The MIT dome with the Charles River seen running in front of it.

Fifteen Chemistry Students Receive NSF Fellowships

Categories: Awards, Students

Honorees chosen from close to 12,000 applicants represent a diverse group of scientific disciplines from all U.S. states, commonwealths, and territories.

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

Current Graduate Students (7)

Grace Ahlqvist (Jamison)

Charlotte Farquhar (Pentelute)

James Levi Knippel (Buchwald)

Andrew Latham (Zhang)

Andrew Lew (Ortony – DMSE)

Aditya Nandy (Kulik – ChemE)

Katherine Taylor (Kiessling)

Admitted Graduate Students (10)

Angela Lee

Yana Petri

Gisselle Pombar

Brighton Skeel

Stephanie Smelyansky

Carolyn Suh

Sophia Weng

Hadiqa Zafar


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 have opportunities for international research collaborations through the Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) initiative and professional career development with federal internships provided through the Graduate Research Internship Program (GRIP). GRFP also supports NSF’s Career-Life Balance (CLB) initiative.