LAWRENCE — Developing renewable energy technologies is a major research focus at the University of Kansas. Starting this fall, it can also be a source of significant scholarship funding for the right students.
KU received a $552,000 grant last month from the National Science Foundation. The grant provides tuition scholarships for sophomores and juniors with an interest in studying renewable energy. The students must be majoring in science, technology, engineering or math – the so-called STEM disciplines – and satisfy other requirements. Selected students will receive a $10,000 annual scholarship, starting this fall and renewable for up to three years.
“This interdisciplinary program supports excellent students who want to work on a big global challenge,” says program director Judy Wu, a university distinguished professor of physics and astronomy at KU. “Graduates will find good jobs in industry and other settings, and be equipped to make an important contribution to society.”
Approximately half of the scholarships are slated for students who have transferred to KU from Haskell Indian Nations University or Johnson County Community College. All recipients must meet U.S. immigration requirements, demonstrate financial need, and be working full-time toward a bachelor’s degree in a STEM discipline at KU.
A group of 16-20 students will be chosen each year for three years, according to Wu. Recipients will enroll once in a renewable energy and nanotechnology course and will have additional opportunities for faculty mentoring and participation in seminars, renewable energy demonstration projects, field trips, and outreach activities. Students will also be eligible to work on renewable energy research projects with one of nearly 40 KU faculty.
Deadline for applications is Aug. 31. More information and an online application are available at http://solarenergy.ku.edu/sstem.
Working closely with Wu on the renewable energy scholarships grant are core faculty members Val Smith, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology; Susan Stagg-Williams, associate professor of chemical and petroleum engineering; Cindy Berrie, associate professor of chemistry; Barbara Anthony-Twarog, professor of physics and astronomy; and Lucas Miller, a mathematics instructor at Haskell.
Additional funding is provided by the KU Office of Research and Graduate Studies, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the School of Engineering. The program builds upon an existing grant awarded to Wu through Kansas NSF EPSCoR. It also complements the KU-Haskell Bridge program, which supports Haskell students as they prepare to transfer into a biomedical program at KU or another four-year institution.