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 a nine-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 nine-week program introduces freshmen and sophomore students to opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Throughout the program, participants meet students who have previously applied for and received awards, assess their strengths through the CliftonStrengths Assessment, write application materials, envision their futures and create plans to become competitive for major fellowships and scholarships. 

The application for the Fall 2024 program will open in summer.

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.

Students must commit to participating in the entire series of workshops.

Please note that the majority of fellowships and scholarships highlighted in this program do not cover the expenses of medical school, dental school, or pharmacy, and are available only to U.S. citizens. Medical, dental, or pharmacy students and international students are encouraged to explore the our Find Funding database for more opportunities.

Example Spark Program Schedule

Week 1: Welcome and overview of fellowships and scholarships.

Week 2: Meeting with fellowship recipients.

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

Week 4: Networking night with campus faculty and staff.

Week 5: Extracurricular, community, and civic engagement.

Week 6: Application writing workshop.

Week 7: Study abroad night.

Week 8: Research night with faculty. 

Week 9: Program farewell, reflection & goal setting.