Applications for 2018 are now closed.

The Vermont Space Grant Consortium (VTSGC) is pleased to announce a competition for Graduate Fellowships for the twelve-month period of July 2018 - June 2019. This competition is open to U.S. graduate students enrolled in M.S. and Ph.D. students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines within the State of Vermont.

I. Program Overview

The goals of this program are two-fold: (1) help prepare the next generation of researchers in STEM disciplines; and (2) to provide the graduate student a research experience that strongly aligns with NASA research priorities and technology needs. The proposal for a VTSGC Graduate Fellowship shall be written 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 US 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 will 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 twelve months spanning from July 2018 – June 2019. For University of Vermont graduate fellows, the projected twelve-month stipend level is $27,295 and the award also includes an amount of up to $6,654 for tuition costs and $3,102 for health insurance. For non-UVM graduate fellows, the (projected) total amount of the stipend will be $37,051.

1Note that the availability and number of these awards are subject to future NASA funding allocations.        

IV. The Proposal Packet

The completed proposal packet should include the following items:

  1. Signed Cover Page. Use the form included with the call for proposals.
  2. Project Narrative (limit of four pages, exclusive of citations). A narrative providing a description of the project 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.
  3. NASA Relevance. (limit of one page, exclusive of any external letters/emails) Provide evidence that the proposed project 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 (NRA) or include an email of support from a NASA researcher 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.

V. Electronic Application Procedure

All proposal applications must be submitted electronically to the Space Grant Office. The electronic submission must be made no later than 11:59 pm on March 2, 2018. The proposal packet described in Section IV must be saved as a single PDF file and emailed to the Space Grant Office to Ms. Debra Fraser ( with CC to Director Darren Hitt (

VI. 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. Students will also have to complete a Vermont Space Grant Student Profile Form.  This information will be used to complete a mandated report for the NASA Office of Education.

Please contact Prof. Darren Hitt, Director of the Vermont Space Grant Consortium (802-656-1429 or if further information is required.


VTSGC Graduate Research Fellowships 2018-2019


Degree Program Department Project Title
Adele Conde MS Geology Apatite Dissolution at the Nanoscale
Thomas Heffernan MS Mechanical Engineering Thermal Activation of CBA-Based CubeSat Propellants Usinf RF Heating of Embedded Metallic Nano-Particles
David Hinckley PhD Mechanical Engineering Multi-Objective Trajectory Optimization for Small-Body Mapping Problem
Timothy Olszanski MS Physics Investigating the Dynamics of Polar-cap Heating and Pair Plasma Generation in Pulsar B0823+26 Using NASA's NICER X-ray Observatory and Arecibo Observatory
Daniel Orfeo PhD Mechanical Engineering Orbital Angular Momentum of Radio Waves for Microwave Remote Sensing
Jason Pearl PhD Mechanical Engineering Higher Order Numerical Schemes for Simulation of Irregular Fields
Leslie Sepaniac PhD Molecular Physiology & Biophysics Mechanisms of Micronuclear Rupture
Robert Worley MS Civil & Environmental Investigation into hydrated, frozen and cemented soils in support of NASA's in-situ resource utilization efforts

Past Awardees