About the Opportunity

The Center for Research and Fellowships at Villanova University is proud to announce a unique opportunity for LSAMP students!

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has provided funds to support the professional development of students in selected LSAMP programs, increasing their competitiveness for such national fellowships such as the NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).

This opportunity is best suited for LSAMP students who are:

  1. Pursuing an advanced degree in a STEM discipline (but not medical or dental school; engineering fields are preferred).
  2. Potentially pursuing a faculty career.

And are, in Fall 2020: 

  1. undergraduate Juniors who plan to apply to graduate school in STEM, 
  2. undergraduate Seniors applying to graduate school in STEM, 
  3. first-year Master’s students who plan to apply for a PhD program in STEM, or
  4. first-year PhD students in a STEM program who do not already have Master’s degrees 


About the Boot Camp

The NSF/STEM Fellowships Boot Camp is an interactive workshop series delivered by a team of experts from Villanova University and the University of Notre Dame, headed by Dr. Michael T. Westrate. Through similar Boot Camps each of the last five years, Dr. Westrate and his team have assisted over 500 student applicants to major national awards. Of those applicants, more than 100 won the prestigious NSF GRFP award or received Honorable Mention, and over 200 others won similar awards (e.g. Fulbright). The program will consist of 20 hours of interactive workshop sessions, and will cover everything from finding fellowship opportunities to leveraging fellowship wins with graduate school admissions. Topics include: 

  • solid research plan design,
  • personal statements and “hooks,” 
  • how to effectively ask for recommendation letters, 
  • and more.

This Boot Camp is part of a larger study examining the effects of information delivery systems and one-on-one consultations on students’ application and success rates.


If you have any questions or concerns about the Boot Camp or the NSF-sponsored study, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Michael Westrate (; 610-519-5928) or the CRF main office (; 610-519-8803).


The Institute for Teaching and Mentoring

The Institute for Teaching and Mentoring, sponsored by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) State Doctoral Scholars Program, is a four-day meeting of over 1,000 minority PhD scholars and over 150 faculty mentors from across the country, as well as dozens of recruiters from a wide range of companies and federal agencies. This event provides a forum for students and faculty mentors to discuss issues critical to success at the doctoral level, and to increase a graduate student’s skills, knowledge, and satisfaction.

Contact Information

Center for Research and Fellowships
Garey Hall 200 (top floor) 
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: 610-519-8803
Fax: 610-519-6623

Michael Westrate
Director, Center for Research and Fellowships & Presidential Scholars Program

Catherine Stecyk
Associate Director, Center for Research and Fellowships

Chelsea Benincasa
Assistant Director, Center for Research and Fellowships & Presidential Scholars Program

Kelsey Fenner
Assistant Director, Center for Research and Fellowships

Sage Milo
Postdoctoral Scholar, Center for Research and Fellowships

Denise Caramanico
Office Coordinator (Part Time), Center for Research and Fellowships