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Amy Peterson, PhD, 2011

Jenell Smith
Chemical Engineering
Drexel-Penn Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) 2006-07
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) 2008-11

I am a third year graduate student in chemical engineering. I am currently funded by the NSF GRFP and during my first year I was funded by IGERT. IGERT is a really great fellowship because it includes activities like article discussions, learning how to prepare a CV, and an annual retreat. IGERT and the GRFP have allowed me to pursue research in the development of self-healing polymer composites. I am interested in understanding the relationship between bond formation and mechanical properties for a range of systems so that we can develop methods for healing many types of material failure. The GRFP has allowed me to take classes not at all related to my research and has given me a lot of freedom. I would recommend that everyone that is eligible apply to both of these fellowships. The application process, especially for the GRFP, forces you to develop clear research goals and the comments can be very useful.