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.
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.
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:
A permanent United States citizen.
Currently enrolled, or planning to be enrolled in Fall 2020, in a full-time, advanced degree program of study in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) at any accredited university or college in the State of North Carolina.
Conducting a specific, faculty-mentored research project that has NASA or aerospace relevance.
In good academic standing with a GPA of 3.0 (out of 4.0).
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.
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:
Description of Proposed Research Project: Statements written by the student applicant in consultation with the advisor should describe: 1. research goals and what he/she intends to accomplish; 2. the key elements of the proposed research and plan of study; 3. relevance to NASA Mission Directorates (inclusive of collaborations with commercial space or the ISS U.S. National Lab) and NC Space Grant’s strategic objectives for the proposed research activity; and 4. what new information or skills the student will obtain that will serve as a springboard for future career pursuits.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org).
University Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts from all institutions and from the current institution with grades through Fall 2019 are required and can be submitted as a PDF in the online application. Applicants must submit one transcript from each institution of higher education attended, whether as an undergraduate or graduate student. If the applicant is selected to receive the award, official transcripts will be required at time of acceptance. If the applicant does not have a PDF conversion tool, links to free online PDF converters are provided within the application.
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:
Research Interests, Goals and Anticipated Findings (30%)
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.
The Graduate Research Fellow must:
Submit a final research report to NC Space Grant.
Present a poster at the NC Space Grant Space Symposium in spring 2021. Funding for related travel should be considered within the total award package.
Share their research experiences in public forums or educational settings. Presentations that encourage interest in aerospace careers and research to high school students are of particular interest to NC Space Grant.
Work with the NC Space Grant communications team to develop and implement a plan to share research and experience, including but not exclusively on social media, in print and on the NC Space Grant website.
Make activity and results public via social media during and after their research, using accessible social media accounts and consistent hashtags.
Credit NC Space Grant for sponsoring the activity in all printed materials (e.g. use the NC Space Grant logo on posters, credit and tag on social media, etc).
Inform the Consortium of changes of address.
Respond to academic and employment follow-up surveys administered by NC Space Grant as required by NASA.