Campus Community Health • HEERF I, II & III

NRT-NSF Fellowship

EngineeringNRT-NSF Fellowship 

A great opportunity exists for our students to participate in an NSF Fellowship that allows the participants to make a positive difference in the lives of others.


The Engendering the Spirit of Gadugi at the Food-Energy-Water (FEW) Nexus program is a National Science Foundation Research Traineeship program that provides a comprehensive and culturally appropriate mentoring approach for students interested in investigating FEW  Nexus challenges as part of their M.S. and Ph.D. programs at Tennessee Technological University. 

The mentorship team will work with the NRT-NSF fellows to reach their academic and research goals with their leading advisor as well as facilitate the completion of the FEW-Nexus focused program of study. Immersive experiences in partnering communities and innovative Foundry-guided classes that integrate cultural, sociopolitical, and historical knowledge influences FEW challenges will form the foundation for the fellowship experience. All fellows will participate in immersive research experiences with partnering communities as part of their training and will also have optional internship opportunities with a diverse range of tribal, industrial, federal, and state organizations to benefit professional development.


  • Mission

    The Engendering the Spirit of Gadugi (a Cherokee word meaning ‘working together’) at the Food-Energy-Water (FEW) Nexus program  will transform graduate education programs in the STEM fields at Tennessee Technological University (TN Tech) with National Science Foundation support [Award No. 2152218]. This program provides funded graduate fellowships to eligible M.S. and Ph.D. students who will become the next generation of holistic STEM professionals using innovation-driven learning and collaborative strategies to address complex FEW Nexus challenges. The vision is to enable graduate students to identify a problem at the intersection of food, energy and water areas that they want to help solve in partnership with rural, Appalachian or Cherokee communities. In addition to the opportunity to partner with those communities and learn from their expertise while fulfilling their degree requirements, students will also be acquiring and transferring skills associated with problem identification and problem solving while working on complex, societal challenges.

  • Description

    The Engendering the Spirit of Gadugi at the Food-Energy-Water (FEW)-Nexus program is a graduate level program designed to promote a collaborative approach to the training of a socially and culturally responsible holistic style-professional, interested in applying technical engineering and science principles to complex FEW Nexus  challenges. Partnering with key community leaders, including the Cherokee Nation, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Appalachian communities, and local rural areas, the program offers students an inclusive and immersive learning experience that strengthens students’ ability to solve complex FEW problems through a rich understanding of cultural, social, and scientific knowledge. Using the Foundry model, an innovation-driven learning platform, students will leverage core knowledge from their key scientific concentrations and gain interdisciplinary understandings in real-world applications and collaborative experiences, supported by both academic and community mentors. 

  • Eligibility

    Applicants can be prospective students who would first apply to a graduate degree program for admission before applying for a fellowship. Current students at TNTech who are interested in the program can also apply but will need to confirm their eligibility with the Program Coordinator. 

  • Click Here to Apply

    To apply for the fellowship, click on the NRT-NSF Fellowship application.

  • Contact

    For more information on the fellowship, contact the program coordinator at 931-372-____ or email _______________.


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