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Graduate Students Awarded Prestigious NSF Research Fellowships

Awards support outstanding graduate students in STEM fields

June 7, 2021

By Mario Aguilera and the National Science Foundation

Jasmin Revanna

UC San Diego Division of Biological Sciences graduate students Jasmin Revanna (Fred Gage's lab, Salk Institute for Biological Studies) and Livia Songster (Samara Reck-Peterson's lab) have been awarded prestigious 2021 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Program (GRFP) Fellowships.

According to NSF, GRFP awards "ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity." The five-year program recognizes outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are US citizens or permanent residents and are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees.

GRFP fellowships provide recipients with a three-year annual stipend of $34,000, along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees.

NSF expects GRFP fellows to become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching and innovation in science and engineering.

"These individuals are crucial to maintaining and advancing the nation's technological infrastructure and national security as well as contributing to the economic well-being of society at large," NSF notes.

Livia Songster

Emily Armbruster (Kit Pogliano and Joe Pogliano labs) and Asama Lekbua (first-year rotation graduate student) were recognized with 2021 GRFP honorable mentions. Also, Biological Sciences alumna Breanna Lam received a 2021 GRFP award.

"The BioSci graduate program is very proud that the NSF GRFP program continues to recognize the potential of our students as future leaders in research and innovation," said Andrew Chisholm, associate dean of the Division of Biological Sciences and chair of the Graduate Committee. "The NSF GRFP awards are incredibly competitive and we congratulate all students who entered the competition this year."

NSF has funded more than 60,000 Graduate Research Fellowships out of more than 500,000 applicants since 1952. Forty-two fellows have gone on to become Nobel laureates and more than 450 have become members of the National Academy of Sciences.

As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers. The reputation of the GRFP follows recipients and often helps them become life-long leaders that contribute significantly to both scientific innovation and teaching.