Early Ph.D. Student Award (EPSA) Program

Early Ph.D. Student Award (EPSA) Program

Program Objective

The objective of the EPSA Program is to provide support for new PhD students during the first 2 years of their degree program when working with a faculty advisor, who is submitting proposals to Federal funding agencies.

Award Description

  • Awards are open to all admitted PhD students on a first come, first serve basis.
  • The EPSA covers the student’s stipend, fringe and tuition costs for 2 years, conditionally (see “Eligibility” below).
  • Incoming graduate students hired as EPSA students receive a starting stipend of up to $29K by taking advantage of a “top-up” funding opportunity initiated by the Provost’s office for new incoming TAs. (Note: This top-up opportunity applies to all first-year PhD students with a RA/TA appointment and is not exclusive to the EPSA Program.)
  • EPSA students are appointed as a 0.5 FTE RA/TA. Faculty advisors may request EPSA-supported students as TAs for their courses; however, final TA assignments are made by the Department.
  • ESPAs cannot be extended to students who have received a GSPA.

EPSA Awards

1st Cohort - Fall 2018
  1. Charles Hernandez
    • Advisors: Hongcheng Liu, Ph.D. & Elif Akcali, Ph.D.
    • Summer 2018 – Spring 2020
    • Number of TA Courses: 6
  2. Bijan Taslimi
    • Advisors: Hongcheng Liu, Ph.D., & Panos Pardalos, Ph.D.
    • Spring 2019-Present
    • Number of TA Courses: 6
  3. Meserret Karaca
    • Advisors: Michelle Alvarado, Ph.D., & Panos Pardalos, Ph.D.
    • Fall 2018-Present
    • Number of TA Courses: 6
  4. Jaeyoung Park
    • Advisor: Xiang Zhong, Ph.D.
    • Fall 2018 – Present
    • Number of TA Courses: 5
  5. Uday Manda
    • Advisor: Michelle Alvarado, Ph.D.
    • Fall 2018 – Spring 2019
    • Number of TA Courses: 3
  6. Yiruo Lu
    • Advisor: Yongpei Guan, Ph.D.
    • Fall 2018-Present
    • Number of TA Courses: 5
2nd Cohort - Fall 2020
  1. Shuai Hao
    • Advisor: Boyi Hu, Ph.D.
    • Fall 2020 – Present
    • Number of TA Courses: Pending
  2. Tan Yu
    • Advisor: Xiang Zhong
    • Fall 2020 – Present
    • Number of TA courses: Pending