News & Announcements - Focus on Graduate Students

Grants for doctoral students at UT Arlington targeted for areas of national need.

GAANN AwardsNearly $1.47 million in federal grants will help qualified graduate students at The University of Texas at Arlington earn their doctoral degrees in areas of national need.

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need, or GAANN, grants of $533,064 to the UT Arlington College of Science's Mathematics Department and the College of Engineering's Computer Science & Engineering Department. The College of Engineering's Bioengineering Department also received a $399,798 GAANN grant.

Each grant can potentially benefit 20 students during the next three years.

Principal investigators include: Math Professor Tuncay Aktosun, Bioengineering Chair and Professor Khosrow Behbehani and Gergely Zaruba, associate professor of computer science & engineering.

The Mathematics Department has had GAANN grants during years 2006-2009, 2009-2012, and now 2012-2015. Such grants have enabled the mathematics department to drastically expand and enhance its doctoral program in many different ways, including instituting a mentoring program helping to retain and graduate mathematics doctoral students. As of summer 2012, ten of the mathematics GAANN fellows had already received their Ph.D. degrees and are now employed in academia or industry, and the remaining fellows are making progress toward their Ph.D. degrees.

Zaruba states that this is the second GAANN award CSE has received. "This grant is going to provide support for bright American Ph.D. students in research areas closely related to 'Health Informatics.' Our department has a strong research drive in these areas that has helped securing this grant. Not only will we be able to further strengthen our programs and CSE's and UTA's national and international visibility due to increased research output, but our GAANN graduates will fill a void in health informatics academicians and researchers throughout the Nation."

Dr. Philip Cohen, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School, who is a co-principal investigator on the grants, said the program will allow UT Arlington to recruit more doctoral students in these areas of high national demand.

"The grants also contribute to our efforts to improve doctoral education," Cohen said.

College of Engineering Dean J.-P. Bardet said there is a growing interest in computer science and bioengineering across the nation.

"Recruiting more graduate students in those areas is beneficial for research that will transform the healthcare of present and future generations," he said.

All the departments are working in partnership with the Office of Graduate Studies to develop common recruiting and retention activities for the GAANN fellows.

College of Science Dean Pamela Jansma said the grants are important because mathematics is an integral link to so many other studies.

"Assuring more doctoral students in math contributes to success in many other disciplines, as well as the overall University," Jansma said.