Block-Gift Program

Promoting Research at the Graduate Level

Commencing in January 2008, the Foundation reached out to selected 
Universities and Centers of Excellence across the country and asked them to submit a research "White Paper" on scientific topics of interest and importance.  The research proposals were to include the use of graduate and/or undergraduate student assistance. The resulting proposals were reviewed based on scientific approach, educational potential and budgetary realism.  The campuses and laboratories were visited and then a Selection Committee awarded the block-gifts.  7 schools were awarded funding for their research for the 2008-2009 year, 14 schools in 2009-2010, 17 schools in 2010-2011, 19 were awarded funding for their research for the 2011-2012 year and 21 in 2012-2013, 2013-2014, and 2014-2015. Seventeen schools were awarded funding for 2015-2016, fifteen schools in 2016-2017 and fourteen schools in 2017-2018 were awarded funding.

The II-VI Foundation is focused on educating the next generation of engineers, scientists and mathematicians. All Block-Gift programs must have the students and student education as its’ primary focus.

Please note: Proposals are accepted on an invitation only basis. Please see the "Procedure to Be Considered for a Block-Gift Invitation" document attached below for guidelines. If you would like further information on the invitation process please write to 


Professor Sarit Dhar, Auburn University

Exploration of high performance gate dielectrics for next generation SiC power MOSFETS


Professor Nitin Padture, Brown University

Research and Education in Ceramic Nanocomposites

Professor Brian D'Urso, Montana State University

Gravitational Measurements with a SiC Particle in a Magneto-Gravitational Trap


Professor Allen Yi, Ohio State University

Investigation of Precision Molding of Chalcogenide Glass Optics


Professor Eric L. Garfunkel, Rutgers University

SiC MOSFET Reliability - Interfacial Chemistry and Structure


Professor Dae Wook Kim, University of Arizona

New Surfaces, New Systems in Visible and Infrared Deflectometry

Professor Mahmoud Fallahi, University of Arizona

Generation of High-Power Mode-Lock 1550nm Laser in Vertical External Cavity


Professor Chaoying Ni, University of Delaware

Thermal Transport in SiC and Diamond Based Composites

Professor John Dellesasse, University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana

Transverse Mode Control for High-Performance Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers


Professor Thomas J. Suleski, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Structured Diamond Optics for High Power Lasers


Professor Bopaya Bidanda, University of Pittsburgh

Materials Design for Enhanced Manufacturability


Professor Jannick P. Rolland, University of Rochester

Metrology of Toroidal and Off-axis Conical Surfaces


Professor George Nolas, University of South Florida

Investigation and Optimization of Thermoelectric Half-Heusler Alloys

Professor David J. Richardson, University of Southampton

Bi-doped Fibre Amplifiers and Lasers for Increased Bandwidth Communications 

Professor Daniel Costinett, University of Tennessee

Comprehensive Design Leveraging Wide Bandgap Devices to Enable High Power, High Efficiency Wireless Charging of Electric Vehicles


Statements from II-VI Foundation Block-Gift Principal Investigators:

"It has been delightful to see how II-VI rigorously promotes the training and development of graduate students in such a proactive and visible way.  It's not just the funding, but the processes you've incorporated, including student responsibility 
for writing reports, and their participation in the mini-conferences, that are so helpful.  And we have all benefited from our interactions with other research groups in the II-VI family."

                                                             Professor Jerrold A. Floro
                                                             University of Virginia
                                                             Materials Science and Engineering

"The modern Research University is not ideally suited to both work on the frontiers of science and at the same time maximize the mentoring of graduate and undergraduate research students. The focusing on research objectives is primarily driven by the dictates of Federal Research Grants. In contrast, the II-VI Foundation has in its charter the education and scientific development of the students participating in a first class research environment. In our program, two senior professors are available to both graduate and undergraduate members of the team for consultation seven days a week. The II-VI Foundation is making this possible through the flexibility of their Block Gifts. The Block Gifts are awarded, not only for the merits of the proposed research, but also by the educational impact on the students. This helps fill an important national need!"

                                                           Professor Wolfgang J. Choyke
                                                           Professor Robert P. Devaty
                                                           Department of Physics and Astronomy
                                                           University of Pittsburgh

Block-Gift Program II-VI Foundation

The II-VI Foundation holds mini-conferences at different times throughout the year for our Block-Gift recipients.  These mini-conferences provide an environment for the purpose of sharing information, technology and expertise.  Lively discussion can provide opportunities for students and professors to exchange new ideas and perspectives.  In the best case they find common ground for new research topics. The mini-conferences group attendees around common topics of interest. They are held in various locations around the country that allows for local technical participation.

Statement from Mini-Conference Attendee:

"The 2016 mini-conference was extremely successful.  It was a highly productive exercise, especially for the students. The environment was professional, yet relaxed.  The way it was planned provided ample opportunity for students from different programs to interact with their peers as well as professors. The talks were very well planned which made for rich scientific 
discussions. Such interactions are very valuable for students as they get to present to a focused audience, as opposed to a large multidisciplinary conference."
                                                              Professor Sarit Dhar
                                                              Physics Department, Auburn University

Susan Zuk,
Sep 20, 2018, 10:23 AM
Susan Zuk,
Apr 25, 2018, 9:18 AM
Susan Zuk,
Sep 20, 2018, 10:23 AM
Susan Zuk,
Jan 8, 2019, 10:20 AM
Susan Zuk,
Jan 8, 2019, 10:20 AM