Apply for the Spark Program

Students participating in the spark program.

Aaron Krolikowski (Rhodes Finalist) and Michael Brown (Truman Finalist) present to students in the Spark program.

The Spark Program is an eight-week program that offers select students the opportunity to learn about competitive external fellowships and provides them with the tools to develop a competitive profile.

About the Spark Program

The Spark Program is held in the fall and spring for freshmen and sophomores. Presenters include UB’s current and past fellowship recipients, as well as key faculty on campus.

Students must commit to participating in the entire series of workshops. Students are encouraged to complete an application for a summer program or research opportunity.

The Fall 2022 Spark Program will be on Mondays, 5:00–6:30 p.m., September 12 through October 31.

Click here to apply to the Fall 2022 Spark Program. Applications are due by September 6.

Earn a digital badge with Spark!

A digital badge is a new type of credential that allows you to show the specific skills you've gained through learning experiences. It's a clickable icon that can digitally display your work and accomplishments to key audiences, like future employers or graduate schools, when embedded on your digital resume, ePortfolio or LinkedIn. Learn more about micro-credentials and digital badges from UB's Office of Micro-Credentials.

Program Eligibility

Students must submit a short online application to be considered for the program. Selected students are typically intellectually curious and interested in focusing on their academic and professional development.

Note: The fellowships and scholarships that are discussed do not cover the expenses of medical, dental or pharmacy school. Therefore, the Spark Program is not the best fit for students who plan on pursuing these career paths. Additionally, all of the competitive awards covered in the program are available to U.S. citizens only.

What to Expect

The program will be a hybrid of in-person and online meetings over the course of eight weeks; it introduces students to opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Throughout the program participants meet students who have previously applied for and received prestigious awards. It is designed to give students the opportunity to assess their strengths, envision their futures and create plans to become competitive for major fellowships and scholarships. Students will complete CliftonStrengths and begin to write a personal statement.

Spark Program Schedule

Week 1: Welcome to the Spark Program and an overview of fellowships and scholarships.

Week 2: Meet fellowship recipients.

Week 3: "What are your strengths?" workshop with the Career Design Center and CliftonStrengths assessment.

Week 4: Networking night: build your network as an introvert or extrovert.

Week 5: Choose your own adventure: community and civic engagement.

Week 6: Oh the places you can go! Internationalizing your undergraduate experience.

Week 7: Research round-tables with faculty.

Week 8: Telling your story in scholarship essays.