2017 - 2018 Fellow’s Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals
CSE Fellows
Computational Science and Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Graduate students are invited to submit proposals for support of interdisciplinary research in Computational Science and Engineering (CSE). Eight awards are expected to be given for the 2017-2018 academic year (August 16, 2017 to July 15, 2018).


Proposed research projects must be interdisciplinary, and must be oriented toward computational science and engineering and/or applied mathematics. The student submitting the proposal must be jointly supervised by at least two faculty members (Note: The faculty can be from the same department as long as their disciplines are different). Each faculty participant must be affiliated with the CSE program, and the student must be enrolled in the CSE option in his or her home department by the time the fellowship begins. A student not currently enrolled in the CSE program, should enroll online at www.cse.illinois.edu. Departments participating in CSE include Aerospace Engineering; Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Astronomy; Atmospheric Sciences; Bioengineering; Biophysics and Computational Biology; Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Chemistry; Civil and Environmental Engineering; Computer Science; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering; Materials Science and Engineering; Mathematics; Mechanical Science and Engineering; Molecular and Cellular Biology; Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering; Physics; School of Integrative Biology (Animal Biology, Entomology, and Plant Biology); and Statistics.

Current CSE Fellows may submit proposals for renewal, subject to a maximum allowable tenure of two years in total. Any questions on eligibility should be addressed to the Director of CSE, Professor Narayana Aluru at aluru@illinois.edu.


Student participants in winning proposals will be designated as CSE Fellows and will receive:

  • Stipend corresponding to a 25% research assistantship in their home department
  • Tuition waiver
  • Access to computational facilities provided by CSE
  • Accounts on parallel supercomputers at NCSA
  • Some limited support for conference travel

Application Package

Proposals must be prepared and submitted in a single PDF file by the graduate student. The full application package must be in the following mandatory order and include the following information:

  1. Cover Page: This is proposal specific and can be downloaded from the CSE website.
  2. Resume: One page resume of the student.
  3. Research Proposal: Description of proposed research. This is limited to three pages including references. A good proposal will clearly and concisely highlight the interdisciplinary nature of the research and novelty of the work.
  4. For renewal proposals: a report must be included summarizing research accomplishments of project for preceding year, including list of any publications or presentations (1 page).
  5. DARS Report: A current audit of your records indicating classes taken. Download from the Office of the Registar. (Note: If DARS Report is not available in your home department, please submit an unofficial transcript obtained from University of Illinois Enterprise Applications/Self-Service)
  6. Two Letters of Recommendation from Faculty Supervising the Project: The first letter from the primary advisor should indicate 25% RA support for the student. The second letter must be from the Co-PI. Please note that it is the applicant’s responsibility to communicate and request recommendation letters from their primary and secondary advisors directly and ensure that the letters are sent to fellows@cse.illinois.edu.

Proposal Submission:

All applicants must complete the online CSE Graduate Fellowship Application at https://my.cse.illinois.edu/submit/. As part of the online application, you will need to:

  1. Attach a single PDF file containing items 1-5 in the order described in the Application Package section— cover page, resume, research proposal, renewal proposal (if applicable), and a copy of your DARS report. 
  2. Provide the name and contact information of two references (see item 6 under Application Package). 
  3. The confidential letters of recommendation should be sent to fellows@cse.illinois.edu directly by the recommenders. Please note that your application will not be reviewed until CSE has received all the requested materials (including the recommendation letters) by 5:00 PM, March 31, 2017.

You must complete the entire application for submission. Your electronic application is complete once you have hit the "submit" button and receive the 'Thank You' reply page.

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated by a panel composed of members of the CSE Steering Committee plus external members appointed by the Director of CSE. Faculty advisors with proposals under consideration are not eligible to serve on the selection panel. Proposals will be selected for funding based on the following criteria:

  • Quality, originality, and significance of research proposed
  • Appropriateness of proposed research to CSE in terms of its interdisciplinary nature
  • Quality of student's academic performance and research background
  • Overall balance of projects across research areas.

Submission Deadline

The full online application package (including the reference letters) must be received by CSE by the close of business (5:00 PM) on March 31, 2017. Awards will be announced in May.

The confidential letters of recommendation should be sent to fellows@cse.illinois.edu directly by the recommenders. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION.

If you have further questions, please e-mail us at fellows@cse.illinois.edu