Programs for students

NASA WVSGC Graduate Research Program

Provides funding for graduate students working on a thesis or dissertation with faculty from member institutions

Who may apply:

All graduate students in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields enrolled at WVSGC affiliate institutions.

These one-year Fellowships will be awarded competitively to graduate students at a member institution of the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium (WVSGC) as well as undergraduate seniors who have been admitted to a graduate program in a STEM field at one of the academic affiliates of WVSGC who will be engaged in a research project either during the academic year and/or in the summer. Brief quarterly progress reports and a final report will be required. Applicants for these fellowships must be full-time students of U.S. citizenship.

Proposal due date: Wednesday, March 8, 2023 by 11:59 PM (EST)

Mentor Endorsement due date:  Friday, March 10, 2023 by 5:00 PM (EST)

Award announcement date: Early-May 2023

Anticipated project start date: May 16, 2023

Project duration: One year

Graduate student applicants must complete the online application here.

Please upload a well-written (easy to understand, with no grammatical or spelling errors) maximum three-page summary of the research plan in your own words, including a statement of the problem, methodology, significance, expected results, budget, and proposed timeline. References and appendices (if any) do not count towards the three-page limit. The document must be in PDF format and single-spaced using Times New Roman (TNR) font size 12, 1″ margin on all sides. This research plan must be reviewed and approved by the applicant’s faculty mentor.  Please be aware that reviewers of the proposal may not be experts within your field of study, and the proposal should be written accordingly. Proposals should be written with minimal use of jargon. Mentors may provide editorial and revision assistance for student proposals, but they must be primarily the work of student applicants. A letter of support from the faculty mentor is to be submitted separately from the student application.

Budget: A faculty member from the applicant’s department, preferably student’s thesis/dissertation advisor, must agree to serve as a mentor and research advisor for the described project. Each award will be up to $12,000. These awards must be supplemented by a 1:1 cost share by the applicant’s home institution, and budget should cover the grant funding and cost share amount.

Graduate tuition waiver by the college/university, and documented time spent by the faculty to mentor the student may be counted toward fulfillment of the cost share requirement.

Most of the NASA funding should be used to support the student stipend and the student’s department should provide the supplies needed for research activities.  NASA funds may not be used for the purchase of equipment or foreign travel.

To be considered for funding, you must identify and one of the five NASA Mission Directorates. (Aeronautics Research, Science, Space Technology, Exploration Systems Development, or Space Operations), fully explaining the connection between your proposed research and the
directorate’s aims. The full list of NASA Mission Directorates and Center Alignment can be found

The applicant will also be required to submit a short essay. In 600 words or less the applicant should address the following items:

  • Applicant’s research experience and career interests
  • Applicant’s plans for sharing research findings through participation in a professional conference and/or publication
  • Acknowledgement of prior WVSGC funding and a brief description of previous projects funded
  • List extracurricular activities and academic achievements
  • Description of the relationship of the proposed project to NASA area(s) of research

The applicant will also upload their resume and an unofficial transcript or a PDF statement of your graduate level STEM courses that you took and the grade. Optional text to include, in less than 500 characters please tell us if there is anything else you want us to know about your GPA.

The Consortium will award these grants based on the following criteria:

  • Soundness and technical merit of the proposed research (60 points)
  • Student’s academic and extracurricular achievements (30 points)
  • Budget and plans for dissemination and publicizing of the results (10 points)

Proposals must be submitted online only. Proposals received after the deadline will not be considered. Graduate students submit the online application here.

Navy Blue quotation mark

When I was 3, my mom asked if I wanted to become an astronaut – I said no; I wanted to be the person counting down from 10…

– Robert “Casey” Wilson, West Virginia University, 2014-2018