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