Skip to main content

Announcing the STEPS Director’s Fellowship Award Program

Director Jacob Jones with scholar looking at microscope in the lab.
Photo of Jacob Jones and Ross Sozzani in the PSI lab

The STEPS Center announces a new prestigious program to recruit and engage exceptional graduate students (Masters and Ph.D.) and postdoctoral scholars. The program, called the STEPS Center Director’s Fellowship Awards, provides one year of support for stipends, fringe benefits, and tuition (if relevant).

The awardees will either be beginning their research prior to joining an existing STEPS Project (e.g., new recruits) or are building upon existing projects in ways that promote new convergence/integration across STEPS (e.g., new meta-level research projects, creating final products from projects that are ending). When used as a recruitment tool, the Director’s Fellowship Award can provide time for students to establish core competencies in relevant fields, experiment with cross-disciplinary training, and/or work with multiple mentors/PIs in new research areas before committing to a specific project, PI(s), or program.

The program is prestigious in nature with no more than 3 awards being made annually. Candidate application materials are reviewed by technical experts according to the NSF review criteria of Intellectual Merit and Broader Impact and with final awards made by the STEPS Center Director.

The program is being announced concurrently with its first awardee, Christopher Oates. Christopher Oates is a senior at NC State dual majoring in Biological & Agricultural Engineering Technology and Environmental Sciences. In the Fall, he starts a Master of Science degree program in Biological and Agricultural Systems Analysis. He will be co-advised by STEPS faculty members, Dr. Natalie Nelson and Dr. Khara Grieger.

More information about the program is available on the STEPS Center Director’s Fellowship Awards page.

Q&A with 2023 recipient Christopher Oates