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Pathfinder Fellowships

Travel Grants to Support Multisite or Multidisciplinary Water Science Research
The CUAHSI Pathfinder Fellowship program provides travel funds to graduate students in water science to make an extended trip to conduct and enhance their research. Fellowships are awarded to cover travel costs up to a maximum of $5000.
Important Dates for the 2013 Pathfinder Fellowship Program
Applications closed October 18, 2013
Notification of recipients December, 2013
Funds will be available starting February 1, 2014 
Travel must be completed by January 31, 2015

            View 2012 Pathfinder Fellow
Ashley Bandy, University of Kentucky
Salli Dymond, University of Minnesota
Christian Guzman, Cornell University
Scott Jasechko, University of New Mexico
Alia Khan, University of Colorado-Boulder
John Mioduszewski, Rutgers University
Jackson Webster, University of Colorado-Boulder
General Information on the Fellowship
Graduate training in water science often focuses on a single field site, analytical or modeling approach. To assist graduate students in enhancing their research program by moving beyond this "one site, one view" approach, CUAHSI will provide travel support for graduate students to make an extended visit (ca. 1 – 3 months) to broaden their research. Travel may be to an additional field site to conduct comparative research, to collaborate with a research group using alternate approaches or modeling methods, or to work with researchers on adding an interdisciplinary dimension to a water science research project.

CUAHSI encourages applicants from across the broad range of water science. Preference is given to students advanced enough in their graduate studies to conduct substantive research during the travel period, and to research plans that clearly demonstrate how the travel and collaboration substantially enhances and broadens the student's current research
Examples of Previous Fellowships
Some examples of the types of projects that the Pathfinder Fellowships have supported in the past are:
Travel to conduct experiments at a site fundamentally different than the fellow's own home research site (an "unrestored" stream vs. a restored stream) to test two different measurement techniques and better understand the impact of stream restoration projects.
Travel to conduct complementary field research and to collect data to better understand global environmental conditions (eg, the study of black carbon in the Arctic as compared to the Antarctic).

• Travel to an experimental watershed for fellow who was using the data being collected and developing a model for the watershed. Travel provided the opportunity to see where field data was being collected and to work directly with the field scientists collecting the data she was using in her model
• Travel to another university to conduct experiments to test hypotheses related to the fellow's thesis work using a sediment lab and equipment not available at his home university, and to work with an expert on sediment transport.

General Conditions and Requirements of the Award
Eligibility. Graduate students enrolled in either Masters or PhD programs are eligible to apply. However, to date all recipients have been at the PhD-student level. Past selection committees have felt that the level and amount of research required for a successful application is generally PhD level research. Masters students are encouraged to contact CUAHSI program staff to discuss their proposed project before submitting an application.

Recipients must be enrolled in a graduate program at a US University. International students studying at a US University are eligible, but students enrolled in a non-US institution are not.

General Conditions. Funds are available for travel reimbursement for the Awardee only. Fellowship funds may not be used to purchase supplies or equipment, or to support travel by others (e.g. advisors or other project personnel).

Support for this Fellowship will be provided on a reimbursement basis in accordance with CUAHSI Travel Policy. One-third (1/3) of the budgeted funds may be requested as an advance to cover large initial expenses. Recipients will also be required to submit a final report documenting effort and significant outcomes of the sponsored activities to receive full reimbursement. View CUAHSI's Travel Policy [PDF]. 

Final report. Recipients will also be required to submit a final report documenting effort and significant outcomes of the sponsored activities to receive full reimbursement.

Testimonials from Previous Awardees
My CUAHSI Pathfinder-funded trip to the University of Aberdeen was an amazing learning experience as a PhD candidate in the later stages of my degree. The opportunity to pick up and move in with another research group for an extended visit was quite stimulating from both professional and personal perspectives. The skills I learned and relationships I developed are certainly an incredible asset to my graduate experience and future career.

Cody Hale, 2009 Pathfinder Fellow, traveled to the Northern Rivers Institute (NRI- www.abdn.ac.uk/nri/) at the University of Aberdeen in Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

This project allowed me to lead a hydrological investigation at a new field site, that would not have been accessible to me without the support of CUAHSI's Pathfinder Fellowship program, that has enhanced my leadership and hydrological skillset as well as my overall PhD experience and education.

Scott Jasechko, 2012 Pathfinder recipient, traveled to Uganda