Graduate Research Scholar Communities (GRS)

Graduate Research Scholar (GRS) communities are organized by the various schools and colleges within UW-Madison to support underrepresented students.  Students receiving Advanced Opportunity fellowships are brought together in these GRS communities throughout their graduate school career for a range of social, academic, professional development, and research-related activities.  Strong faculty and peer support augment the funding provided by the fellowship.  GRS communities also offer a wealth of assistance to underrepresented graduate students through individual advising and referrals to campus resources. Schools and Colleges with Graduate Scholar communities include:

Graduate Engineering Research Scholars (GERS)

The College of Engineering’s Graduate Engineering Research Scholars program is a unique fellowship program designed to offer students much more than monetary support. Through GERS, students become members of a supportive community of UW-Madison engineering graduate students, faculty and staff.

Contact Kelly Burton,

School of Education Graduate Research Scholars (Ed-GRS)

Ed-GRS is a community of graduate students from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds receiving Advanced Opportunity Fellowship in the School of Education. In addition to a stipend, tuition, and health care benefits, the program strives to assist our fellows with first year transition, community building, and professional development. Ed-GRS is guided by an advisory committee consisting of staff, faculty, and students. With a strong support from the Graduate School and other graduate scholar communities, the School of Education’s Student Diversity Programs Office is proud to be a home Ed-GRS and looking forward to provide tools and support to assist our scholars during their time at UW-Madison.

Contact Dang Chonwerawong,, (608) 890-2580.

Letters & Sciences Community of Graduate Research Scholars (L&S C-GRS)

The L&S C-GRS includes all first-year Advanced Opportunity Fellows (AOF) who are pursuing graduate degrees in a Letters & Science program. C-GRS students develop and participate in professional and community programs and events that include graduate fellows, faculty and staff. The C-GRS community provides Fellows with opportunities and support to meet all of their professional and personal goals.

Contact Brian Bubenzer,, (608) 265-0603.

Business GRS

The Graduate Business Research Community is a community of students who come from diverse backgrounds including varying ethnicity, race, socio-economic status, gender, sexual orientation and ability. The Wisconsin School of Business is a founding member of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, an organization whose mission is to promote diversity and inclusion in American business. The Wisconsin School of Business is also a member of the Forte Foundation, a collaborative effort between major corporations and top business schools that work together in educating and directing talented women toward leadership roles in business. In addition, WSoB is a founding member of the Ph.D. Project, an organization dedicated to increasing diversity of corporate America by increasing the diversity of business school faculty.

Contact Binnu Palta Hill,, 608-263-3462.

Environmental Graduate Research Scholars (EnviroGRS)

EnviroGRS provides resources to targeted graduate students in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.

Contact Jim Miller,, 608-263-4373.

Nursing Graduate Research Scholars

Nursing GRS is a community of graduate students from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds receiving Advanced Opportunity Fellowships in the School of Nursing. Recipients receive a stipend, tuition, and health care benefits. This financial support enables them to focus on their research while in the program. Faculty and staff in the School of Nursing assist our fellows with first year transition, involvement in research groups, and professional development experiences. AOF students are guided by academic staff and faculty with a strong support from the Graduate School and other graduate scholar communities on-campus. 

Contact Carol Aspinwall, Coordinator of Doctoral Student Academic Services,, 608-263-9109.

Science and Medicine Graduate Research Scholars (SciMed GRS)

The Science and Medicine Graduate Research Scholars (SciMed GRS) Program strives to enhance the experiences of underrepresented graduate students in the College of Agricultural Sciences, School of Medicine and Public Health, School of Pharmacy, and School of Veterinary Medicine. SciMed GRS coordinates professional development opportunities and community gatherings of graduate scholars. This program provides resources to both students and faculty mentors to enrich the graduate experience at UW- Madison.  There are 38 departments and graduate programs that are included in the SciMed-GRS Program that are quite diverse and offer a range of opportunities.

Contact Sara Patterson,, (608) 262-1543, or Abbey Thompson,, (608) 890-2308.