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Four students receive NSF graduate research fellowship awards

Four students receive NSF graduate research fellowship awards

APRIL 5, 2021 — As UTSA strives to achieve NRUF and Carnegie R-1 designation, our commitment to excellence in graduate research training is crucial to the institution’s success. One measure of graduate research training success is the number of external federal fellowships awarded to graduate students.

To encourage a culture where our students and their mentors prepare and submit competitive applications for national programs, The Graduate School launched the Graduate School Fellowship Incentive Program in fall 2020. The GSFIP pilot program encouraged students to submit applications to the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program, and offered support and mentorship to UTSA graduate students as they navigated the competitive fellowship process.


“The success rate of our fellowship applicants speaks to the outstanding research activity of our students.”



After taking part in GSFIP’s internal review process, four out of the six participating graduate students received a GRFP award offer after submitting their proposals (at a remarkable success rate of 66.67%). The GSFIP students selected for the fellowship program were:

  • Jennifer Brett; mentored by Devin Flaherty, assistant professor of anthropology

  • Morgan Johnston; mentored by Matthew Wanat, associate professor of biology

  • Daniel Martinez; mentored by Kirk Schanze, professor and Robert A. Welch Distinguished University Chair in Chemistry

  • Kaitlyn Varela; mentored by Francis Yoshimoto, assistant professor of chemistry

“I am incredibly proud of all students who submitted NSF GRFP solicitations through The Graduate School’s pilot fellowship incentive program. The success rate of our fellowship applicants speaks to the outstanding research activity of our students, as well as the caliber of UTSA’s graduate programs,” says Ambika Mathur, vice provost and dean of The Graduate School. “I also want to extend my sincere gratitude for the altruistic nature of our faculty members who dedicated their time and effort to the students participating in this program.”

The Graduate School would also like to thank the faculty members who served on the Internal Committee for Competitiveness as part of the GSFIP review process: Kiran Bhaganagar, Elias Bou-Harb, Eric Brey, Dhireesha Kudithipudi, Kelly Nash, Fidel Santamaria and Todd Troyer. Additionally, Zachary Tonzetich hosted an informational seminar and Q&A for prospective NSF GRFP participants to field questions about the process.

EXPLORE FURTHER
⇒ The National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Given the success of graduate students utilizing the GSFIP pilot program, The Graduate School anticipates future partnerships through similar fellowship programs. “We look forward to continue encouraging excellence in graduate research activity, and hope to expand the GSFIP to include other approved federal agencies in the future,” Mathur added.

Lindsay O'Day



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