FY23 Vermont Space Grant Graduate Fellowship Recipients

Applications are now closed. The review process is underway, so stay tuned!

The Vermont Space Grant Consortium (VTSGC) is pleased to announce a competition for Graduate Fellowships for the twelve-month period July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2025. This competition is open to U.S. graduate students enrolled in masters and doctoral programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines within the State of Vermont. The VTSGC expects to award six graduate fellowships under this program.1

I. Program Overview

The goals of this program are to (1) help prepare the next generation of researchers in STEM disciplines, and (2) provide the graduate student a research experience that strongly aligns with NASA research priorities and technology needs. The application for a VTSGC Graduate Fellowship must be prepared by the graduate student with collaborative support by a faculty mentor. Awards will be made directly to the student.

II. Eligibility

Per NASA requirements for the National Space Grant Program, graduate students funded by this competition must be U.S. citizens and enrolled full-time in a graduate program within a STEM discipline. Female students, members of underrepresented groups in STEM disciplines, and/or persons with a disability are especially encouraged to apply. Faculty serving as research mentors  be full-time faculty in STEM disciplines.

III. Amount and Period of Support

Subject to the timely arrival of NASA annual funding installments, these awards will provide the graduate fellow a stipend for a maximum of 12 months anticipated to span from July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2025. For University of Vermont graduate fellowship recipients, the projected 12-month stipend is $34,000. The award also includes up to $12,570* for tuition costs and $3,929 for fees, including health insurance.+ For non-UVM graduate fellowship recipients attending another Vermont institution, the (projected) total amount of funding is $50,499.

1The availability and number of these awards are subject to future NASA funding.    

*Amount is based on 18 credits at current in-state tuition rates. This amount could change.

+Health insurance costs are subject to change each year. This amount could change.

IV. The Application Packet

The completed application packet must include items listed below.

  1. Signed Cover Page. Use the form included with the call for applications.
  2. Project Narrative (limit of four pages, exclusive of citations). A narrative providing a description of the research to be undertaken, its significance, methods, and expected outcomes. Include any relevant prior work done by the student and/or the faculty mentor’s research group. Please be specific about what research activities or tasks the student will undertake, including a timeline for those activities.
  3. NASA Relevance. (limit of one page, exclusive of any external letters/emails) Provide evidence that the proposed research is aligned with a new or continuing NASA research priority or technical need. For example, the applicant may cite a current or pending NASA research announcement. Letters/emails of support from a NASA researcher may be included to demonstrate NASA interest.
  4. Student Resume (limit of two pages).
  5. Student Academic Transcript. Established graduate students shall provide a copy of their graduate transcript; first-year graduate students shall also provide a copy of their undergraduate transcript. An unofficial transcript is acceptable.

Please note that items 2–4 above must be typed and single-spaced, using at least a 12-point font size. Applications that do not adhere to this requirement will not be considered.

V. Electronic Application Procedure

The application packet must be submitted electronically to the VTSGC Office no later than 11:59 PM on January 16, 2024. The application packet described in Section IV must be saved as a single PDF file and emailed using the address sg.director@uvm.edu and subject line “Graduate Fellowship Application”. Applications will be acknowledged by email.

VI. Review and Selection Process

Applications responsive to this call will be reviewed by a panel of faculty experts, who will assess the strengths and weaknesses of the application in each of the following domains: scientific merit, applicant’s qualifications, and NASA relevance. Applicants will receive written critiques. The final selections will be made by the VTSGC Director in consultation with the VTSGC Board of Advisors.

VII. Obligations Associated with Funding

Recipients of the fellowship, in collaboration with their faculty mentor, will be required to provide written progress updates to the Space Grant Director during the award period as needed to comply with NASA reporting requests. A final report will be due within thirty (30) days of the end of the award period. Awardees must complete a Vermont Space Grant Student Profile Form, which will be used to prepare a mandated report to the NASA Office of STEM Education.

Please contact Bernard F. Cole, Director of the Vermont Space Grant Consortium, (802-656-0054 or bfcole@uvm.edu) with any questions regarding this program.

VTSGC Graduate Research Fellowships 2021-2022

Student Bio

Degree ProgramDepartmentProject Title & Final Report
Matthew GrassoPhDPlant Biology DepartmentObserving the impact different mechanical stress fields have on the cortical microtubule organization of regenerating plant protoplasts. 
Diego Javier-JiménezPhDChemistryFacile Route to Non-Oxide Ceramics
Matthew ReuterPhDChemistryMain Group Element-Element Heterdehydrocoupling 
Alaina RobertsPhDCivil & Environmental EngineeringStructural Fatigue Monitoring, Modeling and Prediction
Jena StaabMSElectrical & Biomedical EngineeringDesign of a Software Defined Radio Based Radiometer
Robert Worley, IIPhDCivil & Environmental EngineeringA continuation into microbial alteration of extraterrestrial regolith simulants for cementation and induced cohesive in support of NASA's in-situ resource utilization efforts

Past Awardees