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Last Post 3/20/2012 8:39 AM by  Kris Sigsbee
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3/20/2012 6:32 AM

    Lexie (SA)

    Has the present economy effected you in any way from your work? Also what types of scholarships are out there fro someone interested in this work? thank you

    Tags: career, economy, Science Funding, Scholarships

    Kris Sigsbee

    Basic Member

    Basic Member

    3/20/2012 8:39 AM

    Hi Lexie,

    My work is funded through federal government grants from agencies like NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF), even though I work at a state-funded university. My job security is therefore strongly tied to the amount of money Congress allocates for NASA and the NSF in the federal budget. Even though funding for the agencies that support scientific research represents a relatively small percentage of the total federal budget, it seems that during tough economic times programs sponsored by these agencies always get cut. State governments have also cut funding to universities. This means that a greater number scientists and university professors are submitting proposals to NASA and the NSF, but the amount of funding available is reduced. As a result, competition for research grants has become increasingly tougher over the last few years, and it can be hard for young researchers to establish their careers.

    There are a lot of different scholarships out there for people interested in pursuing careers in science. When I was an undergraduate student, I was able to obtain scholarships sponosred by charitable foundations in my home town, as well as by the university I attended. Most of the scholarships I obtained were general academic scholarships, but I did receive an A. O. C. Nier Scholarship from my physics department. The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Iowa, where I currently work, also has scholarships for undergraduate students pursuing degrees in physics. There are also fellowships to help support graduate students while they are working towards their Ph.D. degrees. Some of these are sponsored by university physics departments, while others are supported by NASA or NSF programs and private foundations. When I was a graduate student I had an Amelia Earhart Fellowship, sponsored by Zonta International to help women pursue aerospace related careers, and a NASA fellowship for graduate students.


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