Oct 17 2019

Graduate Student Opportunities through the National Science Foundation

a person looks through a device on a tripod standing on a bank along a stream

A USGS researcher running a level survey in Seward, Alaska. USGS photo

Check out the following National Science Foundation Programs for graduate students to work with USGS researchers. 

Two NSF programs—GRIP and INTERN—fund opportunities for graduate students to work for the USGS.

The objectives of the programs are:

1. to provide professional growth opportunities for the students by providing them with new mentors, techniques, or ideas that are not available to them at their home institutions; and

2. to expose Ph.D. students to the federal work environment.

Graduate Research Internship Program (GRIP)

The NSF GRIP program supports the top graduate students in the country who are NSF Graduate Research Fellows.

How GRIP works: Students who are NSF Graduate Research Fellowship awardees apply to the GRIP program for supplemental funding to cover the expenses of a 2 to 12-month internship at the USGS. The money flows to their university and students come to the USGS on a volunteer agreement.

There are two deadlines each year: December 4 and May 6. Awards are made shortly after that.

Non-Academic Research Internships for Graduate Students (INTERN)

The INTERN program crosses all disciplines in NSF and allows any graduate student who is a US citizen or green card holder, and who is working with an NSF funded professor to apply.

How INTERN works: Any graduate student who is working with an NSF supported advisor (and meets citizenship requirements) can apply for an INTERN grant. Students submit proposals under their own names as a supplementary funding request to an existing NSF grant. Therefore, the request must be tied to the research goals of the primary grant. The award is given directly to the student, and the money flows to the university. There is a preference for new collaborations.

USGS has a larger role in the application process for these grants. USGS researchers and students are expected to work together in developing the grant proposal. NSF requires that an intellectual property (IP) agreement be signed by both parties before the award is made.

INTERN does not have a formal deadline. Applications are accepted up until May 1 for FY funding.

For more information or potential collaboration with the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center, please contact:

rtoohey [at] usgs.gov (Ryan Toohey) or jlittell [at] usgs.gov (Jeremy Littell)