First-year STEM graduates could receive an annual stipend of $34,000 with help from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF-GRFP).
The national science foundation is an independent federal agency whose mission is to promote the advancement of science, advance national health, prosperity and welfare, and secure national defense.
“He wants to fund future STEM leaders,” said Coleen Pugh, dean of the graduate school.
Anthony Muscat, Dean of the School of Engineering, has previously reviewed NSF-GRFP nominations and been a mentor to past recipients of the award. In a meeting about the program Thursday night, he emphasized using personal stories rather than accomplishments when applying.
“Think of it as a puzzle. There are all these pieces, and you bring them together to tell a cohesive story,” Muscat said.
The scholarship program follows a strict deadline system. In July and August, potential candidates should read the solicitations. At the end of October, applications and reference letters are due.
Once all applications are received, a panel of reviewers will rate each application using a scale of 1-50. Scores 50-40 indicate a high recommendation for the scholarship, while scores below 30 will not receive a recommendation.
“Don’t be humble, sell yourself,” said former recipient Brittany Wojciechowski.
Award recipients are announced in early April. Application conditions and details can be found on the foundation website.