Invest in the Future of the Department of Physics
Every gift to Department of Physics is a vote of confidence in the future of the university. You can designate your gift to be used for a purpose that is important to you. The following list is just a small snapshot of the many ways you can support the Physics Department.
Increased funding for graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships will allow the Department of Physics to attract the best and brightest students. Students who will transform our university today and the world tomorrow.
Our Top Student Funding Priority: Graduate Student Support
Over the last two decades the role of graduate students has changed from that of "apprentice" to often a co-researcher with a supervising professor. In addition, graduate students support undergraduate education by helping faculty in both laboratories and classrooms as tutors, advisors and lab instructors for our undergraduates.
Competition with other graduate programs is fierce, with many of our peer institutions providing lucrative, multi-year financial packages and fellowships for prospective students. The college will thrive by recruiting the best and most diverse graduate students, endowing them with resources to excel, and helping them become scientific leaders that have high scholarly, societal and economic impact.
In order to recruit, cultivate, and retain the highest quality graduate students and remain competitive, we must continue to increase our graduate student funding support through travel awards, seed research grants and fellowships.
Travel Awards | $1,000-$5,000
Travel to scientific meetings is central to the career development of graduate students. Such meetings represent a key opportunity to gain exposure to the newest ideas in the field and thereby expand a student's knowledge base. Possibly more important is the networking aspect of such meetings. In addition to offering the chance for students to meet others in their peer group and to interact directly with leaders in the field, these meetings are an important next step for students as they begin looking toward postdoctoral positions.
One-year Competitive Fellowship | $25,000
Our PhD students spend their years working in the lab, teaching undergraduate students and collaborating with their faculty colleagues. It is this phase where the real scientific training takes place and it is also this time when students give the most back in terms of discovery and innovation.
A one-time/one-year named fellowship would provide the funds necessary to support a graduate student during one of the most critical and important phases of their education.
Endowed Graduate Fellowship | $100,000 (can be pledged out over 5 years)
Graduate fellowships play a key role in attracting the best students in the country to our department, and in order for us to be competitive, we must be able to offer the same recruiting incentives. You can help us by making contributions to graduate student fellowships or you may create a new endowed fellowship.
Undergraduate scholarships enable students to devote more time to their studies and participate in research activities that help prepare them for productive careers as leaders in academia, medicine, and industry. You may make an outright, one-time donation to provide scholarship support for a student (or multiple students) in one year or over multiple years.
These scholarships may be one-time, outright gifts to provide immediate funding for student needs or endowed to provide a lasting, permanent source of funding.
Here are some ways in which you can help our molecular biosciences undergraduates:
One-time Competitive Undergraduate Scholarship | $1,500-$5,000
Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship | $25,000 (can be pledged out over 5 years)
Endowed Presidential Scholarship | $50,000 (can be pledged out over 5 years)
Considered one of UT’s most prestigious scholarship programs, Endowed Presidential Scholars have a strong academic record and exhibit a consistent employment history through paid or volunteer work. An annual distribution from your endowment will provide approximately $2,500 to support undergraduate students, and the endowment will grow over time supporting undergraduates in perpetuity.
Research and Program Support
You can invest in the department’s programs and research by providing gifts for immediate use or by creating an Excellence Fund – an endowment that provides funding for the most promising or pressing initiatives.
Program Endowments and Excellence Funds | $25,000 (can be pledged out over 5 years)
Endowed Excellence Funds require a minimum of $25,000 and enable the Department Chairs and program coordinators to support initiatives that will make an immediate impact. Endowments can be established through a one-time gift or may be paid over a multi-year window up to five years, and, once established, you or anyone else may add to its principal at any time. Annual distributions from endowments support seed grants for proof of principle projects, faculty recruiting, student scholarships or fellowships, lab enhancements and student organizations. Endowed Excellence Funds are named according to the donor’s wishes and are promoted any time funds are used from that endowment.
Investing in Physics Research
To complement, unify and strengthen the department’s research efforts, philanthropic investments in research help attract exceptional students and top scholars, foster relationship-based corporate partnerships and produce research that garners national attention. Here are some examples of ways you can support the Physics Department research initiatives:
Seed Grants for Graduate Student Interdisciplinary Research | $5,000 - $10,000
A key aspect of the Department of Physics strategic plan is to foster interdisciplinary research. Seed grants could be used to launch one such interdisciplinary effort for a specific research topic or to provide students with funding to attend specialty courses to gain hands-on training to learn a new laboratory technique or method, which could then be incorporated into the lab to foster interaction with other groups on campus using that technique.
One-time Research Grants for Physics students participating in the Freshman Research Initiative | $2,500 - $5,000
To enhance the undergraduate experience, the Physics Department participates in the Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) within the College of Natural Sciences. Rather than taking the traditional freshman general chemistry or biology laboratories, selected incoming students participate in a special laboratory program consisting of topical “streams,” in which they conduct experiments that are an integral part of active research programs. Many of these students then initiate an independent research project under the supervision of faculty members and some even have the opportunity to have their research published in scientific journals.
There are several options to more broadly invest in the college and join our efforts to develop leaders, promote discovery, create impact and transform lives. Discover them on the College of Natural Sciences Giving page.
For questions, or to learn more about ways in which you can support and invest in the Department of Physics, please contact:
Associate Director of Development
Office: (512) 232-1870
College of Natural Sciences Development Office