A view of MIT campus from across the Charles River

Eleven Chemistry Students Receive NSF Fellowships

Categories: Awards, Students

Honorees represent a diverse group of scientific disciplines from all states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. commonwealths and territories.

The Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce that eleven of its students (a group consisting of current students and admitted graduate students) have been named recipients of National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships.

Current Graduate Students (3):

Catherine Badding (Freedman Group)
Forrest FitzGerald (Raines Group)
Sorin Srinivasa (Drennan & Shoulders Groups)

Current Chemistry Majors (4):

Zachary Chin
Michelle Jiwon Lee
Alex Li
Omar Santiago-Reyes

Admitted Graduate Students (4):

Anton Barybin
Shelby Elder
Omar Salinas
Philip West

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is the country’s oldest fellowship program that directly supports graduate students in various STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. In March 1951, Alan T. Waterman, the chief scientist at the Office of Naval Research, was appointed by President Truman to become the first Director of the National Science Foundation.  Waterman defined the Foundation’s policy role as “one of advocating a research support program, improving government-university relations, and compiling reliable information on scientific research and manpower.” In 1951, Congress appropriated only $151,000 for the agency to start administrative operations.  Very early on, the Foundation created the Division of Graduate Education (DGE) to be responsible for fellowships and scholarships for graduate students and postdoctoral scientists. The GRFP was established early in the foundation’s history, to encourage the best basic research and ensure a comprehensive research program.

Since 1952, NSF has funded over 50,000 Graduate Research Fellowships out of more than 500,000 applicants.  Currently, 42 Fellows have gone on to become Nobel laureates, and more than 450 have become members of the National Academy of Sciences.  In addition, the Graduate Research Fellowship Program has a high rate of doctorate degree completion, with more than 70 percent of students completing their doctorates within 11 years.

Fellows share in the prestige and opportunities that become available when they are selected. Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution), opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.