Graduate Interjurisdictional Research Award Fellowship (GIRAF)

Offered in Partnership by Louisiana Space Grant (LaSPACE) & Louisiana Sea Grant (LSG)

LaSPACE and LSG are excited to announce the launch of the GIRAF Program which provides financial support for up to two graduate students working with faculty mentors on research projects aligned with both NASA/Space Grant’s and NOAA/Sea Grant’s missions. The fellowship requires the use of data from vast archives and remote-sensing capabilities available through the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to address a high-priority research need within Louisiana’s nearshore environs, coastal areas, wetlands, watersheds, and/or human activities in these areas (e.g. aquaculture). Successful proposals must adeptly utilize relevant measurement instruments and/or remote-sensing data sources from NASA, NOAA, and/or other sources that can include, but are not limited to, radiometers, spectroradiometers, satellite sensors, LIDAR, aerial imagery, and other data collected from airplanes, unmanned aerial vehicles, and/or unpiloted submersibles in the execution of the proposed work.

 The special topic focus for the 2023-2024 GIRAF opportunity is Ghost Forest Regional Research (see attached request for applications for more information on this special topics focus). Applicants must be a full-time, enrolled graduate student at an accredited college or university within Louisiana, an affiliate of Louisiana Space Grant, and a citizen of the United States. Please direct any questions to laspace@lsu.edu or mbethe3@lsu.edu with the subject line “GIRAF program.”

Program Summary

    • A GIRAF project should support Louisiana Space and Sea Grants’ goal of strengthening the higher education pipeline in STEM fields required for the future space, earth, coastal, and marine workforce. In particular, our objective is to increase the number of graduates from traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM who pursue careers and advanced graduate studies in these disciplines.
    • We strongly encourage proposals from HBCUs and MSIs and/or from students and Faculty Mentors who can demonstrate how their work and related outreach will benefit underserved and underrepresented communities.
    • A GIRAF project should expose Louisiana STEM students to the full cycle of a research project from proposal writing, through research and analysis, to budget/time management, and final reporting.
    • Proposals must be co-written by the Faculty Mentor and graduate student with a clear plan for the individual student’s research work.
    • Proposals must be signed off on by the Faculty Mentor PI and the Designated Institutional Representative for Sponsored Programs at your institution.
    • A student applicant cannot hold two GIRAF awards concurrently. Consecutive awards are allowable, IF the application explicitly addresses completion of tasks from the previous award, details distinctly new objectives and tasks for the new award, includes a draft of the previous award’s final report, and has NO overlapping period of performance dates for the two awards.
    • Awards are for $10,000 for a 12-month period with no match requirement. This award will be distributed directly to the student in stipend installments after milestones have been met. It is the graduate student’s responsibility to manage their budget and determine if any of the funds will be used to cover fieldwork expenses, conference travel, or materials & supplies.

Proposal Submissions

Apply for the Graduate Interjurisdictional Research Award Fellowship (GIRAF) online at: eSeaGrant by 11:59 p.m. CT Friday, June 23, 2023.

Important Dates:

    • Release Date: Wednesday, May 4, 2023
    • Proposal Due Date: Friday, June 23, 2023
    • Anticipated Award Announcements: July
    • Award Period of Performance: 08/15/2023 – 08/14/2024


Download Link (Word Document): LA Space-Sea GIRAF Application Guidelines 2023-2024
Download Link (PDF Document): LA Space-Sea GIRAF Application Guidelines 2023-2024