Elijah High-Altitude Balloon Research Scholarship
Student Satellite Initiatives
Elijah High-Altitude Balloon Research Scholarship Program
Applications Open: December 3, 2021
February 14, 2022 March 14, 2022
Award Announcements: April 1, 2022
Work Period: June 1, 2022 - Sept. 15, 2022
Awards: *$4,000 stipend – student research scholarship (maximum four (4) students)
*$5,000 stipend – student research scholarship team lead (one (1) returning student)
Lodging at the Milwaukee School of Engineering dorms or a commuter parking pass (optional)
* Based on availability of funds.
Purpose: The Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (WSGC) is looking for 4-5 full-time undergraduate students from affiliate member institution majoring in a science or engineering discipline to join the science payload team of our high-altitude balloon project, Elijah. Interested students do not need to have experience, a pre-formed team or an initial idea for a payload project. Interested students do need a desire to work with other students to conceive of and carry out a payload project. WSGC will assemble the team from selected applicants and provide a mentor.
Program: The Student Satellite Initiatives High-Altitude Balloon Research Program is an innovative NASA project that provides students an opportunity to fly science experiments in a near-space environment. Selected students will form a collaborative team of science and engineering specials, whose task will be to design and build a payload to be launched from a high-altitude balloon that will ascend up to 100,000 feet or more. Students will be expected to define an important science question or set of questions that might be addressed by a high-altitude balloon flight; and then with the assistance of mentors, design and build a science-driven payload. Students will design and build the science experiments to fly in this environment; launch their payload; track and chase the balloon as it traverses; retrieve the payload upon landing; and analyze the resulting data. In April 2024, there will be a total eclipse of the sun that will cast its shadow across the central United States. This will form the main theme for the project as the team works on developing experiments and a payload designed to explore the effects of the eclipse. The team lead will assist the Student Satellite Initiatives Associate Director to administer the payload design and launch aspects of the program.
Work period: Students will be payload team members for the period from approximately June 1, 2022, to September 15, 2022. The start time is based on the end of the spring term. Elijah Balloon team members will present their results at the Annual Wisconsin Space Conference to be held at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI, in August 2021
Location: Meetings of the team will take place in either Milwaukee or occasionally in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Students must be able to provide their own transportation.
- Register on the WSGC website (https://spacegrant.carthage.edu/forms/account/login). Applicants will be prompted to update personal information annually.
- Sign in and submit the Grant Application Form (applicants may apply to multiple funding programs) and supporting documents.
Applicants who meet the following requirements can apply for this scholarship by registering and applying online at spacegrant.carthage.edu/about/login:
- U.S. citizen
- At least a Sophomore standing as of Fall 2021 and must be enrolled through December 2022 (Students enrolled in a two-year program who declare their plan to be enrolled at a WSGC Affiliate University at the end of their sophomore year are also eligible to apply)
- Enrolled full-time in, admitted to, or applied to any undergraduate program at a WSGC college or university
- Majoring in a science or engineering discipline
- Minimum 2.5 GPA (Proposals that include a GPA of less than 2.5 will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis)
- A strong interest in the success of the project. Motivation is more important than experience, with self-motivation and ability to complete work with minimal supervision being absolutely critical.
- Completed application online (see Supporting Materials Required with Application below)
- Team lead applicants must have completed an Elijah Balloon Research Scholarship within 24 months or have experience that can demonstrate readiness to perform as the student team lead on this project.
*NOTE: After the submission deadline, WSGC may request an individual interview via phone or Zoom.
Supporting Materials Required with Application:
- Letter of Interest
- Two faculty references (Names, Emails, and Phone Numbers)
See Tools & Tips for more information on how to create business correspondence and a resume.
The Consortium invites applications for the Elijah Balloon Scholarship Program for the 2021-2022 academic year. For consideration, application forms must be complete and be accompanied by supporting documentation. The Consortium especially encourages applications from members of minority groups, women, and persons with disabilities, and from those pursuing interdisciplinary aerospace studies in, but not limited to, engineering, the sciences, architecture, law, business, nursing and medicine. Award winners will be chosen based on academic performance, aerospace-related promise, and the demonstrated interest in pursuing a career in STEM/aerospace. The diverse scientific and engineering needs of the team will also be considered.
Award Acceptance Components: Submit all reports and required documents to the WSGC application website grant management page under Manage Applications/Current Grant Cycle Applications/High Altitude Balloon Payload:
- Award Acceptance Letter
- W9 (Carthage College award recipients submit a W4 and I9)
- Media Release Form
- One-Paragraph Biography
- Professional Photo
- Interim Report
- 2-3 Project Photos (optional 1-minute video) Featuring Awardee w/Project
- Final Report
Complete the following tasks:
- Office of Education Survey must be completed by December 15, 2022
- Present Project at the Annual Wisconsin Space Conference in August
- Submit a Proceeding Paper by Sept. 15th to the Proceedings of the Wisconsin Space Journal
- Submit a Student Story
Please direct questions about the Elijah Balloon Research Scholarship Program to:
William Farrow, Ph.D., P.E.
Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium
Associate Director for Student Satellite Initiatives
Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium
2001 Alford Park Drive, Kenosha WI 53140
This funding opportunity is made available for the pursuit of space-related research and/or activities through the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program: NASA Educational Cooperative Agreement #80NSSC20M0123. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number for this award is 43.008.
All awards are fully competitive awards of opportunity in which applications are reviewed by the WSGC Technical Advisory Panel and other experts as needed. Awards are made by the Assistant Director based on recommendations from the Associate Director.