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2018-19 Undergraduate STEM Research Scholarship Program

The VSGC Undergraduate STEM Research Scholarship Program provides awards of up to $8,500 to rising juniors and seniors who are enrolled full-time in a program of study in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) and have a specific faculty-mentored research project that has NASA or aerospace relevance. Applied Health Sciences majors are not eligible for this program


Awards are one-year, non-renewable scholarships. Students may apply for the following:

  • A $3,000 student stipend during the 2018-19 academic year and
  • A $3,500 stipend during summer 2018 or 2019 (must be specified in the application) plus,
  • $1,000 research allocation for materials and travel to support research activities conducted during the academic year and/or
  • $1,000 research allocation during the summer 2018 or 2019 (if doing summer research).

The maximum award per year cannot exceed $8,500. This is a competitive scholarship program, funded by NASA and the Commonwealth of Virginia contributions, with the goals of:

  • Promoting undergraduate aerospace research while recognizing high academic achievement and promise
  • Increasing participation of underrepresented minorities, females, and students with disabilities in STEM related careers
  • Implementing the goals of the Virginia Space Grant Consortium and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must be enrolled as a full-time student (minimum 12 credit hours) at one of the five Virginia Space Grant Consortium member institutions: Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, Old Dominion University, The College of William and Mary, or Hampton University
  • Must have completed at least two years of a STEM undergraduate program and be classified as a junior or senior during the 2018-2019 academic year (must have at least junior status by summer 2018 if choosing this option)
  • Must be in a program of study demonstrating an interest in STEM and supporting NASA's mission
  • Must have a grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Must not graduate before May 2019

Required Application Components:

  1. Statement of academic goals - a brief statement written by the applicant relating to the reasons for his/her desire to enter a profession in a STEM field
  2. Plan of study - an outline of intended coursework for the remainder of your undergraduate degree program (uploaded as an attachment)
  3. Resume' - submit a short summary of your career and qualifications, list any relevant education information and significant accomplishments (uploaded as an attachment)
  4. Research Proposal aligned with NASA's mission - VSGC's undergraduate STEM Research Scholarship Program encourages talented undergraduate majors to pursue aerospace-related fields and do research with a strong alignment with NASA's four Mission Directorates.

A statement written by the student in consultation with the faculty advisor should describe the key elements of the proposed research and plan of study. Applicants should submit a proposal for research that is 2-3 pages (not including references) and clearly describes the research objective and methodology. All research projects must be mentored by a faculty member and this mentor will be required to submit a letter of reference for the project. Applicants will be asked to specifically identify how their research relates to NASA's Mission Directorates.

The selection committee is made up of university faculty in a variety of disciplines. Applicants should present their proposed research in a form that will be understandable to a range of readers. Only one Undergraduate Scholarship application per student per year is allowed.

For a list of research titles and abstracts recently funded by the VSGC through the Undergraduate STEM Research Scholarship Program, visit the VSGC Student Research Conference web site.

  1. Letters of Recommendation - provide the names and contact information for two references of which one must be the applicant's current faculty advisor. Letters of recommendation should assess the applicant's potential as well as his/her progress and academic achievements. The on-line application system will contact both references via email to request a letter of recommendation on behalf of the applicant. We suggest that you inform both of your references that they will receive an email from the VSGC in reference to your application. Your references will be provided with a link to submit their recommendations. We must receive both recommendations by the deadline for your scholarship application to be complete.
  2. Transcript - An unofficial transcript with all grades through fall semester 2017 is required and can be submitted as a PDF in the online application (upload as an attachment). If the applicant is selected to receive an award then a transcript will be required at acceptance. If the applicant does not have a PDF conversion tool, links to free on-line PDF converters are provided in the application.

Awardee Requirements:

  • Awardees should complete all research as proposed and must notify VSGC immediately of any significant changes in the research project or timeline.
  • Awardees are required to participate in the VSGC's Annual Student Research Conference to be held in late March or early April 2019. Participation includes attendance and active involvement throughout the entire conference, a poster presentation on current research progress, and submission of a research paper for inclusion in the conference proceedings.
  • Awardees must provide a head-shot photo and biographical information upon selection.
  • Awardees must inform the Consortium of any changes in contact information including email, phone, or address.
  • Awardees should plan to respond to academic and employment follow-up surveys administered by VSGC as required by NASA.
  • Awardees may also be asked to share research experiences in public forums, classroom presentations and professional meetings. Presentations that encourage interest in aerospace careers and research to high school students are of particular interest to the Consortium.

Disposition of Unused Funds:

If the scholarship recipient terminates his/her academic program during the 2018-2019 academic year, the University is required to return a prorated share of the scholarship award to the VSGC. Scholarship funds are not transferable. Any unused funds should be returned to us.

A printable flyer for the STEM Undergraduate Research Program can be found here.

Sample proposals for the STEM Undergraduate Research Program can be found here.

Application Timeline:

Applications are due by February 5, 2018.

Letters of recommendation are due by February 12, 2018. Awards will be announced by early April 2018 with funding provided to students through the universities for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Undergraduate STEM Research Scholarship Application

APPLICATION Deadline February 5, 2018
(Letters of recommendation must be received by February 12th, 2018.)
Applicants will be notified early April.

Any questions can be directed to Joyce Kuberek

NOTE: Please read all program guidelines including applicant eligibility and reporting requirements before submitting your application.


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