Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium offers fellowship opportunities for graduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at WSGC member schools throughout the state of Washington.

Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium values diversity and welcomes applications from students from communities historically excluded in STEM fields.

University of Washington 2021 Fellowships

The University of Washington is offering graduate fellowship opportunities for the 2021 – 2022 academic year. The Space Grant Graduate Fellowship is focused on supporting students in fields related to NASA STEM activities.

Students applying for this opportunity must have interests aligned in one of the following technical areas currently supported by Space Grant activities:

  1. CubeSats
  2. High Altitude (Scientific) Balloons
  3. Rocketry
  4. Lunar Rover Development

Details on these areas can be found below.

Application and Award Process

We will consider the student the primary applicant, but faculty advisors must fill out a Support Form to certify their plans to provide funding for the student outside of this fellowship.

Fellowship payment will be provided for the 9 month academic term. Specific award amount will vary. Fellowships are not intended to substitute for graduate student work via a TA or RA appointment.

WSGC supports students in a variety of STEM disciplines including astronomy, biology, and physics; Earth, space, and environmental sciences; aeronautics and astronautics; computer science and engineering; electrical, mechanical, chemical, and systems engineering.

Application Information:

Student Application, Faculty Support Form, and any associated materials are due on September 17, 2021.

Requirements for Student Applicants:
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen.
  • Enrollment in a PhD program at the UW starting no later than Autumn 2021.
  • Enrollment in a STEM discipline aligned with NASA interests as outlined above.
  • Interest and ability to participate in WSGC activities aligned with the selected technical area.
Requirements for Faculty Advisor:
  • Acknowledge that WSGC is providing fellowship funding that does not include tuition or health insurance.
  • Faculty advisors must commit to continuing to provide necessary funds for salary, benefits, tuition and health insurance required by the student’s home department to reach a full RA or TA appointment outside of the Space Grant Fellowship.

Technical Area Details


Small satellites have become an increasingly important tool. CubeSats in particular have experienced increasing growth and interest with more than 200 CubeSat flights since 2003 and over 100 CubeSats being launched this past year16. Students at the University of Washington (UW), have developed a 3U CubeSat boasting two innovative systems: an electric propulsion system capable of high specific thrust needed for quick trajectory changing, and a communication system capable of significantly higher data throughput.

High Altitude (Scientific) Balloons

NASA has a long history of high altitude ballooning projects that support space and Earth science research and investigations. Ballooning can be a space and cost efficient method to test and implement space related technologies. WSGC is currently working to implement a particulate measuring system to study air quality as impacted by wildfires. As a balloon ascends, samples can be obtained from various altitudes and then evaluated after landing. Additionally, we are planning for an increase in ballooning activities building up to the 2023 annular eclipse and 2024 total eclipse.


WSGC has a long standing rocketry program ranging from support for undergraduate clubs, assisting students in getting different certifications, arranging launches, and developing supersonic capabilities. We have developed a series of systems that have reached supersonic Mach numbers as high as 2.2 under the guidance of the late Dr. Robert Winglee. We are seeking increased student engagement and further development in this area.

Lunar Rover Development

As a recipient of an Artemis Student Challenge Award, WSGC is supporting undergraduate student teams for our Lunar Lava Tube Exploration Challenge. The LLTEC is a pilot challenge for an integration of the science, engineering and programming to successfully lead to the exploration and utilization of the lunar lava tubes that could support long term human exploration of the Moon. Technical challenges within this project include design and analysis of a model lunar rover capable of semi-autonomous or autonomous navigation.