Chemistry professor helps choose students for national research grants

December 05, 2012

Chemistry labHephzibah Kumpaty, a chemistry professor at UW-Whitewater, has been selected to serve for the second time on the National Science Foundation chemistry panel that awards fellowships to graduate students.  

The panel selects outstanding students who receive the foundation's Graduate Research Fellowships to pursue research-based master's and doctoral degrees at U.S. institutions. The panel meets Jan. 9-11 in Washington, D.C., where Kumpaty will have the opportunity to help choose students eligible for this prestigious honor.  

"The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship is a significant achievement for students seeking graduate study," said Kumpaty. "So to be selected to serve on such a panel which awards students to be NSF fellows in chemistry is a great honor."  

The highly competitive awards are given to qualified students majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.  About 2,000 students, chosen from 12,000 applicants, will receive three-year annual stipends of more than $40,000.  

Kumpaty has told her UW-Whitewater students that building an impressive track record with research and publications, along with showing leadership skills, will increase their chances of receiving NSF grants.  

Applications are closed for next year's fellowships, but Kumpaty is encouraging UW-Whitewater students to be prepared for future opportunities.  

"I would like to bring my experience to help UW-Whitewater students aspire for greater heights in terms of mentoring and engaging them in productive undergraduate research," said Kumpaty. "With the proper preparation, they too can be serious contenders for such prestigious fellowships."              

Kumpaty served on this panel two years ago and has also been honored by receiving research grants for undergraduate research.              

She was awarded $146,302 last year by the National Science Foundation and used it to send four UW-Whitewater students to conduct summer research at the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, a prestigious public institution in Hyderabad, India.  The grant is intended to develop global scientists and engineers for the future.  By next year, 12 students from UW-Whitewater will have participated.              

For more information on the research fellowships, visit


Sara Kuhl

Jeff Angileri

Chemistry students travel to India