About the Scholarship
The Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program provides support for outstanding scholarship and encourages independent graduate-level research in oceanography, marine biology, or maritime archaeology, particularly by women and members of minority groups. Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarships carry a 12-month stipend for each student of $30,000 and an annual cost-of-education allowance of up to $12,000 and up to $10,000 support for a four to six week research collaboration at a NOAA facility. Masters students may be supported for up to two years, and doctoral students for up to four years. Depending on funding three to four scholarships are awarded each year.
Those eligible to apply are United States citizens currently pursuing or intending to pursue a masters or doctoral level degree in oceanography, maritime archaeology (including the curation, preservation, and display of maritime artifacts) or marine biology, (including all science, engineering, and resource management of ocean and coastal areas). In addition students must have and maintain a minimum cumulative and term grade point average of 3.5 and maintain full-time student status for every term, and the duration of their award. Universities or other organizations may not apply on behalf of an individual. Prospective scholars do not need to be enrolled in a graduate program at the time of application, but must be admitted to a graduate level program in order to be awarded this scholarship. Eligibility must be maintained for each succeeding year of support and annual reporting requirements, to be specified at a later date, will apply.
All applications must be received by December 6, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time as outlined in the Federal Funding Opportunity. Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program recipients will be required to participate in a NOAA Orientation Training and to meet with Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) staff at a date and location to be determined during the month of July/August 2013. Awards will include travel expenses to attend the Scholarship Program orientation. The anticipated award start date is June 1, 2013.
For the 2012-2013 academic year, Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarships may provide, subject to appropriations, yearly support of up to $42,000 per student (a 12-month stipend of $30,000 in addition to an education allowance of up to $12,000), and up to $10,000 support for a four to six week research collaboration at a NOAA facility. A maximum of $94,000 may be provided to master degree students (up to 2 years of support and one research collaboration opportunity) and up to $188,000 may be provided to doctoral students (up to 4 years of support and two research collaboration opportunities).
The annual stipend is paid directly to the scholar. For periods lasting less than 12 months, stipends will be prorated. The stipend is not intended to be used as a research grant. NOAA anticipates the student and their faculty advisor will secure research funds independent of the scholarship. The payment of tuition and academic fees will be discussed between the academic institution and NOAA prior to the start of studies. In those instances in which fees are not waived or reduced, the cost-of-education allowance will be paid directly to the scholar to offset tuition and academic fees.
Specific instructions regarding the disbursement, management, and reporting requirements for all stipend and cost-of-education allowance payments will be provided. The awarding of funds beyond the first year will be based on availability of funds, continued eligibility of the student, and periodic certification that adequate academic progress is being made and reporting requirements are being met. At its discretion, each academic institution may supplement a scholar's stipend from institutional funds in accordance with the supplementation policy of the institution.
The evaluation criteria and weighting of the criteria are as follows:
Once NOAA receives an application, an initial administrative review is conducted to determine compliance with the minimum requirements, including completeness of the application.
All applications that pass the administrative review will be evaluated and scored individually in accordance with the assigned weights of the above evaluation criteria by an independent review panel. The panel will be comprised of three or more individuals, having expertise in NOAA-related science and knowledge of the program priorities of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. The panel will rate the proposals using the evaluation criteria and weighting provided above. The individual panelist scores will be averaged for each application and placed in a ranking order of all applications. No consensus advice will be provided by the independent review panel. The ranking order will be presented to the Program Officer who will: neither vote nor score proposals as part of the independent review panel nor participate in discussion of the merits of the application. The Program Officer will transmit the review information to the Selection Official and may make a recommendation to the Selection Official about applying the selection factors below. The Selection Official, will award in rank order unless an application is justified to be selected out of rank order based on one or more of the selection factors below.
The merit review ratings shall provide a rank order to the Selecting Official for final funding recommendation. The Selecting Official shall award in rank order unless the proposal is justified to be selected out of rank order based upon one or more of the following factors:
1. Balance/Distribution of Funds
a. Across academic disciplines
b. By types of institution
c. Geographic area
2. Availability of funds
3. ONMS-specific priorities
4. Degree in scientific area and type of degree sought
Subject to the availability of funds, review of applications and subsequent notification to applicants will be completed by May 30, 2013. Funds are expected to be awarded by July 1, 2013, which is the start date that should be used on the Application for Federal Assistance (Form 424) for successful applications.
The Dr. Nancy Foster Handbook provides information to current scholars about their scholarship. You can download the 2012 Handbook here.
Revised on December 21, 2011 by FosterScholars Web Team