MRC Graduate Research Assistantship Program

The MRC Graduate Research Assistantship Program provides funding to UMD PhD students who conduct research in the following eight areas:

  • Multirobot Systems: robotic swarms, robotic cooperation under limited communication, distributed robotics, crowd and multi-agent simulation;
  • Medical Robotics: MRI-compatible surgical robotics, haptics-enabled AFM, exoskeletons for rehabilitation, and magnetic micromanipulation for drug delivery;
  • Miniature Robotics: mesoscale robots, bio-inspired sensing, actuation, and locomotion, cell manipulation, and micro and nano manipulation;
  • Robotics for Extreme Environments: space robotics and autonomous deep-submergence sampling systems;
  • Autonomous Uncrewed Systems: micro air vehicles, uncrewed sea surface vehicles, uncrewed underwater vehicles, and planetary surface rovers, robot motion planning;
  • Bioinspired Robotics: Robots inspired by biological forms, bio-inspired design and manufacturing, artificial muscles, adaptive control of bio-inspired robots, biosensors, soft robots, swarming, co-robotics, multifunctional materials and structures, biomaterials, biolocomotion, energy harvesting, autonomy, humanoid robots, and modular robots;
  • Cognitive Robotics: endowing a robot with intelligent behavior by providing it with a processing architecture that allows it to learn and reason about how to behave in response to complex goals in a complex world; robots that integrate perception, cognition and action;
  • Human-Robot Interaction: human-robot collaboration, human behavior modeling, human-robot communication, learning and cognition, planning and re-planning, management of trust and its effects on collaboration.

Applicants must be outstanding mid-career UMD PhD students whose advisors are current members of the Maryland Robotics Center. Applicants’ research must fall into one or more of the above eight research areas. Applicants must be full-time students and be involved in ongoing research.

We recognize that strength comes through diversity and actively seek and welcome students with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and identities. We especially encourage women and minority candidates to apply. 

Typically, the MRC Graduate Research Assistantship Program funds 2-3 PhD students per academic year with funding guaranteed for one year. Recipients receive an annual stipend, tuition, and benefits commensurate with their current appointment. Call for applications is posted on this website each spring semester.

Current and Former MRC Graduate Research Assistantship Program Recipients


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