Penn State hosts nine National Science Foundation graduate researchers

September 16, 2008

University Park, Pa. — Penn State is host to nine new National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recipients in 2008-09. These students join 14 prior recipients already enrolled in the University's graduate degree programs. The NSF program supports outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees.

The following students make up the 2008 class of new fellows at the University: John Starbuck, anthropology; Lori Shapiro, entomology; Nicholas Polato, ecology; Therese Jones, astronomy and astrophysics; Amanda McDermott, material science and engineering; Valerie Watson, environmental engineering; Jorge Valdes Kroff, Spanish; Jessica Heckert, human development and family studies; and Cari Bogulski, psychology.

According to the National Science Foundation's Web site, the Graduate Research Fellowship Program is "the oldest graduate fellowship program of its kind with a history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers... Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $30,000 along with a $10,500 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees, a one-time $1,000 travel allowance and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. or foreign institution of graduate education they choose."

The NSF GRFP is accepting applications for 2009-10 fellowships via Fastlane (, the NSF's official online information and business transaction center. The application deadlines begin on Nov. 3. Detailed eligibility criteria and program guidelines and the Graduate Research Fellowship Program solicitation are available at online.

For additional information on the NSF GRFP, contact Barbara A. Struble, director of the Graduate School's Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards Administration, at or (814) 865-8122.

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Last Updated March 19, 2009