Each year, NC Space Grant awards Undergraduate Research Scholarships to students who are pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields that support NASA’s Mission Directorates. This competitively awarded program engages the future STEM workforce in basic and/or applied aerospace-related research projects and facilitates the development of mentor relationships between students, faculty and the NASA community.
The Undergraduate Research Scholarship Program requires that students participate in an active, identified research activity in STEM that has aerospace and 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. The research activity will be conducted over the course of a 12-month period, commencing June 1, 2020 and ending no later than May 30, 2021.
Undergraduate Research Scholarships engage the future STEM workforce in basic and/or applied aerospace-related research projects and facilitate the development of mentor relationships between students, faculty and the NASA community.
NC Space Grant will grant $8,000 per student for up to 12 student awards. Funding for related travel should be considered within the total award package.
Awards are made annually and are renewable for one year for students making satisfactory academic and research progress. This is a competitive scholarship program supported by NASA and the State of North Carolina. Awards are based on merit, recognizing high academic achievement and promise.
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 Undergraduate Research Scholarship applicant must be:
Applicants are eligible to receive a total of two Undergraduate Research Scholarships during their academic studies.
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 before 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 (see link above). Please read all program guidelines, including applicant eligibility, 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 will respond in short essay format to these four key components:
1. Research Interests, Goals and Anticipated Findings: In your own words describe the research project that you will be conducting. The description should include but not be limited to a description of the research, start and end dates, anticipated results, and how you will be working with your research mentor for the term of the award.
2. Alignment of Research to NASA Mission Directorates and the NC Space Grant Strategic Plan: Identify which NASA Mission Directorate your research projects aligns with and describe how your research will contribute to the mission of that Directorate. Describe how your research project supports the NC Space Grant Mission and Strategic Plan.
3. Academic and Career Interests: Describe your career interest and how this research project supports the pursuit of your academic and/or career interests.
4. Intended Impacts of This Award: Describe how your research project will be a springboard to pursuing your future academic and/or career interests. What new skills or information will you obtain that will impact your pursuits?
Faculty Recommendation: Applicants 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 mentioned due date. NC Space Grant suggests that applicants contact the reference listed and inform them that they will receive an email requesting this information on their behalf (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. 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 on-line PDF converters are provided within the application.
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 enough funding to cover all the outstanding applications that we receive
Sandy Canfield, Assistant Director
NC Space Grant