The Graduate Engineering Research Scholars (GERS) program at the University of Wisconsin has had considerable success in producing minority students who have earned a Ph.D. in engineering. Over the past decade, about 350 minority students have earned Ph.D.s in engineering nationwide. Forty-five of them have participated in the GERS program at the University of Wisconsin.
The GERS program has two components. An annual Opportunities in Engineering conference for undergraduate juniors and seniors is held on the Madison campus each year and a summer GERS program brings about 50 undergraduate students to Madison for nine weeks to work on engineering projects.
Each year the National Science Foundation awards graduate fellowships to graduate students in engineering. In addition to access to a supercomputer and international research and professional development opportunities, the students receive a $30,000 annual stipend and a $10,500 education allowance. Over the past two years, 10 of the 20 winners of these fellowships have participated in the GERS program.