Apply for 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.

Students participating in the spark program.

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

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 recipients, 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.

The fall 2020 Spark program will be held virtually on Thursdays 5-6:30 p.m. The Spark program will begin on Thursday, Sept. 10.

Earn a digital badge with Spark!

New in fall 2020, you can now earn a digital badge when you complete the Spark Program. 

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.

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 meets virtually over the course of nine 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 Spark and an overview of fellowships and scholarships.
Week 2: Meet fellowship recipients.
Week 3: "What are your strengths?" workshop with Career Services 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.
Week 9: Searching for fellowships and scholarships.