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February 2008

2008 SBI Graduate Fellowships

New for 2008! The SBI will support 10 to 15 graduate fellowships of $5000 each for students entering OSU this fall. The fellowship can be used throughout the 2008-2009 academic year. The program’s intent is to help attract highly qualified graduate students interested in subsurface biosphere research by augmenting financial offers such as teaching assistantships and graduate research assistantships from departments and colleges. Candidates nominated prior to February 15, 2008, will be given first priority. For more infomation, please see


2008 SBI Undergraduate Internships

Do you know any undergraduates who would enjoy working on a summer project related to the subsurface biosphere? Please encourage them to apply for an SBI internship. SBI will support up to 15 interns this summer with the goal of stimulating interest in the subsurface biosphere and encouraging undergraduates to pursue graduate school. The program focuses on, but is not limited to, under-represented minority and women students. The SBI will support monthly hourly costs for each intern of up to $1000/month and $3000 total. This support can be augmented with research funds from the intern's faculty mentor. Applications will be reviewed on receipt. Approval is contingent on the availability of a faculty mentor and a suitable research project. Applicants are encouraged to seek out their own faculty mentor (see the SBI faculty directory) and to apply early because of the limited number of internships available. For more information please see


New Outreach Programs for 2008-2009?

For 2008-2009 the SBI is considering supporting students in three outreach programs: the SBI Summer Internship Program, the COAS-UHC Research Experiences for Undergraduates, and the Apprenticeships in Science and Engineering Program for High School Students. For planning purposes we need know how many SBI faculty members would consider mentoring students in one or more of these programs. If you are on the SBI faculty email list, you should have received a quick email survey about your interests - please respond. If you did not receive an email survey but would like to participate as an SBI mentor in one of these programs, please email


Upcoming Events

Wednesday, February 27th, 109 Memorial Union. OSU Water Resources Graduate Program Open House. The event will include faculty presentations, a student poster session, and films from the IWW Water Film Series. It is intended for prospective students, the academic community, alumni, the WRGP external advisory board and potential employers. Graduate students both within and outside the program are invited to participate in the poster session and compete for a $100 prize. Contact Mary Santelmann for more information.

Thursday, February 28th, 4:00 p.m. on the PSU campus, Science Bldg. 2, Rm. 247. IGERT Earth's Subsurface Biosphere Seminar. Dr. Diana E. Northrup, Visiting Associate Professor of Biology, University of New Mexico (read about her on this NOVA link).

Link to a calendar of other related events...


Funding Opportunities for Students

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Hollings Undergraduate Scholarships - This program is designed to increase undergraduate training in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology, and education and foster multidisciplinary training opportunities. It provides up to $8000 of tuition assistance for two years and a summer internship. Applications due February 22, 2008.

Nation Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship - This program provides a unique educational experience to students enrolled in graduate programs in fields related to marine or Great Lakes studies. The program matches highly qualified graduate students with hosts in the legislative branch, the executive branch, or appropriate associations and institutions located in the Washington, D.C. area. Recipients spend one year working on substantive national policy issues related to marine issues; a stipend is provided. Applications due: February 28, 2008.

National Water Research Institute Fellowships - Fellowships of up to $10,000 a year support master's or doctoral graduate research related to water treatment technologies, water quality, water environmental chemistry, water policy and economics, public health and risk assessment, water resources management. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2008.

OSU Undergraduate Research, Innovation, Scholarship & Creativity Summer Grants - The URISC Fund is intended to enable undergraduate students to initiate a scholarly relationship with faculty early in their academic careers. Awards are made to support scholarly, creative, and research activities and can support student wages, travel and some other expenses. For the summer program, the Research Office will provide 60% of the total budget request to a maximum of $1,800. Proposals due Monday, March 3, 2008.


Funding Opportunities for Faculty

NSF Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET) - Environmental Sustainability - This program supports engineering research that seeks to balance society’s need to provide ecological protection and maintain stable economic conditions. Research is encouraged to advance the next generation of water and wastewater treatment that will decrease material and energy use, consider new paradigms for delivery of services, and promote longer life for engineered systems. Other activities of interest include:

  • Advancing engineering methods to promote smart growth strategies,
  • Integrating economic development and protection of natural resources,
  • Regenerating ecological functions of degraded environments,
  • Understanding how large complex environmental systems behave, and
  • Developing effective principles for adaptive management of such systems.

Proposals due March 1, 2008.

OSU Research Equipment Reserve Fund - RERF may be used to acquire, repair, renovate, or improve equipment directly used for research. The equipment may be inventoried capital equipment =>$5,000 per unit, fabricated capitalized equipment, or minor equipment costing less than $5,000 per unit which lasts at least two years. Award amounts vary. Each application must show at least 20% cost sharing from the department, college, or other funds. The Research Office has budgeted approximately $125,000 for the 2007-08 Spring solicitation. Proposals due Monday, March 17, 2008.

DOE Environmental Remediation Science Program - The ERSP portfolio maintains a diverse suite of projects ranging from molecular-scale science to field-scale investigations. The ultimate goal of the ERSP is to provide the DOE with field-scale descriptions of subsurface processes affecting contaminant transport or transformation. Of the major challenges that remain, one of the most important is the linking of molecular-scale processes to larger scale processes and ultimately, to processes occurring at the field-scale. Proposals may request up to $450,000/year for three years. Full proposals due: March 26, 2008.

NSF Communicating Research to Public Audiences - Requests for up to $75,000 will be considered to support projects that communicate to public audiences the process and results of current research that is being supported by any NSF directorate through informal science education activities, such as media presentations, exhibits, or youth-based activities. The purpose of these efforts is to disseminate research results, research in progress, or research methods. Proposals may be submitted at anytime, but at least six months prior to anticipated start date. The Principal Investigator must have an active NSF-supported research grant. Proposals accepted at any time but at least six months prior to the anticipated starting date of the proposed project. 

Don't forget that the SBI has funding available for proposal development and maintains a list of external grant opportunities related to the subsurface biosphere.

This newsletter is distributed by OSU's Subsurface Biosphere Initiative - an interdisciplinary consortium of faculty and students who share interests in underground ecosystems. The newsletter is distributed through the SBI email lists. To subscribe or unsubscribe, go to Questions, comments and newsletter topics may be sent to the Newsletters are also available on the Web at