Three IPiB Students Earn 2019 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Three students who received 2019 NSF fellowships

Three University of Wisconsin–Madison Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB) students recently earned 2019 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships, with two additional students receiving honorable mentions.

Aryel Clarke and Jennifer Peotter, both of the lab of Professor Jon Audhya, and Katherine Senn from the lab of Assistant Professor Heidi Dvinge received fellowships. William Kasberg and Iryna Pustova, both members of the Audhya Lab, made the list of honorable mentions.

“I am simply overjoyed that the National Science Foundation has chosen to recognize Jen, Aryel, Iryna, and William for their talent, commitment, and innovation,” Audhya says. “Both I and IPiB are fortunate to have recruited such amazing students.”

The Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding, early-career graduate students who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Awardees are selected based on their potential for significant research achievements that can benefit society. A total of 40 students at UW–Madison received fellowships this year.

“Being awarded the fellowship has been a really validating experience for me as a first-generation woman scientist,” Clarke says.

Fellows receive three years of financial support from NSF, consisting of a $34,000 annual stipend and a $12,000 education allowance. Each year, IPiB students are consistently well represented among the recipients of these NSF fellowships.

“I am very honored to have received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship,” Peotter says. “It was very rewarding to see my research experiences come together, and I am excited to continue working in the Audhya Lab and expand my outreach involvement.”

Many of the awardees, such as Senn, excel not only at research but also have a passion for scientific outreach.

“For her graduate work, Kathy has taken on a challenging project about the biochemical and functional genomic differences between transcription factor isoforms,” says Dvinge, Senn’s advisor. “In addition to being an excellent scientist, she is also a dedicated member of the IPiB outreach team through the program’s Student Faculty Liaison Committee (SFLC). Kathy’s commitment to STEM really embodies the two main criteria for the NSF GRFP, namely intellectual merit and broader impacts.”

Of about 12,000 applicants nationally, 2,050 received awards. A total of 29 UW–Madison students were given honorable mentions in this year’s competition. Eleven UW–Madison alumni who are now at another institution also received awards.

“The number of UW–Madison students who have received this fellowship is a testament to the strong research enterprise here, and the spirit of curiosity that motivates our students to succeed,” says Graduate School Dean William J. Karpus. “With the mentorship they will receive from world-class faculty, and with this support from the National Science Foundation, these students are well-positioned for impactful scholarship at this early stage of their careers.”

To see a list of all UW–Madison students who received NSF fellowships, see the link below.