Norwich receives NASA grant

Prof. Joe Byrne
background photo credit: Jeffrey Newman (Berkeley) and NASA

Norwich University has received $45,000 from NASA's National Space Grant Program to fund research over the next four summers as part of Norwich's Summer Research Program. The title of the NASA grant is "Mentored Undergraduate Research at Norwich University." Professor Joseph Byrne is the Principle Investigator of the grant, and the Student Research Committee will be responsible for implementing and operating the program.

The National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program (also known as Space Grant) was initiated by NASA in 1989. Space Grant is a national network of colleges and universities working to expand opportunities for Americans to understand and participate in NASA's aeronautics and space programs by supporting and enhancing science and engineering education, research, and public outreach programs. The Space Grant national network includes over 850 affiliates from universities, colleges, industry, museums, science centers, and state and local agencies. These affiliates belong to one of 52 consortia in all 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

The 52 consortia fund fellowships and scholarships for students pursuing careers in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology, as well as curriculum enhancement and faculty development programs.

The two purposes of the research the NASA grants support are as follows: a) to provide funding to encourage faculty research and mentoring undergraduate summer research in NASA-related disciplines at Vermont's primarily undergraduate academic institutions; and b) to fund competitive proposals for mentored undergraduate research projects in NASA-related areas.

"I envision Norwich funding one student research project per year," Byrne said. "These projects will be summer projects and offered at part of our Summer Research Program."

Byrne said that the Student Research Committee will publicize the availability of these funds, request proposals, evaluate the proposals, and select projects to be funded. "Our goal will be to expend $45,000 over five years (four summers) in a manner that best serves the goals of the project," Byrne said.