Does completing the Future Rivers program lead to a graduate degree or certificate?
Future Rivers is a National Research Foundation (NSF) training program and is not a degree granting program. The program is undertaken concurrently with any graduate degree program on campus and is meant to enhance learning, skill development, and other opportunities related to freshwater ecosystems. That said, we are working with the eScience Institute on campus to develop a transciriptable Data Science certificate that can be earned while participating in the Future Rivers program. Departments that currently have the Graduate Data Science Option can be found here.
What is the duration of the program?
The Future Rivers program runs on a 12-month timeline with cohorts beginning fall quarter of each year (2020-2023). However, we allow up to 18-months for completion to provide some flexibility.
I am from (x department), can I apply?
Any student from any department across the entire University of Washington campus can apply to Future Rivers under any willing faculty advisor.
Are students accepted into this program without a traditional STEM background?
Students outside of traditional STEM fields are encouraged to apply if they have an interest in freshwater ecosystem conservation. The intent of the program is to be truly interdisciplinary and is relevant across fields of study.
Do I already need to be enrolled at UW and pursuing a degree to apply?
The program is open to both current and incoming graduate students. You do not already need to be enrolled at UW to apply; you can simultaneously apply to Future Rivers and your desired Masters or PhD, but you must be admitted to both to enroll.
What are the minimum requirements to apply?
There are no minimum requirements to apply, other than you do need to be enrolled in a UW graduate program at the start of the program.
I missed the application deadline, can I still apply?
Yes. We accept applications on a rolling basis, noting that the program begins fall quarter of each year. Funding decisions, however, are made based on those who have applied by the deadline.
Is there funding for students accepted to the program?
There is a possibility of up to 18-months of funding through the Future Rivers program, however, funding is competitive so we encourage you to seek out additional sources, if needed. There is also the potential for limited follow-on funding (e.g., travel support, research funds, or skill-building opportunities) after completing the core program which is open to everyone, irrespective of whether they were funded to participate in the core program or not.
Where do the Summer Institutes take place?
The location will change each year, with plans to hold the Summer Institutes in the United States Pacific Northwest in 2021 and 2023 and internationally (e.g., the Mekong Delta, the Amazon Basin, or somewhere else related research is occurring) in 2022 and 2024.
What are the course requirements?
Credited course requirements are:
3 data science classes within your existing degree program
Does my faculty advisor/sponsor need to be from the University of Washington or can it be from my undergraduate University?
All students applying to the program must have a self-selected faculty advisor from their intended or current graduate degree-granting program at the University of Washington.
How do I obtain a faculty advisor?
Most PhD and some Masters student applicants have to identify sponsoring advisors as part of their degree application. However, if that is not the case for you, we suggest researching the faculty in your areas of interest and reaching out to a few with compatible expertise to see if they would be willing advocate on your behalf. If you need additional help identifying potential faculty advisors, please reach out to the Graduate Advising Office in your current/intended UW College.
What are the faculty advisor participation requirements?
Faculty advisors are asked to be active participants in the year-long program by attending at least one STEM inclusivity training, joining relevant Summer Institute and networking events, participating as a guest lecturer in the Future Rivers winter seminar and/or spring speaker series, and helping facilitate cross-disciplinary interaction. We will cc advisors on all the Future Rivers cohort emails, ask that they help select data science courses that meet your degree requirements, help develop your Individual Development Plan (IDP), and invite them to participate in quarterly cohort calls. Faculty advisors are also required to be respectful while collaborating and learning with others.