The Department of Physics will receive $522,564 from the federal Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) program for the next three years to support doctoral fellowships in nanoscale materials and computational physics. UAB’s proposal was selected because it demonstrated that its Ph.D. students develop the skills necessary to fill science and technology jobs deemed future national needs by the federal government, says physics Professor Yogesh Vohra, Ph.D., who directs UAB’s GAANN project.

Yogesh Vohra says the Department of Physics produces Ph.D. students with the skills needed to fill science and technology jobs deemed future national needs by the federal government.
The UAB physics Ph.D. program includes individualized course work, supervised research experiences, opportunities for industrial internships and development of teaching and communication skills and comprehensive evaluation of teaching performance.

This roadmap for student development convinced the GAANN review board that UAB will produce physicists skilled in either teaching or research of nanoscale materials and computational physics, Vohra says.

“This is a highly competitive award, and the recognition speaks to the national reputations of UAB and the Department of Physics,” Vohra says. The UAB physics program is one of 17 university physics programs nationwide to receive funding through GAANN, according to Department of Education public records.

The GAANN funding will support five physics Ph.D. students at a stipend level of $30,000 each per year through 2012. It also provides an annual educational payment of $13,552 per student for tuition and research costs.