Benefits and Applying

AWARE-AI Trainees will experience carefully curated and career-enhancing activities that directly address skill gaps in graduate AI curricula.

The AWARE-AI NRT Program is committed to training an inclusive and diverse AI scientific workforce. Women, Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, and African American, Latino/a American, or Native American graduate students are especially encouraged to apply.

Benefits of AWARE-AI NRT Traineeships

flowchart of 4 steps.

All Trainees receive:

  • Conference travel support of up to $1440 to deliver presentations on their NRT research
  • Meals at onboarding, winter retreat, and hackathons
  • Mentoring support and career coaching
  • Access to training activities (see Activities and Events)
  • Access to community-building activities 

Trainees with fellowships also receive:

  • Graduate research assistantships $34,000 for their NRT Fellowship Year (paid over 12 months)
  • Travel support to visit Minority Serving Institutions to encourage networking and careers in academia

After completion of the NRT Year, Trainees remain eligible for:

  • NRT research seed funding competitions (announced on the website)
  • Leadership positions on Trainee Council
  • Peer-mentoring roles at select events with meals provided
  • Continued mentoring support and career coaching
  • Receiving the AWARE-AI NRT certificate of completion prior to graduation

Training Opportunities

Training Opportunities Trainees
with fellowship
without fellowship
Research in Track and Faculty Mentoring   
Travel support  
Lab Rotations Eligible (once)  
National Lab and Industry Internships Eligible  
Travel to Minority Serving Institutions     
Seed Grant Projects (until gradation) Eligible Eligible  
Trainee Council and Peer-Mentoring (until gradation) Eligible Eligible  
Winter Retreat Tutorials Open
Mentor Café Open
Human Factors in AI Course Open
Spring Roundtables on Advanced AI Practices (until gradation) Open
D&I Competency Workshops Open
Essential Skills Workshops: Communication, Ethics, Teamwork Open
AI Hackathons Open
CHAI Seminars Open
Database Submissions Eligible Eligible Eligible

Important Dates and Application Materials

Applications due for primary consideration: March 1
Notification: April/Rolling
Start of program: August 17-19 onboarding with semester starting on August 22
Application materials to submit:

  • Complete application form
  • Upload CV
  • Upload a cover letter describing your motivation for applying to become an AWARE-AI Trainee and how it will enable your career goals. It should discuss your preferred research track and summarize your research and training plan.
  • Provide the name and email of your primary research advisor (or an alternative recommender if you do not yet have a research advisor) and arrange for the recommendation letter to be sent to by March 1.

Eligible Graduate Programs

To apply to become a Trainee, you must be an RIT student associated with one of the following eligible PhD and MS on-campus programs in Rochester, NY. 

Instructions for MS student applicants: MS students should apply in the spring semester before they enter the final year in their MS program, which is usually before the start of their second year.

In addition, to be considered for a Trainee position with a funded $34,000 fellowship, you must be a US citizen, national or permanent resident.

National Science Foundation logo

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. DGE-2125362. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.