Giving to Graduate Fellowships

What is needed to strengthen and grow graduate education at MSU?

At a time when the growth of U.S. research activities is most critical, federal and state resources that help provide funding for graduate students have diminished. At the same time, Michigan-based businesses struggle to find skilled workers to fill high-tech jobs due to the shortage of domestic students earning advanced degrees in science, engineering, and technology fields. And we know there is a coming shortage of qualified faculty to meet the growing demand in higher education.

Fellowships are one of the best ways to attract top applicants, helping us to recruit the most capable graduate students who often are comparing multiple offers from other universities. Right now, with approximately 200 exceptional students nominated each year by deans and department chairpersons as the “best of the best,” MSU only has resources to offer 40 university-wide fellowships. Our competitors with a strong history of raising funds for fellowship endowments offer closer to 100. So we must continue to invest in fellowship endowments. It is the bedrock for maintaining our competitive edge as a university, and for maintaining the quality of what we bring to the state and nation.

MSU is committed to continuing to create a cadre of outstanding graduate students who make a difference as they work alongside faculty in teaching and research. Private support for graduate fellowships is an important part of ensuring progress.

What is the impact of graduate education?

Advanced degrees are a key driver for innovation in a wide variety of fields—providing not only a well-trained workforce but also fresh perspective and enthusiasm. It is the graduate students of today who will be the researchers of tomorrow, and who will solve what until now have proven to be intractable problems in need of new thinking and approaches. The world’s prosperity is tied to our ability to be innovative and creative, and to translate good ideas into solutions that build our economy, strengthen our communities, and improve the quality of life for individuals. 

The collaborative environment at MSU, where graduate students are shaped into emerging scholars and put to the test by experienced faculty, is perhaps our greatest asset when it comes to generating new ideas and innovation. As graduate and professional students complete their training, they also provide critical support for faculty in their ongoing research efforts. Our ability to attract and retain top faculty who build dynamic research programs is directly related to their having great students to work with.

  • Graduate students inject fresh perspective with motivated new stars eager to help lead in bold, new directions.
  • A collaborative environment, where emerging scholars are shaped and put to the test by experienced faculty, is perhaps a university’s greatest asset when it comes to generating new ideas and innovation.
  • And graduate students are at the core of what makes such academic dream teams click.
  • MSU’s graduate students are often the driving force behind new investigations. They work alongside faculty, enabling the research that helps teams translate their creative ideas for both the academic and business marketplaces. In fact, outstanding graduate students are essential to attracting the most talented faculty to join team MSU.
  • Moreover, when you mix all these energetic, high-aspiring people into a dynamic learning environment focused on solving big problems, nothing short of magic starts to happen.