IBA Students receive prestigious NSF GRFP Award

April 7, 2014 - 12:00am

Two Iowa Biosciences Advantage (IBA) program students at the University of Iowa, Nicholas Rolston and Sarah Bannon, each recently received a 2014 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) award.

The NSF GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding students in NSF-supported Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions. NSF received over 14,000 applications for the 2014 awards with Rolston and Bannon being among the 2,000 awardees.

Rolston, a senior from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, majoring in physics and mathematics, works in the lab of John Prineas, UI associate professor of physics and astronomy, and will be pursuing a Ph.D. in applied physics at Stanford University starting in the fall. Bannon, a senior from Chicago, Illinois, majoring in psychology and english, studies under Dan Tranel, UI professor of neurology and psychology; and Erika Lawrence, UI associate professor of psychology. She will be attending Stony Brook University in the fall for a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

GRFP Fellows receive a three-year annual stipend of $32,000 along with a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution). Recipients are able to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose and also benefit from opportunities for international research and professional development.

The Department of Biology is the administrative home of the IBA program that provides underrepresented undergraduate students with research training and support for entry into Ph.D. programs in the biosciences. The IBA program was recently relocated to a newly renovated room in 169 Biology Building. Lori Adams, a lecturer in biology and director of the biology honors program; and Vincent Rodgers, professor of physics and astronomy, serve as co-directors of the program.

For more information about the NSF GRFP, please visit http://www.nsfgrfp.org/