Program Status: Closed
Program type(s): Fellowship,
Mallory Kinczyk, a 2019-20 Graduate Research Fellow, delivers a presentation of her research about impact craters.


The NC Space Grant Graduate Research Fellowship Program provides support for graduate students to supplement and enhance basic research. The program requires that students participate in an active, identified research activity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields that have NASA Mission Directorate applications. The research must be supervised by a faculty mentor and may be conducted on the home campus or at an industrial or government facility. Selected Graduate Research Fellows will conduct research over the course of a 12-month period, commencing June 1, 2020 and ending no later than May 30, 2021.


The objective of the Graduate Research Fellowship opportunity is to encourage talented individuals to pursue careers in STEM fields that support NASA’s Mission Directorates.

Award Level

NC Space Grant will grant $10,000 per award for up to 12 student awards. Funding for related travel should be considered within the total award package.

Awards are contingent upon receipt of NASA funding and the quality of submitted proposals.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be enrolled full-time in a program of study in STEM and have a specific faculty-mentored research project with NASA or aerospace relevance.

The Graduate Research Fellowship applicant must be:


Student applications – 5 p.m., Friday, March 13, 2020.

Faculty Letter of Recommendation – 5 p.m., Monday, March 16, 2020.

Awards will be announced on or around April 17, 2020, contingent upon receipt of NASA funds.

Application Instructions

Applications are now closed and will reopen in 2021.

Interested students must complete an online application (use link above). Please read all program guidelines, including eligibility requirements, proposal review and evaluation criteria, and awardee requirements before submitting your application. The application must be submitted online and all information must be complete – including faculty letter of recommendation – or the application will not be reviewed. Awards are based on research merit and promise, adherence to the instructions of this RFP, and availability of federal funds

Students are requested to respond in short essay format to these key components of the application:

  • Faculty Recommendation: The applicant will also provide the name and contact information of his/her research mentor. NC Space Grant will contact the reference via email to request a letter of recommendation on behalf of the applicant. Reference will be provided with a link to submit the recommendation. For the application to be complete, the letter of recommendation must be submitted by the due date stated under “Deadlines.” NC Space Grant suggests that students contact the reference listed to notify him/her an email requesting this information on the student’s behalf is coming (from the address

Proposal Review and Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed by a panel of academic and subject-matter professionals who are technically literate, but not necessarily experts in each proposed field of research. Applicants should present their research project in a way that will be understandable to a range of readers. Proposals will be evaluated for technical and scientific merit, which will be scored per the parameters below:

The selection of awarded proposals will reflect the full external review process, panel recommendations, available funding and current program priorities. Applicants should be aware that not all highly rated projects will be funded. NC Space Grant does not have sufficient funding to cover all the outstanding applications we receive.

Awardee Requirements

The Graduate Research Fellow must:

Link to Full RFP

View the Request for Proposals here.

Sample Submissions

Read about the 2019-20 Undergrad and Graduate Researchers here.


Sandy Canfield, Assistant Director
NC Space Grant
(919) 515-5943