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Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Research

Announcement of Opportunity


2024 Scholarships

Applications Open: November 1, 2023
Application Deadline: February 5, 2024
Award Announcement Week: March 29, 2024
Work Period: June 10, 2024, to September 15, 2024*

* Start time for the work period is flexible. All in-person events conclude with the Wisconsin Space Conference.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Research Scholarship Program - Announcement of Opportunity

Haley Siculan, a senior, conducts Summer research at Heckrodt Wetland Reserve July 25, 2023. Phot...


** $4,831 ($4,488 plus payroll tax) stipend– student research fellowship (maximum four (4) students)
On-campus housing at Lawrence University provided (optional)
** Based on availability of funds.


The Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (WSGC) is looking for four (4) full-time undergraduate students from affiliate member institutions majoring in a science, math, or engineering discipline to join the science team of our Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Science Fellows program. Interested students do not need to have experience, a pre-formed team, or an initial idea for a project. Interested students do need a desire to work with other students to conceive of and carry out a scientific mission using UAVs and remote sensing techniques. Some familiarity with GIS and Remote Sensing will be helpful, but not required. Training for FAA107 certification is provided through the program. The WSGC will assemble the team from selected applicants.

Proposal Evaluation

Award winners will be chosen based on the diverse scientific and engineering needs of the team. For consideration, applicants must create a NASA STEM Gateway profile and complete the WSGC UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICHLE RESEARCH SCHOLARSHIP application along with supporting documentation.


The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Student Satellite Initiative is an innovative NASA project that provides students an opportunity to conduct earth observing experiments using remote sensing technologies and techniques. Selected students will form a collaborative team of science, data science, and engineering specialists, whose task will be to design and execute a novel scientific study of the earth’s surface. Students will be expected to define an important science question or set of questions that might be addressed by UAVs equipped with thermal, near-infrared, and color cameras. Students will design the experiments, fly the mission to collect data, analyze the resulting data, and ultimately prepare a paper for inclusion in the annual WSGC proceedings.

Work Period

Students selected for the program will be offered the opportunity to take an FAA Section 107 preparatory course prior to the formal summer research program. If the student successfully passes the exam, the preparatory course and exam fee will be covered by the program. The in-person, team portion of the program begins on approximately June 10, 2024, to August 2024, but the start time is flexible, based on the end of the spring term for each institution. The 10-week summer research will conclude with the Wisconsin Space Conference. The UAV team members will present their results at the Annual Wisconsin Space Conference in August 2024 and submit a paper to the Proceedings of the Wisconsin Space Conference by September 15, 2024.


Meetings of the team will take place at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. Students must be able to provide their own transportation to Appleton. A field vehicle is available for transportation to and from study sites. FAA107 training will take place virtually prior to the start of the summer program.

To Apply:

    (applicants will be required to update profile information annually).
  • CREATE a WSGC account
    (applicants will be required to update profile information annually).
  • Sign into your WSGC account and submit an application/supporting documents to the UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE research scholarship funding program (applicants may apply to multiple funding programs).

Application Requirements:

Applicants who meet the following requirements can apply for the UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE research scholarship funding program:

  • U.S. citizen
  • Enrolled full-time in, admitted to, or applied to any undergraduate program at a WSGC college or university (Students enrolled in a two-year program who declare their plan to be enrolled at a WSGC Affiliate are eligible)
  • At least a sophomore standing as of fall 2023 and must be enrolled through December 2024
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA (Proposals that include a GPA of less than 2.5 will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis)
  • 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)

*NOTE: After the submission deadline, WSGC may request an individual interview via phone or Zoom.

Supporting Materials Required with Application:

  • Letter of Interest
  • Resume
  • 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 undergraduate students attending two- and four-year academic institutions to apply to the UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE RESEARCH SCHOLARSHIP funding program. The Consortium especially encourages applications from members of women, underrepresented communities, persons with disabilities, and those pursuing STEM-related studies supporting NASA Mission Directorates

Award Acceptance Components:

As part of the award acceptance, awardees will be asked to attend the Annual Wisconsin Space Conference in August 2025 and submit the following documents on the WSGC application website under Program Applications/Your Applications:

  • Award Agreement Letter
  • W9 (Carthage College award recipients submit a W4 and I9)
  • One-Paragraph Biography
  • Professional Photo
  • Interim Report
  • 2-3 Project Photos Featuring Awardee
  • Final Report

Complete the following tasks:

  • Office of Education Survey must be completed by December 15, 2024
  • Present Project at the Annual Wisconsin Space Conference in August
  • Submit a Proceeding Paper by Sept. 15 th to the Proceedings of the Wisconsin Space Journal
  • Submit a Student Story


Please direct questions about the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Research Scholarship Program to:

Jeffrey Clark, Ph.D.
Member, WSGC Advisory Council and Institutional Representative
Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium
Phone: 920-832-6733
Fax: 920-832-6962

Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium
Carthage College
2001 Alford Park Drive, Kenosha WI 53140
Phone: 262-551-6054

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