Thursday, May 19, 2022…
Emily Silich

Physics and Astronomy alumna Emily Silich was among nine University of Iowa students and recent graduates who were named recipients of the highly competitive Graduate Research Fellowship Program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Fellows chosen for the 2022 Graduate Research Fellowship Program will receive three years of financial support, totaling $138,000. The annual $34,000 stipend and $12,000 cost-of-education allowance are also coupled with other opportunities for international research and professional development. 

Silich, of Epworth, Iowa, graduated from Iowa with degrees in astronomy and physics in spring 2021. A 2020 Goldwater Scholar, Silich worked on the HaloSat, an astrophysics mission in collaboration with NASA that searches the Milky Way’s galactic halo for missing matter as a member of Phil Kaaret’s research team in the Department of Astronomy and Physics. Silich is in her first year of graduate study in astrophysics at the California Institute of Technology.

The NSF GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate and undergraduate students who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in fields within NSF’s mission. The GRFP provides up to three years of support for the graduate education of recipients who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research. Each award cycle, the NSF receives about 13,000 applications and, in 2022, the agency offered fellowships to 2,193 students.

Established in 1952, the GRFP is critical to the NSF’s strategy to develop a globally engaged workforce and ensure the nation’s leadership in advancing science and engineering research and innovation. A major goal of the program is to increase the diversity of the STEM workforce, including geographic distribution, as well as the participation of women, underrepresented minorities, people with disabilities, and veterans.