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U. of I. has record number of NSF fellowships

INSIDE ILLINOIS, April 18, 2013 [ Email | Share ]

A record 43 students have been offered Graduate Research Fellowships by the National Science Foundation to pursue graduate studies at the U. of I. Another 38 Illinois students were accorded Honorable Mention.

The fellowship program supports exemplary students from across the country as they pursue research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and select social science disciplines. It is one of the nation’s most competitive graduate fellowship programs. Past recipients include Sergey Brin (co-founder of Google), Ben Bernanke (chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve), Steven Chu (former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy), and 40 Nobel laureates.

“This is the University of Illinois’ most successful year ever with NSF Graduate Research Fellowships,” said Ken Vickery, the director of external fellowships in the Graduate College. “Of the 43 total awardees, 34 are current Illinois graduate students. This marks a 100 percent increase from the number of Illinois graduate students who won last year.”

“Our numbers this year tell an important story,” said Deba Dutta, the dean of the college. “They tell us that the University of Illinois, facing dwindling support on several fronts, is nevertheless succeeding in its redoubled efforts to help students secure outside funding. They also tell us that Illinois continues to attract the highest quality students who are competing better than ever for the nation’s most prestigious awards.”

The fellowship competition is open to senior undergraduates as well as graduate students in their first or second year of graduate study. This year more than 13,000 students applied, and 2,000 fellows were chosen.

Each fellow will receive a three-year funding package that includes a $30,000 annual stipend along with coverage of tuition and fees. Recipients also will have access to the Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide program, which offers fellows the opportunity to enhance their professional development through international research collaborations.

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