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Tibor T. Polgar Fellowship

Our 2019 Tibor T. Polgar Fellows with their advisors after presenting their findings at the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies on Wednesday, August 21, 2019.

Applications for the Tibor T. Polgar Fellowships are due February 10, 2020.

The Tibor T. Polgar Fellowship program is a student research program conducted through the Hudson River Foundation in cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Named in honor of the late Dr. Tibor T. Polgar, a major contributor to the early development of the Foundation, this program provides a summertime grant ($5,000 for each fellowship) and research funds (up to $1,500) for eight college students (undergraduate and graduate) to conduct research on the Hudson River.

The objectives of the program are to gather important information on all aspects of the River and to train students in conducting scientific studies and public policy research.

Read below for more information about application instructions.

The Hudson River Foundation and the NYS DEC awarded eight Polgar Fellowships in 2019.

Use of Gadolinium to Track Sewage Effluent Through the Poughkeepsie, New York Water System – Matthew Badia, Marist College
Is Sea Level Rise Altering Wetland Hydrology in Hudson River Valley Tidal Marshes? – Sophia Courtney, Drexel University
Tidal Marsh Development and Sediment Dynamics at Vanderburgh Cove, Rhinebeck NY – Waverly Lau, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Assessment of Distribution and Ecological Impacts of Invasive Freshwater Jellyfish, Craspedacusta sowerbii, in the Hudson River Basin, NY – Jacob Moore, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Assessing the Potential for Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in the Hudson River: Spatial Abundance of Cyanobacteria and Their Abiotic Controls – Ellie Petraccione, Marist College
Pharmaceutical Transport and Transformation in Water Chestnut (Trapa) Beds of the Hudson River System – Cami Plum, Monash University
Spectroscopic Characterization & Quantification of Microplastics in the Hudson – Karli Sipps, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Studying the Effect of Salinity and Tide on the Fecal Bacteria Transport Within the Hudson River Estuary Sediments – Dong Zhang, Stevens Institute of Technology

Application Procedures

Applications for a Polgar Fellowship should include:

  • A letter of interest in the program;
  • A short description (4-6 pages) of the research project, including a statement of its significance;
  • A timetable for completion of the research (maximum of one summer season);
  • An estimate of the cost of supplies, travel, etc. (up to $1,500);
  • A letter of support from the student’s advisor, which can be submitted separately (indicating not only the qualification of the student, but also the time and resources that the advisor is willing to commit to their project); and
  • The applicant’s résumé.


Because of the training and educational aspects of this program, each potential fellow must be sponsored by a primary advisor. The advisor must be willing to commit sufficient time for supervision of the research, to review fellow’s final written report, and to attend the orientation and final report meetings with their students. Advisors will receive a stipend of $500.

To be eligible, applicants must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program, or accepted into a graduate program for the following fall. Both undergraduate and early career graduate students may apply. Projects must be designed to be completed during one summer season.

Application Submission

Applications, in electronic PDF format, for Polgar Fellowships must be received by the Foundation by 5:00 pm, Monday, February 10, 2020. The electronic copy of the application should be sent in one PDF file to info@hudsonriver.org. with the subject heading “Polgar Proposal Submittal.” One original copy, postmarked no later than Monday, February 10, 2020, must be sent to:
Polgar Fellowship Committee
Hudson River Foundation
17 Battery Place, Suite 915
New York, NY 10004.

If you have questions, or if you wish to discuss research ideas or to acquire copies of previous Polgar Fellowship Program annual reports, contact Helena Andreyko at 212-483-7667.

Successful applicants will be notified of their fellowship awards by early April 2020.

Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve

Since 1985, the Polgar Fellowship program has produced a large body of research relevant to the Hudson River watershed, with a concentration on the four marshes of the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve (Stockport Flats, the Tivoli Bays, Iona Island Marsh, and Piermont Marsh), compiled in the annual Polgar Fellowship reports published by the Foundation. Anyone interested in obtaining this material in order to plan projects building on the work of previous Polgar fellowships or in discussing potential research topics should contact the Foundation.