Graduate Research Support Announcement

Bratislav Stankovic bstankovic at
Mon Jan 24 09:54:17 EST 2000

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For research out of this world<br>
Graduate Student Research Program in Space Plant Biotechnology and
Genetic Engineering<br>
At the Wisconsin Center for Space Automation and Robotics (WCSAR),
University of Wisconsin-Madison, an opportunity to do ground-based and
space-based microgravity research <br>
Graduate Research Support Announcement<br>
WCSAR invites applications from promising graduate students seeking
fellowship support for research in the following areas: <br>
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Plant Biology<br>
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Engineering in Microgravity<br>
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for Enhanced Biosynthesis of Secondary Compounds<br>
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Automation and Environmental Systems Control<br>
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of Thin Film Sensors <br>
The objective of WCSAR (NASA Commercial Space Center) is to explore and
understand how low-gravity environments affect physical, chemical, and
biochemical processes, and to apply these discoveries to development of
novel technologies for space product development. The microgravity
program in biotechnology includes the investigation of relationships
between gravitational forces and the fundamental processes controlling
plant growth and plant cell culturing. Research in genetic engineering
includes plant transformation in microgravity with the purpose of
producing new transgenic crops.&nbsp; Thin film sensors and related
technologies are designed to detect different gas compositions.&nbsp;
Robotic and automation technologies are developed for the applications in
biotech research.&nbsp; WCSAR’s payloads are scheduled for Shuttle and
International Space Station missions such as STS-101, STS-107, 6A, etc.
The quality of a low-gravity environment depends upon the way it is
created. Several Earth-based freefall mechanisms used to achieve
microgravity are drop tubes, drop towers, and aircraft that make
parabolic flights. Although these mechanisms can create microgravity
conditions, they provide only a few seconds of low gravity. Sounding
rockets provide several minutes of microgravity conditions. While much
may be learned during a few moments in microgravity, studies of slow or
subtle processes that span days, weeks, or months require travel in Earth
orbit. Experiments lasting for about two weeks are possible with the
space shuttle, but longer-duration microgravity research requires a
science laboratory in space - a space station.&nbsp; <br>
The fellowships, which are designed to promote diversity and excellence
in our next generation of researchers, are funded through the agency's
Graduate Student Researchers Program (GSRP). This program will enable
ground-based and space-based microgravity science investigations at the
graduate level.<br>
Fellowship Application Information<br>
NASA initiated the GSRP in 1980 to expand its research ties with the
academic community and to support promising students pursuing advanced
degrees in disciplines related to NASA's mission. Each year, the GSRP
seeks to draw applications from graduate students whose research
interests are compatible with NASA's programs in space science and
aerospace technology. Fellows are selected from a national pool of
graduate students according to a competitive evaluation of their academic
qualifications, proposed research plans, projected use of NASA research
facilities, and value of the proposed research to NASA programs. The
fellowships provide annual stipends of up to $22,000. Awards are for a
one-year term and can be renewable for up to three years based on
satisfactory progress. Applicants must be U.S. citizens to be eligible
for the program, and they must be supervised by a department chair or
faculty adviser. <br>
Inquiries and applications including CV and names of three references
should be submitted to:<br>
Dr. Bratislav Stankovic<br>
University of Wisconsin<br>
Wisconsin Center for Space Automation and Robotics (WCSAR)<br>
2352 Engineering Hall<br>
Madison, WI 53706<br>
Ph. (608) 265-8247<br>
Fax: (608) 262-9458<br>
E-mail: bstankovic at <br>
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