Von Damm Fellowships

Karen L. Von Damm ‘77 Undergraduate Research Fellowships in Geology & Geophysics

Fellowships are available to Yale undergraduate students doing research in the Department of Geology & Geophysics. Students do not need to major in G&G to be eligible, but the research must be supervised by a faculty member in the G&G Department. Applications should be submitted electronically to the G&G Director of Undergraduate Studies by November 15th for funding commencing the following calendar year. Applications must contain:

1. A brief research proposal (2-3 pages, single-spaced, with references) describing the project’s scientific scope, methods, timeline for work, and anticipated outcomes in the form of a published conference abstract or paper.

2. An itemized budget. Allowable expenses include: (a) hourly wages according to the appropriate job level for research time in New Haven (maximum 10 hours/week during the academic year; maximum 40 hours/week during academic recess; level descriptions and standard Yale wages accessible from the “Student Wage Rates” link available from either the Student or Superviser Control Panel on https://yalestudentjobs.org/, or an earlier document available as an example); (b) laboratory or computing costs; (c) field work travel or subsistence costs. Fellowship grants will typically be in the range of $1000-3000, but applications for as much as $5000 will be considered. The prospective G&G faculty supervisor can assist with assembling the budget.

3. A letter of support from the G&G faculty supervisor, including an assessment of the applicant, the scientific importance of the proposed project, and sources and amounts of additional funding if available or necessary to carry out the research.

Applications will be vetted by a committee of G&G faculty convened by the Director of Undergraduate Studies, with notification by December 31st. Successful applicants are expected to present the results of their work at a G&G student research symposium, typically either the Fall G&G Undergraduate Research Forum (September/October), or the Senior Thesis Presentation Day (April) following completion of the project. Details should be arranged in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Karen L. Von Damm received her BS degree in the Department of Geology & Geophysics in 1977, researching radioactive 210Pb in lacustrine and marine environments. She received a PhD from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Joint Program in Oceanography, and continued her academic career as Professor of Geochemistry at the University of New Hampshire. Her research on the geochemistry of mid-ocean ridge “black smoker” hot springs led to her recognition as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, European Association of Geochemistry, and The Geochemical Society. She was deeply committed to undergraduate education until her untimely death in 2008. The undergraduate research fellowships in her name were made possible by a gift from her estate. In accordance with her wishes, women are particularly encouraged to apply.

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