Support CBIS

How To Designate Your Gift

Endowed Scholarships

For students excited about the potential of technology, there's no better place to learn and explore than Rensselaer's Center for Biotechnology & Interdisciplinary Studies. The Center combines faculty and students from our Schools of Science, Engineering, Business, Humanities, and Architecture in innovative research efforts. Students can learn and work in a unique environment that encourages unprecedented levels of cross-discipline collaboration and learning. 

For many students, scholarship support from the School makes a critical difference in their decision to attend Rensselaer. Sometimes scholarships encourage students from other geographic regions to apply and study in Troy. Other times, scholarships make the pursuit of a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute degree financially possible. Most importantly, scholarships provide a ringing endorsement of the School's confidence in an applicant.

 Scholarships help students make the most of their time at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Not only do scholarships reward serious study and academic achievement, they also encourage students to take on new challenges and push past old limits. Students develop a sense of pride earned through accomplishment and often establish an early commitment to civic service.

Scholars come to Rensselaer for its outstanding academic reputation, legacy of impact, and enormous breadth of learning opportunities. By helping with their educational expenses, scholarships allow students to take advantage of these benefits without accumulating large debt burdens. Freed from financial distractions, students can focus on their education with all the energy and attention this life-shaping endeavor deserves.

At the same time, scholarships play an important role in emphasizing a sense of public duty that is integral to the educational mission at Rensselaer. In conversations with Rensselaer alumni, scholarship recipients overwhelmingly cite the impact of having an early benefactor in their education and career as a reason for later wanting to multiply the benefit. Scholarships are meaningful gifts that not only make an immediate impact on the recipient's education but also establish a lasting relationship between the student and society.

Endowing a Legacy. A named scholarship can be established with a minimum gift of $250,000, payable over one to five years. This gift generates distributions of approximately five percent annually that provide expendable funds for scholarship awards. The scholarship may be named as the donor appropriately desires, and recipients will carry that name for the duration of their award.

To establish a named scholarship, the donor and the University sign an agreement specifying the donor's intent, the gift payment schedule and acceptable criteria for selecting scholarship recipients. While unrestricted scholarships are preferred and offer the greatest flexibility to the School, a donor may specify certain preferences for award criteria.

For more information please contact Marianne Senneca, Office of Donor Relations,, 518-276-8545.

Endowed Fellowships

Graduate students working at CBIS and enrolled in the School of Engineering, Science, Architecture, Business, or Humanities will become some of the most promising researchers and academic pacesetters of the future. Endowed fellowships help these already proven leaders achieve their goals by easing the financial pressures of graduate education. Supported by endowed fellowships, these students can take full advantage of their important training with Rensselaer Engineering faculty members and focus more fully on the demands of their coursework and research.

CBIS invites individuals, corporations and foundations to invest in the next generation of engineering education and research by making major gifts to establish endowed, named fellowships. Endowed fellowships are extremely important to the School, providing support to recruit and retain high-potential graduate students through financial resources that enable them to focus on coursework and research.

Endowed fellowships provide tuition and stipends for graduate students who would otherwise be required to teach to pay tuition expenses. With the ability to focus on coursework and research, graduate students with fellowship support avoid prolonged years of study and complete graduate-school degrees without accumulating large debt burdens.

On average, it takes five years to complete a PhD, a period in which accrued expenses can complicate graduate students' academic careers and cast a long shadow over their financial status for many years to come. However, a typical fellowship of $200,000, covering tuition, health insurance and a portion of living expenses, will free these students from financial burdens and, at the same time, enable them to identify fields of endeavor that fit their particular skills and interests—a vital aspect in preparing doctoral candidates to become productive members of a society that relies increasingly on technology.

And for CBIS these fellowships are one more way to attract elite individuals who, in realizing their potential, elevate the reputation of Rensselaer’s interdisciplinary studies and research efforts.

Endowing a Legacy. A gift of $400,000 or more will establish an endowed, named fellowship. A fellowship may be named as the donor desires, and recipients will carry that name through graduation.

To establish a named fellowship, the donor, and the Institute sign an agreement specifying the donor's intent, the gift payment schedule and criteria for selecting recipients. While unrestricted fellowships are preferred and offer the greatest flexibility to the School, a donor may specify certain preferences for selected award criteria.

For more information please contact Marianne Senneca, Office of Donor Relations,, 518-276-8545.

CBIS Excellence Funds

The Director designates unrestricted gifts to the highest priority needs of CBIS. This flexible funding allows the Center to seize new opportunities that emerge, and to continue to support its existing outstanding students, faculty, programs and research.

  • Create top-notch learning programs for undergraduates
  • Support and reward the research endeavors of our very best students
  • Facilitate cutting edge research efforts that advance both technology and engineering
  • Attract and hire the most competitively recruited engineers and scientists at every stage of their careers
  • Support the best and brightest graduate students in their pursuit of a Ph.D. degree
  • Bring distinguished keynote seminar speakers to the School, benefitting both faculty and students
  • Establish and equip cutting-edge research laboratories

For more information please contact Marianne Senneca, Office of Donor Relations,, 518-276-8545.

Endowed Professorships

Reserved for a scholar of national and international acclaim, an endowed professorship is one of the highest honors the School can bestow on a member of its faculty. These professorships play a critical role in attracting and retaining proven thought leaders who can drive Rensselaer's mission and high standard for excellence. Within academia, endowed professorships are a coveted and widely recognized accolade, signaling a colleague at the top of his or her field.

In many ways, Rensselaer's stature has become a double-edged sword. Its success has always depended on its ability to attract the best minds of each generation—both as teachers and as students. Due to its stellar reputation and ability to attract talent, Rensselaer has become a popular recruiting ground for other universities. Endowed professorships have become essential tools to express faculty members' importance to the University.

Ranking among the top academic research centers for biotechnology worldwide, CBIS is in the enviable position of having more talented individuals deserving of this recognition than it is currently able to honor. Presently, Rensselaer lags behind several of its peer institutions in the number of endowed professorships in biotechnology fields that it has available to award. Other institutions have placed increased pressure on CBIS to hold on to our most sought-after faculty members.

CBIS invites individuals, corporations and foundations to invest in the next generation of engineering education, research and technology transfer by providing resources to establish named endowed professorships (e.g., Integrated Systems Biology). These gifts contribute to the strength of CBIS and its supporting schools by rewarding outstanding faculty members for their accomplishments and providing a flexible means of attracting leading talent to strengthen particular disciplines.

Endowing a Legacy. A gift of $1.5 million for a junior faculty or $3 million for a senior faculty, payable over one to five years, will name and endow a professorship. These funds will be used to underwrite the salary and benefits for the faculty.

By endowing a professorship, you are making it possible to grow one of the School's most important resources—its people. You are sponsoring a scholar of international stature and recognizing a highly distinguished record of teaching, research and publication. Moreover, you are helping CBIS to attract new teaching and research talent while allowing it to retain the exceptional faculty already at Rensselaer.

For more information please contact Marianne Senneca, Office of Donor Relations,, 518-276-8545.

Named Spaces

Throughout CBIS there are opportunities to provide support of laboratories, classrooms and conference rooms. Your support allows the Center to renovate, equip and provide aesthetic enhancements to these highly visible spaces. For more information please contact Allison Collins-Schroeder, Office of Donor Relations,, 518-276-8561.

Corporate Relations: Connecting Companies to Campus

Access to outstanding students, world-class faculty and leading-edge research are the reasons why companies of all kinds forge strategic relationships with Rensselaer. If you are interested in working with CBIS to advance your own research priorities, please visit our Industry Partners page and contact Deepak Vashishth, CBIS Director, at or 518-276- 4232.

If your company needs to hire engineers, chemists, or biologists, Rensselaer’s Corporate Relations can help you find what you need quickly and efficiently, and pinpoint the Rensselaer resources that can be put to work for you. For more information please contact Michael Bivens,, 518-276-6057.