- K-12 Educators
Note: The STARR Program replaces the OSGC Undergraduate Scholarship and Fellowship Program.
The Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium (OSGC) is a member of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program (Space Grant). OSGC supports the agency’s objectives of fostering and encouraging careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and STEM education to develop a skilled, high-performing, capable, and diverse next-generation workforce. Access to experiential learning and research opportunities are crucial to enhancing a student’s academic experience in order to meet the needs of NASA and the nation. OSGC programs are directed towards undergraduate students in STEM fields and designed to complement a student’s academic career experience. In support of the national priority to increase diversity in STEM fields, women, individuals from underserved and underrepresented groups in STEM fields, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to participate in our programs.
The Oregon Space Grant STudent Academic Research Review (STARR) award program is directed towards STEM and STEM Education students attending our member community colleges and four-year universities who are interested in space science/aerospace-related careers. The STARR Program provides students an opportunity to apply for a one-year award to enhance and supplement their academic study in STEM and STEM education. These awards also serve to recognize student’s achievements in these fields.
STARR awards are open to students in a broad range of STEM disciplines, including aerospace-related engineering and mathematics, as well as science and math education, earth sciences, chemistry, biology, food science, and computer science relating to NASA’s vision and mission. Students are encouraged to contact OSGC with questions about field of study eligibility.
STARR is a research review program and does not entail hands-on research. A research review is a deeper dive into a research topic and includes an overview, a summary, and an evaluation or critique of the current knowledge that already exists about a specific area of research. A research review may also include a discussion of methodological issues and suggestions for future research.
STARR is a stepping-stone opportunity designed to help students gain a more comprehensive understanding of the research process and be better prepared for future hands-on research opportunities such as NASA internships, Research Experience for Undergraduates (REUs), or senior capstone projects. Applicants select a topic to review that involves current NASA-related research. Selected topics must align with one or more of NASA Mission Directorate’s top priorities or speak to the challenges facing the execution of current missions. Topics should be specific and narrow in scope.
If awarded, STARR recipients will thoroughly review the existing literature/research pertaining to a selected research topic and write a white paper evaluating/critiquing the current knowledge that already exists on the selected topic. The white paper must include insight into the contributions of the research being conducted and demonstrate interdisciplinary applications of the research and how it might potentially extend to other areas of science or engineering relating to NASA’s priorities and areas of emphasis. Students will not be conducting research of any kind.
STARR recipients must identify a faculty member at their respective institution who has expertise relevant to the research being reviewed and who agrees to serve as faculty advisor on the project. The advisor must be willing to mentor the student, review/edit the student’s work, and provide guidance throughout the process; however, white papers must ultimately be the original work of the student. Selected projects and advisors must be approved by the OSGC affiliate representative from the student’s respective institution. In addition to the white paper, students attending 4-year institutions will be required to present their work at the OSGC Spring Symposium (virtual or in-person).
A total of $104,000 will be awarded in the 2022-23 STARR Program, contingent upon funding from NASA Office of STEM Engagement. STARR awards will be competitively awarded to students enrolled at an OSGC affiliated community college or 4-year institution. Awards will be made in two disbursements. Awardees will receive $1,000 in October 2022 and the remainder of the award in May 2023 upon completion of deliverables. Awards are compensation of a student’s time and effort; supplies/equipment purchases are prohibited. Terms and conditions vary by type of institution.
Community College Student Requirements
4-Year Institution Student Requirements
STARR awards are a one-time, non-renewable, academic year-long award.
Number of Awards to be Funded
Number of awards may vary by institution type; total dollar amount of awards not to exceed $104,000.
Equal Opportunity and Diversity
Students from underserved groups and groups underrepresented in STEM fields, specifically Native American, African American, Latino, Hispanic, and Pacific Islander, women, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. OSGC seeks to recruit applicants from a variety of higher-education member institutions and disciplines.
STARR is a research review program—students will not be conducting research of any kind and will not need access to onsite resources.
The OSGC Cooperative Agreement stipulates no human subject work can be conducted under the award. Hence, Human Subject Research—including surveys—is prohibited from inclusion in this or any OSGC program.
STARR awards are open to undergraduate students who meet the following eligibility criteria:
Please discuss options with your OSGC affiliate representative to ensure criteria are adequately met.
See OSGC Member Institutions and Representatives.
Application packets for the STARR awards must include the following:
Documents are to be single-spaced, using standard 8½ x 11 paper, in font not smaller than 12-point with a minimum of 1” margins. All pages must be numbered sequentially. Students will submit application packets online.
Letter of Intent (Page limit: 1 page)
Includes the following:
Student Resume (Page limit: 1 page)
Include relevant employment, education, and extra-curricular activities. Resume should include current contact information including email, phone, and mailing address.
Project Description (Page limit: 1 page)
Includes the following:
Topics should be specific and narrow in scope. Students are expected to refer to Appendix A. Agency Information and Strategic Framework.
Note: If selected for a STARR award, students will conduct a research review of the chosen topic and elaborate on how it aligns with NASA’s top priorities and/or how it speaks to the challenges facing NASA’s missions. Students should be prepared to offer insight into the contributions of the research and demonstrate interdisciplinary applications and how the research could potentially extend to other areas of science or engineering relating to NASA’s top priorities and areas of emphasis.
Timeline and Milestones (Page limit: 1 page)
Develop a timeline for your project that includes milestones and measurable outcomes. Refer to the Dates and Deadlines: Deliverables section for associated deadlines. Timelines are tools that help researchers stay on track to complete a project in the allotted time and should be shared with faculty advisors to ensure project deadlines are met in a timely manner.
Faculty Advisor Statement of Support (Page limit: 1 page)
STARR applicants must identify a faculty member at their respective institution with expertise relevant to the research being reviewed and who agrees to serve as faculty advisor on the project. The advisor must be willing to provide guidance and mentorship throughout the process, participate in regularly scheduled check-ins with the student and the Midway Meetup, and review/edit the student’s work prior to submitting deliverables. The selected faculty advisor must provide a Statement of Support acknowledging their role and expectations as advisor for the project. The Statement of Support is to be included in the online application packet submitted by the student. The Statement of Support does not serve as a letter of recommendation.
Advisors must be affiliated with an OSGC member institution; OSGC affiliate representatives may serve as faculty advisor on a project. Affiliate representatives may assist students in identifying a faculty member who has expertise relevant to a project.
Letter of Recommendation – Optional (Page limit: 2 pages)
One letter of recommendation is optional. If provided, the letter should specifically address your qualifications and merit for receiving a STARR Award. Students will be asked to provide contact information for the person providing a letter of recommendation. Upon submission of your application, this individual will receive an email request for the letter. The letter of recommendation will be due shortly after the student application is due.
Academic Transcript (Page limit: As needed)
A PDF of your academic transcript must be submitted with your online application. Unofficial transcripts from your college or university website are acceptable and should include record of the courses in which you are currently enrolled.
Complete application packets will be submitted online:
Faculty advisors are expected to have expertise relevant to the research being reviewed, and be willing and able to contribute insight and perspective to a project. Advisors must be willing to mentor the student by providing guidance throughout the process and review/edit the student’s work prior to the student submitting deliverables, keeping in mind white papers must be original work of the student. Advisors are encouraged to help students understand the components of research and research review—evaluation of the current knowledge base for the specified topic. Faculty advisors should be prepared to participate in regularly scheduled check-ins with the student to maintain progress and make certain that milestones are met and deliverables are submitted on time. Advisors should plan to participate in the Midway Meetup.
Advisors must be affiliated with an OSGC member institution; OSGC affiliate representatives may also serve as faculty advisor on a project. Faculty advisors are required to provide a Statement of Support to be included in the student’s online application submission.
Applications are evaluated for eligibility when received. Qualified applications will be reviewed by a diverse selection committee who will make recommendations for funding based on stated review criteria
(see below). Preference may be given to women, individuals from underserved and underrepresented groups in the STEM fields, and individuals with disabilities.
More detailed information pertaining to the following deliverables will be communicated directly with students who are selected to receive a STARR award.
Student Profile Form
Students agree to complete an online confidential Student Profile Form when they accept the award. This information is used for reporting to NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement and for longitudinal tracking purposes to evaluate the effectiveness of NASA’s higher education programs.
OSGC will host an online, virtual check-in for STARR recipients and mentors midway through the project. Participates will meet to discuss progress, solicit feedback, bounce ideas, ask questions, and share hurdles and solutions with fellow STARRs and mentors. OSGC leadership will facilitate the meeting and be available to answer questions related to deliverables. The Midway Meetup will be held in February 2023.
STARR recipients are required to submit a descriptive outline of the project approximately one month prior to the white paper due date. Descriptive outlines include introduction, main body, and conclusion and are limited to 2 pages.
Students selected to receive STARR awards are required to write an original white paper describing the findings of the research review—overview, summary, and evaluation or critique of the current knowledge base of the selected topic, how it aligns with one or more of NASA Mission Directorate’s top priorities, and/or how it speaks to the challenges facing the execution of current NASA missions. Students must include insight into the contributions of the research being conducted and demonstrate interdisciplinary applications of the research and how it might potentially extend to other areas of science and/or engineering relating to NASA’s top priorities and areas of emphasis.
Students will not be conducting hands-on or original research and will not need access to onsite resources. Faculty advisors are encouraged to review the paper and offer guidance and edits, but white papers must ultimately be the original work of the student; plagiarism results in loss of award.
Community College Students
4-Year Institution Students
In addition to the white paper, STARR recipients attending 4-year institutions are required to present a poster and PowerPoint presentation at the OSGC Spring Symposium. This requirement is for 4-year institution students only.
The student agrees to notify OSGC of any changes in mailing address, email, and telephone number for contact purposes.
The student grants permission to release and/or publish requested recipient information to NASA or other appropriate parties. Students submit a signed Media Release Form, granting OSGC permission to release information and utilize any submitted photos for publications and/or social media.
Direct questions to Catherine Lanier, OSGC Associate Director, via email at [email protected] or by phone at 541.829.9065.
Community College STARR Award Recipients:
Jesus Ayala | Portland Community College (PCC) Cascade
Jacob Castigliano | Lane Community College
Richard Cavanaugh | PCC Cascade
Lena Duplechin Seymour | PCC Sylvania
Hunter Elwell | PCC Sylvania
Taia Hopkins | PCC Sylvania
Teresa Nguyen | PCC Southeast
Caleb Ostmo | Southwestern Oregon Community College
Kadi Smith | PCC Cascade
Kyla Zhang | PCC Sylvania
4 Year Institution STARR Award Recipients:
Sophia Crawford | Portland State University (PSU)
Madeline Fischer | PSU
Rose Jardine | PSU
Adrian Jimenez | PSU
Taylor Lohrie | PSU
Hayden Reinhold | PSU
Abigail Velasco-De Jesus | Pacific University
Community College STARR Award Recipients:
Troy Liggett | SOCC | Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG); Its Mechanisms and Applications for the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover
Teresa Nguyen | PCC Cascade | Introductory Technology on Liquid Fuel Engines for Aerospace and Rocketry Students
Ryne Shelton | PCC Southeast | Research Radar Technology and Equipment, Specifically the Satellite Used for NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Mission
4-Year Institution STARR Award Recipients:
Terell Cathey | OIT | Advanced Power Generation, Storage, and Transfer for Deep Space Missions
Emilio Gizzi | PSU | Design of a Regeneratively Cooled Liquid-Fuel Rocket Engine
Adrian Jimenez | PSU | Isotope Hydrology
David Lay | PSU | Design of Active Maximum Power Point Trackers (MPPTs) in Regards to Aerospace Grade Solar Arrays
Emma Levy | PSU | Analysis of the Methods and Environmental Impacts of Removing Space Debris from Low Earth Orbit
Alexander Mote | OSU | Studying and Improving the Simulation Systems Used in Preparing for NASA Missions, Specifically Applied to the Physical Science Research Programs
Jean-Pierre Pillay | PSU | High Altitude Recovery Systems for Aerospace Vehicles
Joseph Saxon | OIT | Space Tech Relevant to Space Debris Detection and Monitoring
Amber Sleeis | GFU | The Lucy Mission; the first space mission to observe and analyze the Trojan Asteroids of Jupiter
Catherine Spivey | PSU | Design Optimization of an Isogrid or Orthogrid Tank for Small, Low-Cost Launch Vehicles
Elaine Swanson | OSU | Creating an aerobic compost tea, fed through a hydroponic system, to sustain plant growth in a small, controlled environmental habitat
Nadia Wallace | PSU | Heart Health and Space Travel
Kassondra Watson | PSU | How Well Do Current Technologies Differentiate Between Main Phytoplankton Groups and How Will Differentiation Be Improved with NASA’s PACE Mission?
Zackary Williams | PU | Aligning a STEM Classroom to Fit NASA’s Priorities and How NASA’s Current Missions Can Be Incorporated into the Classroom; Linking Current NASA Research into Science and Mathematics Lesson Plans
Click here to see the list of 2015-16 award recipients
Click here for a list of 2014-15 award recipients
Click here for a list of 2013-14 Award Recipients