Two BTP trainees garner 2019 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Congratulations to two Biotechnology Training Program (BTP) trainees who received 2019 Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

  • Katherine Bultman from the Microbiology Doctoral Training Program under BTP mentor Mark Mandel
  • Katherine Senn from the Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB) under BTP mentor Heidi Dvinge
Photo of Katherine Bultman, BTP Trainee
Katherine Bultman, BTP Trainee
Photo of Katherine Senn, BTP Trainee
Katherine Senn, BTP Trainee

The Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding, early-career graduate students who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Awardees are selected based on their potential for significant research achievements that can benefit society. A total of 40 students at UW–Madison received fellowships this year.

“For her graduate work, Kathy has taken on a challenging project about the biochemical and functional genomic differences between transcription factor isoforms,” says Dvinge, Senn’s advisor and BTP mentor. “In addition to being an excellent scientist, she is also a dedicated member of the IPiB outreach team through the program’s Student Faculty Liaison Committee (SFLC). Kathy’s commitment to STEM really embodies the two main criteria for the NSF GRFP, namely intellectual merit and broader impacts.”

Of about 12,000 applicants nationally, 2,050 received awards. A total of 29 UW–Madison students were given honorable mentions in this year’s competition. Eleven UW–Madison alumni who are now at another institution also received awards.

“The number of UW–Madison students who have received this fellowship is a testament to the strong research enterprise here, and the spirit of curiosity that motivates our students to succeed,” said Graduate School Dean William J. Karpus. “With the mentorship they will receive from world-class faculty, and with this support from the National Science Foundation, these students are well-positioned for impactful scholarship at this early stage of their careers.”

In addition to BTP funding, trainees often receive other fellowship support during their graduate careers. Some of the fellowship funding sources include Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowships (WDGF), these NSF fellowships, and the UW–Madison Advanced Opportunity Fellowships (AOF).

To see a list of all UW–Madison students who received NSF fellowships, see here.