UMass spring campus

STEM Fellowships Awarded

CNS Students Awarded National Science Foundation Fellowships

April 22, 2022

Four students in the College of Natural Sciences – including two undergraduates – were recently awarded National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. UMass Amherst had the third highest number of awards in the state of Massachusetts, behind only MIT and Harvard.


These highly competitive five-year fellowships provide students pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in STEM disciplines at accredited U.S. institutions with three years of financial support, including an annual stipend and a cost of education allowance to the institution. The total award is valued at $138,000.

Awards were made to:

  • Estefany Argueta Herrera, Ph.D. student, organismic and evolutionary biology
  • Brennan Falcy, Ph.D. student, neuroscience and behavior
  • Tatjana Washington, master’s student, environmental conservation
  • Renos Zabounidis, undergraduate, computer science/mathematics

Two UMass Amherst students – one undergraduate and one graduate – also received honorable mentions:

  • Meredith Stone, undergraduate, astronomy/physics
  • Sarah Prostak, Ph.D. student, molecular and cellular biology

As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers. Past fellows include numerous Nobel Prize winners, former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Google founder Sergey Brin and Freakonomics co-author Steven Levitt.

Undergraduate students who plan to attend graduate school starting in Fall 2023 and graduate students in the first or second year of their program at the time of application, working in NSF-supported STEM disciplines, may be eligible to apply for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. More information about the program is available on NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program website.

UMass’s Graduate School Office of Professional Development offers workshops and writing support for NSF Fellowship applicants. Faculty or students may contact Heidi Bauer-Clapp for more information.

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