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National Science Foundation Research Trainees Start Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

USD-N3 National Science Foundation Research Trainees The second cohort of National Science Foundation Research Trainees fellows finished its first semester of coursework this fall.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The second cohort of National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Trainees fellows participating in the University of South Dakota Neuroscience, Nanotechnology and Networks program (USD-N3) finished its first semester of coursework this fall.

USD-N3 is an NSF grant that offers novel interdisciplinary training to prepare graduate students for diverse career paths in STEM professions.

Five students, Christa Huber, Eric Sandhurst, Jessica Zylla, Paul Granaas and Tanner Wilson will work on team-based interdisciplinary research projects with faculty in basic biomedical sciences, biology, biomedical engineering and chemistry to understand the function of and develop innovative treatments for the brain. Graduate students in this program will receive training from multiple disciplines, both in classroom and laboratory settings, to develop key interdisciplinary skills.

The USD-N3 students believe the unique interdisciplinary aspect of the program will benefit them academically and professionally.

"I hope to gain a broader perspective through the professional development workshops, learn new research techniques and create lasting relationships with speakers and professionals from a variety of fields," Sandhurst said.

“What I like most about being a fellow is that I'm encouraged to think in new and unfamiliar ways,” added Granaas. “I'm using this program as an opportunity to build a fulfilling career.”

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USD is the largest provider of graduate education in the state of South Dakota, with 78 graduate and professional programs. The mission of the Graduate School is to provide high-quality graduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, education, business, fine arts, law and medicine; to promote excellence in teaching and learning; and to support research and creative scholarship. In partnership with individual degree programs, we accomplish this mission by providing students with excellent academic preparation and extraordinary opportunities for research, creative scholarship, clinical experiences and internships.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News