The objective of the Undergraduate Research Scholarship program is to engage the future STEM workforce in basic and/or applied NASA-related research projects.
East Carolina University Student Angel Chukwu Researched Additive Manufacturing
Each year, NC Space Grant competitively awards Undergraduate Research Scholarships to students who are pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields that support NASA’s Mission Directorates.
The Undergraduate Research Scholarship Program requires that students participate in an active, defined research activity in STEM that has NASA Mission Directorate applications, inclusive of commercial space and/or at the U.S. National Lab on the International Space Station (ISS).
The research should be supervised by a faculty mentor, and may be conducted virtually, on the home campus in accordance with university policies, and/or at an industrial or government facility.
The research activity will be conducted over the course of a 12-month period, commencing June 1, 2022 and ending no later than May 30, 2023.
This is a competitive scholarship program. Awards are based on merit, recognizing high academic achievement and promise.
NC Space Grant will grant $8,000 per student for up to 10 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 stu
Applicants must be enrolled full-time in a program of study in STEM and have a specific, research project relevant to a NASA Mission Directorate, commercial space, and/or the ISS U.S. National Lab.
NC Space Grant strongly encourages applications from undergraduate students from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority serving institutions (MSIs) and/or from historically underserved and underrepresented communities.
The Undergraduate Research Scholarship applicants must meet the following requirements:
Applicants are eligible to receive a total of two Undergraduate Research Scholarships during their academic studies. Students must apply each time to the competitive application process.
Interested students must complete an online application. All information must be complete – including faculty letter of recommendation – or the application will not be reviewed.
Please read all program guidelines, including Eligibility Requirements, Proposal Review and Evaluation Criteria, and Awardee Requirements before preparing and submitting your application.
Awards are based on research merit and promise, adherence to the instructions of this request for proposals (RFP), and availability of federal funds.
Students will respond in short essay format to four (4) key questions in the online application. Maximum word counts are provided for each essay, which is indicted after each question in the online application system. Students can also view word counts in advance of registering in the system in the Sample Application available on the application website page.
1. Research Description and Goals: In your own words, describe the research project that you will be conducting. The description should include but not be limited to a) a description of the research, b) research goals, and c) a plan to carry out the research (e.g., methodology, timeline, etc.).
2. Alignment of Research to NASA Mission Directorates and the NC Space Grant Strategic Plan: Identify which NASA Mission Directorate(s) your research project aligns with and describe how your research will contribute to the mission of that Directorate(s), commercial space, and/or the ISS. Describe how your research project supports the NC Space Grant Mission and Strategic Plan.
3. STEM Research: Describe your interests in a NASA-related STEM field of study and how this research project supports your interests.
4. Anticipated Impacts: Describe how the proposed research project will be a springboard to pursuing your future academic and/or career interests and pathways, i.e., what new skills or information will you obtain from this project that will impact your pursuits?
Faculty Recommendation Letter: Applicants should request a faculty member write and submit a letter of recommendation that addresses knowledge of the student or level of confidence in the student’s ability to carry out the proposed research or, alternatively, a plan to guide the student’s STEM interests or research.
University Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts from all institutions and from the current institution with grades through fall 2021 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 and scored per the parameters below:
The selection of awarded proposals will reflect the full review process, 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.
The Undergraduate Research Scholar must meet the following requirements:
View the full Request for Proposals here.
Undergraduate and graduate students can learn more about funding requirements and the application process, plus hear answers to frequently asked questions.
NC Space Grant Student Funding Virtual Session
Read about the 2021-22 Undergraduate and Graduate Researchers here.
Sandy Canfield, Assistant Director
NC Space Grant