National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellows

The University of Utah Graduate School is proud to announce that in April 2014, four graduate students at the University of Utah were awarded highly competitive three year National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships for pursuit of their graduate degrees. In addition, ten U of U graduate students received an `honorable mention’ in the GRFP review. Four University of Utah undergraduate students were also awarded NSF GRFP to attend graduate school at their selected institution. Eleven additional U of U undergraduate students, including some who will attend the U of U in Fall 2014, also received ‘honorable mention’ in the 2014 NSF GRFP program.

Please scroll down for a full list of graduate and undergraduate awardees and honorable mentions.

The National Science Foundation GRF program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based masters and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions. NSF received over 14,000 applications for the 2014 competition, and made 2,000 fellowship award offers. Past fellows of the NSF GRFP include numerous Nobel Prize winners, U.S. Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, Google founder, Sergey Brin and Freakonomics co-author, Steven Levitt.

Applications for the 2016 NSF-GRFP are currently being accepted and are due October 26-October 30, 2015, depending upon discipline. Further information on the program solicitation, deadlines and additional resources for preparation of a successful proposal can be found at


(Event information originally from: Even though the workshop date passed on Sept 2nd, 2015, we hope you find the linked resources helpful.)

Each Fall, the Office of Fellowships will hold a fellowship essay writing workshop for students (faculty and staff are also encouraged to attend). Special emphasis will be on the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, although the workshop material will be applicable to most fellowship applications. In Fall 2015, a 3-hour (2-part session) fellowship writing workshop will be held Sept. 2 and 9, 5:00 – 6:30 pm in WEB L102. In these sessions, we will analyze previous winning essays, discuss best practices, brainstorm ideas and organization of your own essay, etc.

Note, you can look at previous winning NSF GRFP essay examples, such as those posted here (only available to users on the University of Utah campus) or on Alex Lang’s NSF website (google it).

Here are the documents we will be using at the workshop, in case we run out of hard copies:
Personal Statement_Fellowships_template
Personal Statements Workshop_ Fellowships_ThinkSheet
Essay Examples We Will Discuss in the Workshop — Note, NSF has changed the personal statement length to 3 pages.
PDF of the Workshop Slides (1st Session)
PDF of the Workshop Slides (2nd Session)


Patrick ParkerPatrick Parker
Life Sciences – Neurosciences
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La’Shaye Ervin
Life Sciences – Ecology
Robert Cieri
Life Sciences – Organismal Biology
Warren Vinyard
Chemistry – Chemistry of Life Processes

University of Utah Alumni Who Also Received the Award

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Joseph Peterson
Life Sciences – Biophysics
Rebecca Mackelprang
Life Sciences – Molecular Biology
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Michael Guernsey
Life Sciences – Evolutionary Biology
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Alexander Burckle
Chemistry – Chemical Synthesis


Honorable Mentions

Colin Young
Engineering – Chemical Engineering
Marsa Taheri
Engineering – Bioengineering
Kyle Rollins Hansen
Engineering – Bioengineering
John Greenhall
Engineering – Mechanical
Jessie France
Engineering – Biomedical
Kyle Branch
STEM Education and Learning Research
Bharath Velagapudi
Engineering – Bioengineering
David Radford
Engineering – Bioengineering
Emily Schulze
Life Sciences – Ecology
Cady Lancaster
Chemistry – Chemical Measurement and Imaging


University of Utah Alumni Who Also Received an Honorable Mention

Emily Thomas
Life Sciences – Biochemistry
Jean Tytioco Santos
Engineering – Electrical and Electronic
Sara Sanders
Chemistry – Chemistry of Life Processes
Nathaniel King
Engineering – Biomedical
Chelisie Conrad
Chemistry – Chemical Structure Dynamics  and Mechanism