Rath Research Award

The Bhakta Rath Research Award, established in 2010 by an endowment from Dr. Bhakta B. Rath and his wife, Sushama Rath, offers an opportunity to promote and reward excellence in scientific and engineering research in the field of physical and natural sciences and engineering.

Recipients of this award will be a PhD graduate student and their collaborating Michigan Tech faculty member. The award recognizes those who conduct exceptional scientific and technological research in anticipation of the future needs of the nation while supporting potential advances in emerging technology, and will continue to apply this knowledge upon establishing a career within the U.S. or its territories.

Please send your nomination electronically in PDF format to Natasha Chopp (nichopp@mtu.edu) by March 6, 2025 at 4 p.m.


The award is named in honor of Bhakta B. Rath ('58), who has dedicated the later years of his professional career to promoting science, engineering, and research to enhance the nation’s intellectual capital.

Evaluation of Proposals

Consideration of the accomplishment of the research should include the discovery of a fundamentally new principle or effect; the invention of a fundamentally new method, process, or technique; or the creation of new concept or capability. The research accomplishments should reflect exceptional insight, creativity, and originality.

Research accomplishments will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Does the work have a major scientific or technological impact?
  • Has it created new knowledge with the potential for transformational capabilities?
  • Has it fundamentally improved the scientific and technological knowledge base?
  • Does it have the potential for transitioning the findings to an industrial sector?
  • Does it potentially contribute to either cost savings or energy savings?
  • Could the findings contribute to national security issues?

Proposal Format

All proposals must include a completed Required Elements Checklist, which explains the format, requirements, and ensures all necessary documents have been submitted.


While the award is intended to evaluate doctoral theses, earlier work that has supported the effort may be considered.

  • A student/advisor team may be nominated for the award up to one year after the student’s date of completion of their PhD.
  • A student does not necessarily have to have completed his PhD at the time of nomination. The work, however, must have been published in an archival journal prior to nomination.

Nomination Selection Process

The Vice President for Research will appoint and oversee a selection committee.

Award Notification

Recipients will be notified by the Vice President for Research prior to Spring Commencement. The award will consist of a plaque and a $2,000 cash award, to be presented to and shared by the graduate student and the faculty member.