Recipients

Shannon Burns

Shannon Burns imageShannon Burns
2017 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Honorable Mention

Shannon Burns, originally from Damascus, Maryland, is a proud recipient of the 2017 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Honorable Mention. This award has afforded her the opportunity to conduct research to determine how trace metal concentrations fluctuate during phytoplankton growth in an effort to predict what might happen to these sea critters if the nutrient supply in the environment changes in the future.

Shannon worked closely with USF faculty during the application process. "During my first semester at USF, I took Dr. Mya Breitbart's Professional Development course, College of Marine Science (CMS). We spent the first half of the course learning how to write proposals, which ultimately culminated in my submission of my NSF GRFP proposal in October," she says. "Going through several rounds of re-writing and re-working my proposal really helped me to hone in on what my graduate research would entail and where I wanted to take it in the future."

She attributes her success to a supportive community of scientists, professionals, and peers. "I would like to especially thank my parents, who have never stopped encouraging my passion for science. I would also like to thank all my peers, old mentors, and professors who were kind enough to read over my many proposal drafts and provide critical feedback - synthesizing critiques from people with various backgrounds helped me immensely in putting together a coherent application," says Shannon.

After completion of her graduate degree, Shannon plans to pursue a PhD that integrates research with policy development. Ultimately, she would like to become a lead scientist, consultant, and outreach coordinator for marine resources at a federal agency.

Congratulations to Shannon on winning the 2017 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Honorable Mention!

Interested in graduate fellowship research opportunities? Please contact Dr. Sayandeb Basu: sayandeb@honors.usf.edu.