiliated with the WPI Computer Science Department and the new WPI Data Science Ph.D. Program. This research group provides an excellent working environment within a creative international team.

Applications are being accepted for both the spring and fall semesters.


GAANN Fellowships provide: 

  • An annual stipend of up to $34,000, dependent upon student’s financial need
  • Full tuition and fees
  • Health insurance coverage  

Assuming satisfactory academic performance and progress in the degree and research program, the GAANN Fellowship is renewable for up to three years. Thereafter, WPI guarantees GAANN Fellows continued funding, through a teaching assistantship or a WPI endowed fellowship, until the completion of their Ph.D. degree.  

Research Areas and Opportunities

Candidates should have research interests in data-driven computing and big data. GAANN Fellows will work collaboratively in vibrant cohorts of Ph.D., MS, and undergraduate students on stimulating projects and research studies in three key areas:

  • Visual and computational analytics for interactive knowledge discovery         
  • Data-driven innovations to advance learning sciences
  • Big data computing research for supporting communities

WPI Computer Science faculty members with data-driven computing research agendas include:

Faculty in the WPI Data Science program also work on big data computing research.  

As a GAANN Fellow, you will also: 

  • Be mentored in research skills
  • Develop your professional skills
  • Hone your presentation skills
  • Mature your entrepreneurial skills
  • Engage in teaching experiences
  • Collaborate with fellow students and faculty
  • Innovate cutting-edge projects  


To be eligibile for the GAANN award, applicants must:

  • Be a citizen, national, or permanent resident of the United States
  • Be currently enrolled, or accepted for enrollment, as a graduate student in our program
  • Possess an excellent academic record
  • Have a demonstrated financial need
  • Plan to purse a Ph.D. in data-driven computing research
  • Qualify for eligibility according to 34 CFR 75.60 (i.e. not in default on a Federal Student Loan)

Individuals with traditionally underrepresented backgrounds are particularly encouraged to apply.  

Application Process

  1. Applicants must complete this GAANN Statement of Interest Form, and return it to the GAANN Steering Committee,, thereby alerting us of your intent to apply.
  2. All applicants are required to submit a FAFSA form to demonstrate financial need.
  3. It is imperative that you complete both GAANN and FAFSA applications well ahead of the WPI application decision deadline, because both forms are needed to calculate the maximum stipend allowed based upon your financial need.
  4. To formally apply for the GAANN Fellowship, you must apply for admission to the WPI Computer Science  or Data Science Ph.D. programs using the standard online WPI application.
  5. Please mention your interest in the fellowship in the Personal Statement of your application.
  6. Current WPI students should submit two letters of recommendation from WPI faculty who can best attest to your aptitude for teaching and for research at the Ph.D. level.

Notification and Deadlines

The GAANN Project Director and Steering Committee select WPI GAANN Fellows based on the applicant's eligibility, academic ability, and match in research interests.
Applicants will be informed of their award status before April 15 for the fall semester and December 15 for the spring semester.

Further Information

Application Deadline : 30 November 2015

GAANN Ph.D. Scholarships in Big Data Computing Research : PDF

Contact Email:

Posted on 2015-11-13 04:57:20

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