The deadline for 2024 Tibor T. Polgar Undergraduate Fellowship Applications is Monday, March 4, 2024.
The Tibor T. Polgar Fellowship program is a student research program of the Hudson River Foundation (HRF) conducted in cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Named in honor of Dr. Tibor T. Polgar, a major participant in the early planning and development of the Foundation, this program provides a summer grant ($5,500 for each fellowship) and research funds (up to $1,500) for up to eight undergraduate students to conduct research on the Hudson River, under the guidance of a faculty mentor (mentors to receive a $1,000 honorarium).
Polgar Fellowships are open to undergraduate students only. Students beginning their junior or senior year in the Fall of 2024 are encouraged to apply.
The objective of the program is to enhance opportunities for students to conduct scientific and public policy research with a specific focus on projects studying the Hudson River, its watershed, and the people who live there. A primary goal of the program is to introduce and expose students to the research process through a career-stage appropriate, summer research experience, guided by strong mentoring. The Foundation therefore encourages all interested students, including those with no prior independent research experience, to apply.
The Program encourages applications from:
No prior independent research experience is required.
Application Requirements and Procedures
Applicants must be enrolled in an undergraduate program through the fall of 2024 to qualify for this program. Sophomores attending 2-year colleges must be enrolled in an undergraduate program for the fall semester.
Projects must be relevant to the Hudson River and Watershed but may approach those subjects from a variety of disciplines. Appropriate topics include: studies of the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of the River; or examinations of the social, economic, public policy, and environmental justice issues related to the River and Watershed.
Projects must be designed to be completed no later than September 2024, allowing for submission of the final written report November 2024. Students will be expected to attend an orientation (late May), mid-term progress, and final reports meeting (mid/late August); they are also required to submit a final written report due November 2024, and should be prepared to accept revisions into the following spring.
The Role of the Mentor
Because of the training and educational aspects of this program, each potential fellow must be sponsored by a primary mentor. The mentor must be willing to commit sufficient time for supervision of the research, to review the fellow’s proposal, draft and final reports, and to attend the orientation (late May) and final reports meetings (mid/late August) with their students. Mentors will receive a stipend of $1,000. We ask all prospective mentors to read a brief description of our goals for the Fellowship and a mentor’s responsibilities.. We strongly encourage potential mentors to contact the Foundation prior to the student submitting an application.
HRF is committed to serving the diverse communities of the Hudson River and to facilitating an ongoing and inclusive dialogue with scientists, managers, policy makers, other stakeholders, and the general public to address the environmental and societal challenges facing the community of the Hudson River and Watershed.
We seek to enhance this work by supporting researchers and students, with the unique and varied backgrounds, circumstances, needs, and perspectives that reflect the diversity of our community.
The Hudson River Foundation and the NYS DEC HRNERR awarded six Polgar Fellowships in 2023.
Rashel Caraballo, New Jersey City University: Is Oyster Recruitment to an Artificial Living Shoreline Inhibited by Sessile Organisms Already Present on the Structure ? Supervisor: Allison Fitzgerald
Henry Hua, Cornell University: Can Oysters at a Restoration Site Sustain Themselves? A Genomic Test for Local Recruitment. Supervisor: Matthew Hare
Amy Oblitas-Rojas, SUNY Stony Brook: Trophic Community Structure of American Eels (Anguilla rostrata) and Other Aquatic Species in Two Tributaries of the Hudson River Estuary- The Enderkill and Black Creeks. Supervisors: Dianna Padilla and Christopher Bowser
Nicholas Russell, Queens College, CUNY: Assessing the Ecological Impacts of Combined Sewer Overflows on Hypoxia and Algal Bloom Development in a Eutrophic Urban Waterway: Newtown Creek. Supervisor: Dianne Greenfield
Jiahua Wu, University of California, Los Angeles: Cosmic Dust in Sediments from the Hudson River: Using Sn-rich Extraterrestrial Particles as Regional Stratigraphic Markers. Supervisor: Dallas Abbott
Jack Navin, Marist College: Quantifying Enhanced Hyporheic Exchange Under Low-head Dams and its Influence on In-stream Nutrient Pollution in Hudson River Tributaries. Supervisor: Zion Klos
Brandon Campos, Borough of Manhattan Community College: Remediation of Copper and Zinc Divalent Ions from Synthetic Real Hudson River Waters Using Fruit Wastes. Supervisor: Abel E. Navarro
Copies of previous Polgar Fellowship Program annual reports can be found here.