Published: May 28, 2015 By

Chris Smith is a student in the BioFrontiers Institute's IQ Biology PhD program.The National Science Foundation recently announced the recipients of the coveted 2015 Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP) awards. These prestigious awards have been given since 1952 to graduate students who show a demonstrated potential for significant achievements in science and engineering.

Chris Smith, a first-year student from the BioFrontiers Institute’s Interdisciplinary Quantitative Biology PhD Program, received a 2015 fellowship. Second-year IQ Biology student, John Nardini, was given an honorable mention.

Smith is rostered in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. His interests are focused on evolutionary genomics and how they are affected by local adaptations and speciation. He plans to use his fellowship funding to support him in the development of computational methods for biologists to use when researching genomics.

GRFP The NSF fellowships provide three years of financial support over a five-year period. This is split into a $34,000 annual stipend and a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the graduate institution. The fellowships also provide opportunities to participate in international research collaborations and access to NSF-supported research infrastructure. From over 16,500 applicants, a total of 2,000 Graduate Fellows were awarded in 2015, 23 of which went to CU-Boulder students. Over the past five years, 30 percent of students in the IQ Biology program at BioFrontiers have either received a GRFP award or been given an honorable mention.

The University of Colorado, Boulder students won 30 NSF fellowships, and CU-Boulder was among the top 20 universities with NSF fellows last year. BioFrontiers and the IQ Biology program are honored to have students involved in the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, which is one of the most prestigious awards available for student researchers.