Melissa Davis wrapping up first year as a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

HPMI Researcher Melissa Ann Davis is wrapping up her first academic year as a Fellow for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program. The Fellowship period is up to 5 years.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.

Melissa is working with her advisor, Dr. Zhibin Yu, developing a new type of light-emitting diode, or LED, using an organic-inorganic hybrid that could lead to cheaper, brighter and mass produced lights and displays in the future. The work has advanced into developing single-layer and highly flexible LEDs to develop affordable, lightweight and ultrathin phototherapeutic products.

After receiving her undergraduate degree from George Mason University, Melissa transferred to Florida State University to attend graduate school at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Program. She had earlier spent the summer with HPMI while participating with the NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates program.

As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers. The reputation of the GRFP follows recipients and often helps them become life-long leaders that contribute significantly to both scientific innovation and teaching. Past fellows include numerous Nobel Prize winners, U.S. Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, Google founder, Sergey Brin and Freakonomics co-author, Steven Levitt.

Fellows share in the prestige and opportunities that become available when they are selected. Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution), opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.

NSF Fellows are anticipated to become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering. These individuals are crucial to maintaining and advancing the nation's technological infrastructure and national security as well as contributing to the economic well-being of society at large.