Pathways Program Description

Pathways Brochure

Click here to view the Pathways to Doctorate Brochure.

Description of the Pathways to the Doctorate Fellowship Program
Pathways to the Doctorate Fellowships are awarded by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies to qualified doctoral students mentored by faculty partners in the Program. This document describes:  a) the numbers and types of faculty partnerships, b) Pathways to the Doctorate Fellowship benefits, c & d) faculty and fellow requirements, e) sources of supplemental funding to augment Pathways to the Doctorate activities, and f) recruitment tactics of Pathways to the Doctorate eligible fellows.

A. Faculty Partnerships

The Office of Graduate and Professional Studies seeks Texas A&M University (TAMU) faculty teams or individual faculty to partner in the Pathways to the Doctorate Fellowship program.  As partners, faculty must commit to providing high-quality and diverse doctoral students with the support, effective mentorship, training and experiences necessary to transform graduates into highly sought candidates for competitive postdoctoral positions or faculty at Texas Higher Education institutions.  Faculty may partner in the Pathways to the Doctorate Fellowships program through the following options.

Continuing Teams

Continuing Teams (As recognized on http://ogaps.tamu.edu/Buttons/Funding-Opportunities/Pathways-to-the-Doctorate-Fellowship) that want to remain as participants in the program.  Teams that have not added at least one new Pathways to the Doctorate fellow in the past three academic years (2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16) must successfully recruit an eligible student to fill a Pathways to the Doctorate fellowship in the 2016-17 academic year to continue as a recognized team eligible for Pathways to the Doctorate support.

New Teams of Faculty

New teams of faculty functionally organized around a common research area or goal (e.g., faculty teams supported by a training grant, an Initial University Multidisciplinary Research Initiatives (IUMRI), etc.) or within an academic department or interdisciplinary degree or research program.

Individual Faculty

Individual faculty with a commitment to recruiting, supporting, and mentoring high quality, diverse graduates of Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) undergraduate programs into TAMU doctoral programs.

 

The Energy and Sustainability Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (E&S AGEP) project is a TAMU-led alliance of TAMUS institutions that supports underrepresented minority students working to complete their doctorates in energy and sustainability and/or STEM related fields with an intent that they subsequently transition to competitive postdoctoral and/or faculty positions.  This National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded AGEP operates to reduce the student's average time to degree, to increase the probability of successful completion of their doctorate, provide the preparation necessary to successfully compete for postdoctoral and faculty positions, and foster alliance-wide research and teaching collaborations (additional details on the E&S AGEP can be found at http://tamus-agep.tamu.edu/).  Therefore, new and continuing individual TAMU faculty and faculty teams in STEM disciplines are expected to collaborate with the E&S AGEP.  Also, all Pathways to the Doctorate fellows who meet the eligibility requirements for inclusion in the AGEP project will be expected to participate in the E&S AGEP project.

B. Pathways to the Doctorate Fellowship Benefits

OGAPS Funding of each Pathways to the Doctorate Fellowship award includes a one-year stipend of $20,000 and reimbursement for the cost of personal health insurance coverage equivalent to the graduate student health plan.  The award will also include $9,000 a year for tuition and fees for the student’s first year.  Funding is contingent on the student fulfilling all requirements associated with the Pathways to the Doctorate Program and in making satisfactory progress toward completion of their PhD.  In addition, the Fellow must maintain employment with the faculty member/department associated with the award.

Faculty/Department Funding of each Pathways to the Doctorate Fellow is required for years 2 through 5.  Team or individual faculty must commit to providing the fellows support for these subsequent years through a graduate assistantship or other sufficient financial contributions.  If a Pathways to the Doctorate Fellow remains in good standing and the faculty member or team is unable to meet their financial assistance obligations to the student, then the student’s home department or IDP shall assume the responsibility for meeting the outstanding financial obligations.

Tuition for Pathways to the Doctorate Fellows funded by graduate assistantships in years 2 through 5 will be paid by the host department or IDP (from the Ph.D. tuition pool) if the fellow is supported by a departmental GAT or GAR; OGAPS will pay the tuition if the fellow is supported on a faculty-funded GAR.

C. Pathways Faculty Requirements

The Office of Graduate and Professional Studies (OGAPS) expects that individual faculty members or faculty teams will closely mentor the Pathways to the Doctorate Fellow, will assure the student's integration into the graduate student community, and will monitor and encourage them in their fellowship and academic program. Examples of outcomes in this mentoring relationship include perhaps writing a grant proposal to fund the student's research in succeding years or assisting the students in achieving the Senior Fellow Certificate from the Graduate Teaching Academy. 

Faculty or Team awardees must file an annual report of progress with the Associate Provost of Graduate and Professional Students by March 1 of each year. If an individual faculty or faculty team proves unsuccessful as a Pathways to Doctorate partner (for example, unable to successfully recruit student, students not progressing, low student GPAs, students leaving the program, mentoring not recorded or beneficial to student) within 3 years of creation of the partnership, then the partnership may be terminated at the discretion of the Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies. Individual faculty or representatives of the faculty teams actively mentoring pathways to the Doctorate Fellows will be re0quired to attend Pathways to the Doctorate activities.

D. Pathways to the Doctorate Fellow Requirements

Pathways to the Doctorate Fellows must be enrolled in a doctoral program and must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 for the first year, and 3.25 in subsequent years.  Should a fellow fall below the required minimum, they will receive a one-semester probationary period per university rules. Fellows must enroll full-time (9 hours in the fall and spring semesters, 6 hours in the summer) at Texas A&M – College Station to receive their fellowship stipend and their payment toward tuition and fees.  Summer enrollment requirements hinge on the fellow’s stipend selection (9 or 12 month payout).

Fellows requirements include working collaboratively with their research advisor and other members of their advisory committee.  Pathways to the Doctorate fellows also must present a poster at the TAMUS Pathways Research Symposium at least once during the two years of their OGAPS support, must adhere to all OGAPS reporting requirements, and must attend educational and social events organized by OGAPS for Fellows and AGEP students until completing their doctoral degree.

Fellows who desire to change their departmental association, degree objective, major advisor, and/or type of degree must first contact the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

E. Supplemental Funding

The Pathways to the Doctorate Program includes a pool of funds to support Pathways to the Doctorate faculty partner activities .These activities build relationships with TAMUS institutions and support mentoring activities of Pathways to the Doctorate fellows.  Examples of allowable expenses include travel costs for: i) a TAMU faculty member to visit a TAMUS campus, ii) a TAMUS faculty visit to TAMU, or iii) a TAMU campus visit by a prospective Pathways to the Doctorate Candidate.  Individual faculty or faculty teams may submit these funding requests no later than 6 weeks but not earlier than 4 months before the scheduled activity.

The major advisor to a Pathways to the Doctorate fellow will be eligible to request up to $2,000 to enhance student success (e.g., enriched mentoring activities, travel support for the fellow to present their research at a research conference).

F. Recruitment of Pathways to the Doctorate Fellows

OGAPS will actively recruit Pathways to the Doctorate eligible doctoral candidates for evaluation by the Pathways to the Doctorate teams and individual faculty. Find the research interests of faculty teams as well as individual faculty on the OGAPS web site (http://ogaps.tamu.edu/Buttons/Funding-Opportunities/Pathways-to-the-Doctorate-Fellowship). OGAPS will also publish a hard copy format to distribute at all suitable recruiting events.  In addition,throughout the Fall and early Spring semesters, OGAPS will provide Pathways to the Doctorate teams and individual faculty with names and contact information of Pathways to the Doctorate eligible students who have applied to or been admitted by his/her graduate program.  Pathways to the Doctorate faculty and teams shall then formally recommend acceptable candidates to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies, which will award Pathways to the Doctorate Fellowships to the prospective TAMU doctoral students who meet program requirements.OGAPS will work to coordinate  delivery of a single award package to the chosen student that details the Pathways to the Doctorate Fellowship, together with the faculty/department plan for the types and amounts of financial assistance offered to the student for years 2 through 5 of their doctoral program.
 

TAMU System Graduate Faculty

Pathways to the Doctorate faculty may wish to become members of the TAMUS Graduate Faculty to develop pipelines for students to flow from TAMUS institutions to TAMU-College Station, or to facilitate forming of multi-institutional graduate advisory committees encouraged by the E&S AGEP project. (Some types of direct funding available from this project require multi-institutional graduate advisory committees).  The Texas A&M University System has established a System Graduate Faculty which enables and facilitates collaborative research and teaching among faculty members of the nine universities and Health Science Center within the System. A member of the Texas A&M University System Graduate Faculty may teach graduate courses and serve as committe member or co-chair (but not as chair) with a member of the Texas A&M University Graduate Faculty. These individuals will automatically obtain Associate Member status on the Texas A&M University Graduate Faculty.  For more information please visit here.