Hawaii Space Grant


*Workforce Development Program

*Internships in Hawai'i

*Higher Education


*Remote Sensing

*K-12 Education

*Future Flight HI

*Public Outreach

*External Relations





*Hawai‘i EPSCoR


Fellowships  and  Traineeships


    The Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium expands educational opportunities for University of Hawai‘i System undergraduates by awarding Fellowships and Traineeships in fields that are relevant to NASA's goals. Two levels of support, Fellowship or Traineeship, 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 mainly those in science, technology, and education that are focused on understanding the Earth from space, exploring our Solar System and the universe beyond, understanding the origin and evolution of life, understanding how life responds to space, creating a more secure, efficient, and environmentally friendly air transportation system, inspiring students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and engaging the public in sharing the experience of space exploration and discovery.

    Undergraduate Fellows and Trainees work under the guidance of mentors who are normally 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.

Undergraduate APPLICATION DEADLINES are: June 15 for fall semester projects and December 1 for spring semester projects.

We have arranged the information on this page for:
      Prospective Applicants
      Current Fellows and Trainees
      Former Fellows and Trainees
      Fellows/Trainees Final Reports

For Prospective Applicants

B a c k g r o u n d
All full-time undergraduates enrolled at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, University of Hawai‘i 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 Fellowships. 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. Fellows are expected to work between six and 15 hours a week during the semester depending on their project. Financial support includes a stipend between $2000 and $4000 per semester (amount subject to change under the discretion of the Associate Director based on the proposed project). Fellows may be eligible for up to $500 additional funds for supplies and/or travel pertinent to their projects.

All full-time undergraduates enrolled at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, University of Hawai‘i Maui College, one of the University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges, and University of Guam are eligible to apply for Traineeships. 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. Trainees enrolled at the Mānoa or Hilo campuses are expected to work at least 5 to 10 hours a week depending on their project, and receive a stipend of $1500 for a semester. Trainees enrolled at one of the University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges or University of Hawai‘i Maui College receive a stipend between $1200 and $1500 for working at least 5 hours per week during the semester. Traineeships are awarded for one semester but may be renewed for a second.

NASA funding of Fellows and Trainees requires U.S. citizenship. Applicants must complete a formal application, submit transcripts and a letter of support from the prospective mentor.

Undergraduate application deadlines are: June 15 for fall semester and December 1 for spring semester.

A p p l i c a t i o n s
Use the application for your campus. These pdf forms are fillable on your computer. Signatures are required prior to submission.

Mānoa and Hilo and Maui: Application for Undergraduate Fellowship.

University of Guam: Application for Undergraduate Fellowship.

University of Hawai‘i WH-1 Statement of Citizenship and Federal Tax Status.

Mānoa and Hilo and Maui: Application for Undergraduate Traineeship.

Community Colleges: Application for Undergraduate Traineeship.

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 hsgc@spacegrant.hawaii.edu.

Additional Information
Current NASA Strategic Plan (64-page .pdf document released in February, 2018.)

Listing of NASA and space-related resources

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program at the University of Hawai‘i

University of Hawai‘i System Common Scholarship Application

Current Fellows and Trainees



Spring 2018 Undergraduate Fellows

University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa:

Morrison-Fogel Dylan Morrison-Fogel, a senior in Mechanical Engineering, is working on the "Optimization of Orbital Transfer Trajectories and Low Thrust Maneuvers," applicable to small satellites. With mentor Dr. Dilmurat Azimov of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dylan will generate numerical solutions and run simulations in an effort to validate the maneuvers, such as orbital transfers and rendezvous and docking, that achieve the most efficient results.
Nguyen Christopher Nguyen, a senior in Information and Computer Sciences, is working with mentor Dr. Norbert Schörghofer of the Planetary Science Institute on big data in "Processing of Lunar Temperature Data using Cloud Computing." Utilizing lunar temperature data from the Diviner instrument on NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Christopher aims to calculate the time-average of a temperature-dependent quantity to find potential sublimation rates in support of NASA's efforts to more accurately map the cold traps of ice on the Moon.
  University of Hawai‘i at Hilo:

Emerson Kenji Emerson, a sophomore Physics and Astronomy double major, is "Studying Chemical-Composition Evolution of the Circumgalactic Gas" with mentor Dr. Kathy Cooksey of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Using stacking analysis on Sloan Digital Sky Survey data of absorption-line spectra of triply ionized carbon and other species in the gas surrounding galaxies, Kenji aims to study the effects and evolution of metal abundances in the large-scale gaseous structure of the universe.
Pruyne Theodore Pruyne, a senior Physics and Astronomy double major, is working with mentor Dr. R. Pierre Martin of the Department of Physics and Astronomy on hyperspectral data from the Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope on Maunakea as part of a large study of star formation and chemical enrichment in nearby spiral galaxies. Theodore is mapping nebular emission lines and studying gas kinematics in his project, "Nebular Physics in the Late-type Galaxy NGC 6822."
Steckler Kyle Steckler, a junior Physics and Astronomy double major, is "Investigating Distant Galaxies with OSIRIS on Keck" using near-infrared spectra obtained from the W. M. Keck Observatory on Maunakea. With mentor Dr. Marianne Takamiya of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Kyle's work with telescope adaptive optics and data reduction and analysis contributes to the understanding of nebular chemical abundances, star formation rates, and evolution of distant galaxies.
Wells Tino Wells, a junior Physics and Astronomy double major, is working on a "Non-parametric Clustering Analysis" of data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. With mentor Dr. Kathy Cooksey of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Tino is using statistical methods on stacked absorption-line systems of multiple ion species in an effort to classify gaseous structures in the cosmos and relate them to galaxy types.

Spring 2018 Undergraduate Trainees

University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa:

Achenbach Mark Achenbach, a senior in Astrophysics, is working on a high energy physics project, developing algorithms to determine fast-neutron particle energy spectra and momentum distributions. With mentor, Dr. Sven Vahsen of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Mark's project is titled "Directional Neutron Spectroscopy via Detection of 3D Nuclear Recoils."
Hon Emma Hon, a sophomore in Geology and Geophysics, is working on "Space Resource Identification and Utilization" with mentor Dr. G. Jeffrey Taylor of the Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology. Using microscopy and imaging to identify the mineralogy and composition of meteorite and lunar samples, Emma is creating a database of materials as potential space-based natural resources and commodities.
Kim Jennifer Kim, a senior in Civil Engineering, is working on a nanophysics and materials science project with mentor Dr. Klaus Sattler of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Jennifer is synthesizing and characterizing foam in her project "Studies of Molecular Storage in Carbon Nanofoam, a Promising Superlight Material for NASA Space Missions."
Young Lee Danielle Young, a sophomore in Mechanical Engineering, is working on "CubeSat Structure Development" with mentor Lance Yoneshige of the Hawai‘i Space Flight Laboratory. Lee Danielle's work supports the Lab's efforts in gaining greater modularity and flexibility in 6U CubeSat–small satellite structural designs for Earth observation and planetary space missions.

[Top of page]

Former Fellows and Trainees


Archive of Former Undergraduate Fellows and Trainees and their Final Reports
Fall 2017 | Spring 2017 | Fall 2016 | Spring 2016 | Fall 2015 | Spring 2015 | Fall 2014 | Spring 2014 | Fall 2013 | Spring 2013 | Fall 2012 | Spring 2012 | Fall 2011 | Spring 2011 | Fall 2010 | Spring 2010 | Fall 2009 | Spring 2009 | Fall 2008 | Spring 2008 | Fall 2007 | Spring 2007 | Fall 2006 | Spring 2006 | Fall 2005 | Spring 2005 | Fall 2004 | Spring 2004 | Fall 2003 | Spring 2003 | Fall 2002 | Spring 2002 | Fall 2001 | Spring 2001 | Fall 2000 | Spring 2000 | Fall 1999 | Spring 1999 | Fall 1998 | Spring 1998 | Fall 1997 | Spring 1997 | Fall 1996 | Spring 1996 | Fall 1995 | Spring 1995 | Fall 1994 | Spring 1994 | Fall 1993 | Spring 1993 | Fall 1992 | Spring 1992 | Fall 1991 | Spring 1991 | Fall 1990 |

For Mentors

General Guidelines
    Serving as a mentor for an undergraduate Space Grant fellow is one of the most effective educational activities a researcher or faculty member can do. Mentoring a student in his or her research 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 research 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.

Research Ohana. 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 fellow 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 fellows, 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 Connection. 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 renewals, giving talks at our undergraduate fellowship symposium, and preparing their final reports.

Student's time commitment. Please remember that our fellows 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 their fellow does not neglect his or her other school work as they become engrossed in their research project!

Laboratory duties. Our fellows are doing research 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 Space Grant fellows are treated as researchers, not non-technical employees.

[Top of page]

Hawaii Space Grant homepage link

Communications: Linda Martel
Updated: May 17, 2018.