ELIGIBILITY TO APPLY

A key strength of the Interfaces of Global Change IGEP is having a membership that is committed to maintaining a vibrant community that integrates across campus. Applicants to the IGC IGEP are expected to have a thorough understanding of the program before they apply. Hence, applications will only be accepted from actively enrolled Ph.D. students who have carefully examined the benefits and commitments of IGC membership. Applicants should actively assess whether the IGC IGEP will be beneficial for their career plans and whether they can meet the expectations of the program. Numerous opportunities, described below, are provided to help candidates assess their fit for the program. Applicants must be in good standing with one of our GCC faculty members or with another Virginia Tech faculty mentor conducting global-change related scholarship.

Prior to applying to the IGC IGEP, prospective students must attend (at a minimum):
1) An information session with IGC IGEP administrative leadership held early in the Fall semester each year,
2) A Q&A session with a group of faculty involved with the IGC IGEP,
3) A Q&A session with a group of IGC IGEP PhD fellows, and
4) A meeting with their mentor and appropriate prospective graduate committee members (e.g., GCC faculty affiliates) to discuss the suitability of the IGC IGEP for the students’ professional goals and plan of study.

Additional interactions, such as attending a public lecture sponsored by the Global Change Center or meeting with IGC IGEP participants outside of an applicant’s discipline, may also be available and such opportunities will be shared with prospective applicants at the information session on September 23, 2019. See below for more information on important dates.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

The IGC IGEP application deadline is on December 1st. Applications will be evaluated by a committee of faculty using an admissions rubric that evaluates the pertinence of the student’s research to global change, the interdisciplinary nature of the work, and clear evidence that the student’s professional aspirations will benefit from the IGC IGEP’s focus on science communication and the science-policy interface. Applicants should explain how their pre-application interactions with IGC students and faculty helped confirm that the IGC IGEP will serve their professional goals.

Please pay close attention to the application requirements described below. Incorrectly formatted or incomplete applications will not be considered by the admissions committee.

Each applicant must have a clearly articulated funding plan (at least 3 years of financial support planned, which cannot include the IGC fellowship). If the funding plan includes any departmental support (e.g., GTA), the letter must include a signature from the home department’s authorized representative (department head or graduate program coordinator).

APPLICATION FORMAT

Applicants should submit the following materials in PDF format, addressed to the IGC Admissions Review Committee, to Jessica Zielske, IGC Program Coordinator (jcoker@vt.edu):

  1. A CV that includes your undergraduate GPA, graduate GPA (if available), GRE and/or TOEFL score (optional), and contact information (Institution, email, and phone number) for three references.
  2. A signed application letter (2-page max) that addresses these topics:
    Professional Benefits: How will the Interfaces of Global Change IGEP benefit your career plans? Specifically address how training in (a) interdisciplinary research, (b) the interaction between science and policy and (c) science communication relate to your career plans.
    Fit: How did your pre-application interactions with IGC IGEP students and faculty inform your decision to apply?
    Commitment: How will you handle the challenges of balancing IGC commitments with your other commitments?
    Abbreviated Research Statement (max length = 1 pg. of the 2 pg. letter): What kind of interdisciplinary research will you be conducting that relates to global change, and with what faculty member(s) will you be working?
    The signed letter must also include the following statement at the end:  “I have read the expectations and curricular requirements on the IGC IGEP website, and after consultation with my advisor and graduate committee I assert that I will meet these programmatic expectations”.
  3. A brief letter of support (not exceeding one page), sent directly to the IGC Program Coordinator, from the PhD mentor(s) explaining:
    • Why is the student a good fit for the IGC IGEP and how will the applicant’s training benefit from the IGC IGEP? What evidence have you seen that the student is committed to active participation in the IGC IGEP?
    • Specifically address the interdisciplinary nature of the student’s research, and how training in both the interaction between science and policy and science communication relate to their work and their career plans.
    • An explicit funding plan that describes how stipend, tuition, and research expenses will be covered over the course of the applicant’s tenure at Virginia Tech (at least 3 years of financial support planned, which cannot include the IGC fellowship).

NOTE: If Departmental support is part of the funding plan (e.g., a GTA), the letter must include a signature from the home department’s authorized representative (department head or graduate program coordinator).

FALL 2019 DATES TO NOTE:

  • September 23, 2019:  IGC IGEP Information Session with GCC Director, Dr. Bill Hopkins. 5-6pm, Latham 311.  Please sign up in advance!
  • October 30, 2019: IGC IGEP Information Session with panel of current IGC fellows.  5-6pm, Fralin board room.
  • November 11, 2019: IGC IGEP Information Session with panel of Global Change Center faculty affiliates. 5-6pm, Fralin board room.
  • December 1, 2019: IGC IGEP Application Deadline

FOR MORE INFORMATION

For more information about this program, please contact Dr. Bill Hopkins, Director of the Interfaces of Global Change program, Jessica Nicholson, GCC Administrator, or another GCC faculty member. For information on the 12-month paid fellowship, see our IGC Fellowship page.