The Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium expands educational opportunities for University of Hawai‘i System undergraduates by awarding University Research Internships, HSGC URI, (formerly known as Fellowship and Traineeship Program) in fields that are relevant to NASA's goals. Two levels of support, research or trainee, are offered depending on the skill, knowledge level, and time commitment of the student. We support the national Space Grant agenda to help prepare the future generation of space scientists and engineers, and to increase the understanding and development of space. U.S. citizenship is required for consideration.
Fields relevant to NASA's goals are defined in its current Strategic Plan. These fields are mainly those in science, technology, and education that are focused on understanding the Earth, exploring the Solar System and the universe beyond, creating more secure, efficient, and environmentally friendly air transportation systems, inspiring students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and engaging the public in shaping and sharing the experience of exploration and discovery.
HSGC University Research Internship students work under the guidance of mentors who are usually faculty members. Women, under-represented minorities (specifically Hawaiians, other Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, African Americans, and Hispanics), and physically challenged students who have interest in space-related fields are particularly encouraged to apply.
HSGC URI Research Internship
All full-time undergraduates enrolled at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Hilo, Maui College, one of the University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges, and University of Guam who have declared a major are eligible to apply for HSGC URI Research Internships. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and must be sponsored by a mentor who is willing to guide the student for the duration of the award. Most mentors are faculty at the University but senior researchers or other qualified personnel at UH or elsewhere are eligible. HSGC URI Research Internship students are expected to work between 10 and 15 hours a week during the semester depending on their project. Financial support includes a one-semester stipend of $5000, renewable for a second semester for a total of $10000 per academic year. A travel and supply budget of $1000 per semester will be available.
HSGC URI Trainee Internship
All full-time undergraduates enrolled at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Hilo, Maui College, one of the University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges, and University of Guam are eligible to apply for HSGC URI Trainee Internships. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and must be sponsored by a mentor who is willing to guide the student for the duration of the award. HSGC URI Trainee Internship students are expected to work between 5 and 10 hours a week during the semester depending on their project. Financial support includes a one-semester stipend of $2500, renewable for a second semester for a total of $5000 per academic year. Or a one-semester Trainee Internship at $2500 can be extended into a second semester Research Internship at $5000 for a total award of $7500 per academic year. A supply budget of $500 per semester is available for Trainee Internships.
HSGC URI Group Research Internship
All full-time undergraduates enrolled at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Hilo, Maui College, one of the University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges, and the University of Guam are eligible to apply for HSGC URI Group Research Internships. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and must be sponsored by a mentor who is willing to guide the students for the duration of the award. HSGC URI Group Research Internship students are expected to work between 5 and 10 hours a week during the semester depending on their project. Financial support includes a one-semester stipend of $2500, renewable for a second semester for a total of $5000 per academic year for each student in the group. A travel and supply budget of $500 per semester is available for each student in the group.
Summer 2023 HSGC URI Research Students
Project Title: “Small Gamma Ray Spectrometers for Moon and Mars Lander, Rover and Drone (Helicopter) Missions”
Mentor: Dr. Peter Englert, professor, HIGP – UHM
Savannah Dubois’, a junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in Aerospace, project aims to design a gamma ray spectrometer for future space missions to the Moon and Mars. The goal is to design detectors that can accurately measure radioactive elements and their ratios to understand the geological properties of celestial bodies. Small detectors placed on landers will provide quick and cost-effective measurements from multiple locations. The focus is on precise measurements of Uranium and Thorium decay products and the possibility of detecting hydrogen and water.
Nikola Mazzarella, Junior, Physics
Glen Miguel-Matsumoto, Junior, Earth Science
Mentor: Dr. Peter Englert, Professor, HIGP – UHM
The Variability in Atmosphere due to Solar Energetic Events (VIA-SEEs) is a CubeSat mission that intends to act as a joint science and technology mission. The continuing project is student-led under the support of the Earth and Planetary Exploration Technologies (EPET) program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. The VIA detector development activities include the development of a spectrometer testbed, generating spectral reference data, and preparing scientific data acquisition from Low Earth Orbit. Thus, the team is able to study Solar Energetic Electrons, Nitrous Oxide, and Ozone concentration concurrently and after a solar event in order to study the degradation effects on our atmosphere.
NASA funding of HSGC URI students requires U.S. citizenship. Applicants must complete a formal application, submit transcripts and a letter of support from the prospective mentor.
Use the application for your current campus you are enrolled at. The application forms, for HSGC URI Research or Trainee awards, are fillable PDFs to be completed digitally and printed. Signatures are required prior to submission.
Applications are also available from Space Grant offices at Mānoa (POST building room 501) or Hilo campuses, Maui College, and the Community College campuses. You may call the Mānoa office for more information at (808) 956-3138 or refer to the HSGC Personnel page, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Undergraduate application deadlines: June 15 for fall semester and December 1 for spring semester.
HSGC URI Group, Research, and Trainee Applications
Important Forms for Current Students
Serving as a mentor for an undergraduate HSGC URI student is one of the most effective educational activities a researcher or faculty member can do. Mentoring a student in his or her research or trainee project can provide that extra spark that makes a dramatic difference in the life of a young person and in their approach to learning. The HSGC URI experience also enhances a student's education and shows how science and engineering are really done, much more than class and laboratory assignments can ever do.
To help prospective and existing mentors with this important job, the Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium offers these guidelines:
If you have a large research group, feel free to share mentoring responsibilities with graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. Much science is done by groups, so this adds to the research experience, as long as the undergraduate student has his or her own, identifiable project. It is also acceptable for a postdoc, research associate, or specialist to be a mentor. If a mentor has two or more HSGC URI students, be sure that each has an identifiable project, even if the projects are related. For example, one student could develop hardware, the other software on an engineering design project.
Space Grant is a NASA-funded project, and everything it does must have a clear connection to space science or aerospace engineering. Thus, mentors must be sure that their students remember to discuss the link with space science or aerospace engineering, especially when writing proposals and requests for extending projects, giving talks at our undergraduate symposium, and preparing their final reports.
Student's Time Commitment
Please remember that our HSGC URI students are undergraduates, not graduate students. They are full-time students, usually taking five courses. Consequently, they should not be expected to work more than about 15 hours per week. Sometimes a key challenge for a mentor is to be sure the undergraduate student does not neglect his or her other school work as they become engrossed in their research project!
HSGC URI students are doing research or trainee projects. They are not student employees hired to clean the lab, run the copy machine, or do clerical work. Of course, everyone working in a laboratory is expected to do his or her share of laboratory maintenance, but we want to be sure that HSGC URI students are treated as researchers, not non-technical employees.
Important Forms for Prospective Mentors
Looking for Past Participant Information?
Information about our previous participants have been archived! Click the button below to view our entire listing of former undergraduate fellows, trainees, and interns.
Wonder what they are doing now? Click the button below to view their current occupation.
Required: LTS Tracking Form (fillable online)
NASA requires that we gather data on the education and employment history of current and former participants in our HSGC URI programs. Your help will enable us to improve our programs and assists us in seeking new funding to continue our operations to support student research and to conduct additional programs. The information that you provide here will be kept private and not shared with anyone except NASA, our sponsor.
Share Your Success Story!
Have a Story to Share?
If you are a past participant and have an interest in sharing how our Space Grant program has benefited you, we would love to hear from you. By doing so, you can help spread the word to others about how NASA's efforts in promoting education have made an impact on all our participants - like you! If interested, please click here to learn more. Contact us at email@example.com with a Subject Line of "Success Story."
Previous Final Reports
Final Reports written by Space Grant's participants (2005 - 2014) are available online for viewing on ScholarSpace. Click the button to view their work in booklets, released by year.