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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Frey Sustainability Research Fellowship

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Applications due April 5th, 2019

The purpose of this fellowship is to encourage student interest in seeking sustainable practices including effects on the biota, carbon footprint reduction, and/or sustainable energy practices. This fellowship should be interpreted broadly to include students in all disciplines within the College of Science, Engineering and Technology.

The maximum award is $3,000 for student salary plus $500 for supplies and $500 for a faculty mentor (maximum total award $4,000)

Dr. John and Mrs. Anne Frey
Mrs. Anne & Dr. John Frey

Eligibility Reqirements 

  • To be eligible to apply for the Frey Fellowship, you must be a declared and admitted major in a CSET program, be in good academic standing, and have an anticipated graduation date of spring 2020 or later.
  • The intent of the fellowship is to allow a student to build on existing classroom and/or personal experiences and interests. The research project must be independent of any existing program or competition requirement.
  • Team projects are not eligible.
  • Funding support will cease if you are no longer in good academic standing.

Application Process and Requirements

The application is completed in the format of a formal written proposal not to exceed four (4) pages using 12-point font. 

Your first step will be to identify a faculty member with whom you can work. Your faculty mentor will serve in an advisory role in the development of your proposal and, if you are selected for the Fellowship, in the execution of your project. 

The next step is to develop your project idea. A breadth of potential topics is designed to assure that students of all departments in the college can participate. The idea can come from either the student or the advisor, but the work is to be performed by the student. The following list gives some ideas of sample projects, but is not meant to be all-inclusive.

  • Effects of climate change on the biota (either ecologically or physiologically)
  • Innovative conservation methodologies
  • Modeling climate change dynamics
  • Development/applications of sustainable/renewable energy technologies
  • Mathematical applications associated with sustainability
  • Innovative green construction concepts
  • Conservation innovation
  • Health and welfare of earth and inhabitants

Important Questions to Ask Yourself Before Drafting Your Proposal

While you aren't expected to answer the following questions in your proposal, it will be helpful for you to consider them while writing your proposal.

  • What fascinates you about your research area?
  • What strengths do you have that make you a qualified candidate for this Fellowship?
  • What unique characteristics and leadership skills and do you bring to your chosen field?
  • How will receiving the Frey Fellowship contribute to your future academic and career goals?
  • What applicable experience do you have?
  • For each experience, what were the key questions, methodology, findings, and conclusions?
  • Did you work in a team and/or independently?
  • How did you assist in the analysis of results?

General Suggestions

  • Pay careful attention to the application requirements and preparation.
  • Note the application deadline of Friday, March 15th 2019 at 12:00 PM (noon).
  • Do not wait until the last minute to prepare and submit your application materials.
  • Allow yourself adequate time to review your entire application before you submit it.
  • Ms. Ginny Walters, assistant director for the Honors Program, is the university's fellowship coordinator, and is available to assist you in reviewing/strengthening your application materials. She can be reached by email or phone (507-389-1262). Please consider taking advantage of this valuable service.
  • Save a copy of your application.

Proposal Contents Must Include

  • A cover page
  • Introduction: A concise statement including:
    • Purpose and major objectives of the proposed research project and what specifically fascinates you about this project.
    • Literature citations providing a scientific foundation for the proposed project.
    • How this project will contribute to the advancement of knowledge in climate change and sustainable pathways.
  • Narrative: A detailed description of how you will execute the project to include:
    • Methods/design section
    • Description of expected outcome
  • Budget: Please plan your budget carefully. You are allocated $500 for expenses. Allowable costs fall into the general categories of supplies, equipment, copying/printing, and postage. (The department or college may assist in providing the equipment and some supplies.) Include the following:
    • Itemized list of expenses needed to complete the project.
    • Area of support provided by the department, the College, and/or other external sources.

Project Timetable

This fellowship is intentionally flexible in nature. The fellowship will be awarded during the spring 2019 semester. A final project plan is to be developed during the spring semester, with a brief report submitted to indicate the planned schedule for project delivery. Project efforts may begin either summer 2019 (if desired by the student and faculty mentor) or may begin in fall 2019. However, the intent would be to have advanced adequately in the project to be able to present the work at the 2020 Undergraduate Research Conference* in spring 2020. Funds will be dispensed over the period of time for which project efforts are performed.

What to Include with Your Application

  • Signed proposal
  • Proof of mentor/departmental support (signatures of faculty mentor and department chair)
  • Detailed budget
  • Current unofficial MSU transcript
  • Current MSU degree audit report (DARS) (If you are a transfer student)

Submit your application to the CSET Advising Center (Trafton C125) by 4:00 pm on Friday April 5, 2019.

Dissemination of Project Results: You must present your project at the Undergraduate Research Symposium spring semester. A written copy of the presentation (poster session or paper session) must be submitted jointly to Dr. and Mrs. Frey, and to the dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at the time of the Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Intellectual Property: Any intellectual property derived from the Fellowship will be governed by Minnesota State System intellectual property guidelines

Amy Nguyen – 2015 Frey Fellow

Amy Nugyen
Amy Nguyen, 2015 Frey Fellow

Amy Nguyen is the current Frey Fellow, and her research focuses on how to efficiently increase methane production by using high strength wastewater. Factors to stabilize the anaerobic digestion process for high strength wastes will also be analyzed as a secondary hypothesis.

Nguyen found out about the Frey Fellowship from Dr. Stephen Druschel, professor of civil engineering. She worked with him over the summer on several local environmental enginering projects.

Nguyen recommends that anyone who is interested should give this excellent opportunity a try.

"My advice for all the students who want to pursue this opportunity is if you have a good research idea, always give it a try! You don't know until you try. The fellowship is created for you. It is a good way to present your idea and get feedback. It is also a great way to learn and develop your research skill. Supportive professors and faculties are always there to help with the application procedure." -Amy Nguyen