Graduate Recruitment, Enhancement and Travel (GREAT) Program

The Graduate Recruitment, Enhancement, and Travel (GREAT) Program is designed to aid in the recruitment of exceptionally high achieving prospective doctoral graduate students. Under the GREAT Program, student awardees of eligible funding programs who join Texas A&M receive supplements to augment their monetary stipends up to $36,000 per year for up to five years.  

The GREAT Program provides supplemental funding to eligible:

  1. nationally competitive external fellowships awarded to students,
  2. federal training grant fellowships awarded to faculty or departments, and
  3. federal research grant supplements awarded to faculty to promote diversity.

In addition, the GREAT program provides travel awards to faculty to bring awardees or prospective awardees of nationally competitive external fellowships to campus for recruiting visits.

Development

The GREAT Program was proposed by Texas A&M’s Council of Principal Investigators (CPI), Texas A&M’s faculty research leaders, who were seeking a way to elevate graduate and professional education by recruiting more high-achieving students. The CPI worked with university administrators to garner the required resources and shape the program to ensure that students who would be good candidates for external fellowships would receive financial packages comparable to those offered by the nation’s top universities. Competing for and adding exceptional talent to our graduate student body will augment the educational experiences of all students, increase research productivity, and elevate institutional performance.    

As the unit administering the program, the Graduate and Professional School thanks the CPI, President Kathy Banks, and Interim Vice President for Research Jack Baldauf for their important work on this initiative. We look forward to the positive impact the GREAT Program will undoubtedly make on recruiting and will continue to seek ways to work with the CPI and other stakeholders to elevate graduate and professional education at Texas A&M and keep the university on an upward trajectory in building our global reputation.

Graduate Supplements

Doctoral students, faculty, and graduate programs are strongly encouraged to seek funding from sources external to Texas A&M University. Annual graduate “top-off” supplements will be provided to incentivize this activity and amplify its impact. The goal of the supplements is to ensure that doctoral students receive a full funding package when they are awarded an eligible nationally competitive dissertation and multi-year external fellowships or selected to be funded by eligible federal training grants, and federal research grant supplements promoting diversity. A full funding package annually includes 

  • a monthly stipend of at least $3,000 per month or up to the monthly amount of the fellowship/training grant stipend if greater than $3,000 per month, 
  • funding for full tuition and required university and college fees, 
  • 12 months of student health insurance, and 
  • a $1,500 scholarship for professional development opportunities, conference travel, research travel, books, etc. 

Doctoral Student Expectations:

Doctoral students receiving the supplements must participate in research leadership (e.g., Aggie Research Program) and mentoring (e.g., TAMU Graduate Mentoring Academy) development programs.

Faculty/ Research Advisor Expectations:

Faculty / Research advisors will be strongly encouraged to participate in the TAMU Graduate Mentoring Academy or the TAMU Faculty Mentoring Academy program.

Category I: Supplements for external fellowships awarded directly to individual students

When Texas A&M doctoral students compete successfully for highly competitive external fellowships like the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP), National Institutes of Health F31 Predoctoral Fellowship, and Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, the graduate supplements will provide full funding packages for up to five years. 

Supplements will fund external fellowships as described below:

  • Nationally competitive, prestigious fellowships open to students in multiple fields or a single field of study
  • Dissertation fellowships – one to two years, significant funding (at least $2,000/month)
  • Other fellowships – typically multi-year, significant funding (at least $2,000/month) 


Funding conditions:                                                                                                                                               

  • For external fellowships with five years of stipend funding, the supplements will top off fellowship funding to ensure the fellowship recipient receives a full funding package for up to five years. 
  • For multi-year external fellowships with less than five years of stipend funding, the supplements will top off fellowship funding in years of active fellowship funding, and top off faculty, department, or college assistantship or fellowship funding in other years to ensure the fellowship recipient receives a full funding package for up to five years. 
  • For one- to two-year dissertation fellowships, the supplements will top off fellowship funding to ensure the fellowship recipient receives a full funding package for the duration of the fellowship tenure.
View a List of Fellowships Eligible for GREAT Program Supplemental Funding

Category II: Supplements for federal training grants awarded to faculty or graduate programs

When faculty or graduate programs compete successfully for federal training grants like National Institutes of Health (NIH) T32 predoctoral training grant, Department of Education (DoE) Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) grant, USDA National Needs Graduate Fellowship (NNF), or National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT), the graduate supplements will ensure the doctoral trainees receive full funding packages for up to five years.

Supplements will top off training grant funding in year(s) of active training grant stipend funding, and top off faculty, department, or college assistantship or fellowship funding in other years to ensure the training grant recipient receives a full funding package for up to five years. 

View a List of Federal Training Grants Eligible for GREAT Program Funding

Category III: Supplements for federal research grants awarded to faculty to promote diversity

When faculty secure research supplements for federal research grants to promote diversity like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Admin Supp), National Science Foundation MPS Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate: Graduate Research Supplements (AGEP-GRS), or National Science Foundation MPS Graduate Research Supplement for Veterans (MPS-GRSV), the graduate supplements will top off the federal research grant supplement funding to ensure the doctoral trainee receives a full funding package during the years that they receive the federal research grant supplement funding.

View a List of Federal Research Grants Eligible for GREAT Program Funding

RECRUITMENT TRAVEL AWARDS

The GREAT program provides travel awards to faculty to bring high-achieving prospective doctoral students for TAMU campus visits. Awards are up to $1,000 per prospective student. Prospective doctoral students should be:

  1. A recipient of a GREAT Program eligible external fellowship; or
  2. A competitive candidate for a GREAT Program eligible external fellowship or GREAT Program eligible federal training grant; and
  3. In their last year of undergraduate studies or master’s studies.