Apply for 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.

Students participating in the spark program.

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

Fall 2019 Cohort

The fall 2019 Spark program will be held on Tuesdays 5-6:30 p.m. and Wednesdays noon-1:30 p.m. There will be a section for biomedical engineering and chemical engineering majors only, on Thursdays 4-5:30 p.m.

Interested students must apply online by Friday, Sept. 6 and go through a selection process.

About the Program

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

Students must commit to participating in the entire series of workshops and will also meet individually with Elizabeth Colucci or Megan Stewart as part of the program. Students are encouraged to complete an application for a summer program or research opportunity.

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.

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 meets over the course of eight weeks for lunch or dinner; it introduces students to opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Throughout the program participants meet students who have previously applied for and won 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 Clifton StrengthsFinder and begin to write a personal statement.

Spark Program Schedule
Week 1: Introduction to the Spark program and meet a fellowship winner
Week 2: What are my strengths? Clifton Strengths assessment
Week 3: Telling your story through the personal statement with the Center for Excellence in Writing
Week 4: Networking; how to network as an introvert
Week 5: Research dinner with faculty
Week 6: Internationalizing your undergraduate experience
Week 7: Community and civic engagement
Week 8: Searching for fellowships and scholarships