Prospective ISU students


Participation Options:


MS and Ph.D. students are eligible for multiple levels of participation in the DataFEWSion Graduate Traineeship.

MS & Ph.D. students

  • Certificate only (complete the first application)
  • Traineeship (complete the application and once approved sign contract for participation)
  • Open to domestic or international students

Ph.D. students

  • One year assistantships are available on a competitive basis (must complete the application and submit all required documents).
  • Assistantship benefits are $34,000/year plus tuition and health care for 12 months.
  • Since this is an NSF funded project, assistantships are limited to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. (Definition of a permanent resident: someone who has been granted the right to live in the United States indefinitely. Permanent residents are given what’s known as a “green card,” which is a photo ID card that proves their status)
  • Students from diverse backgrounds and those traditionally underrepresented are especially encouraged to apply.


Steps to Applying

Step 1: Apply to the ISU Graduate College

Applicants to the DataFEWSion Graduate Traineeship program must apply to and be admitted by a participating department at Iowa State University. It is recommended to have a faculty advisor selected prior to application to the traineeship program.

See the department websites listed below for further information about graduate programs within the participating departments. Graduate school applications are submitted electronically to the University’s Graduate College. NOTE: If you do not find your program of study listed below, but feel that your research interest intersects with DataFEWSion, please contact us to explore the possibility, at

Step 2: Complete the DataFEWSion Application

Application to the DataFEWSion Graduate Traineeship can be done simultaneously with your graduate application.  In addition to the standard application materials submitted to the Graduate College, interested students must submit an application directly to the DataFEWSion Graduate Traineeship Program.

The online application requires the following items:

Thought pieces

  1. Personal Statement – a description of your research interests, why you would like to participate in the DataFEWSion Traineeship, and any unique perspective or point of view you feel you would bring to the program (4000 character limit, including spaces, approximately 600 words). NOTE: If your transcripts do not display strong quantitative courses, please provide summary information on your quantitative aptitude and skills.
  2. Career Goals – a summary of your future career plans (3000 character limit, including spaces).
  3. Diversity & Inclusion – A statement of your experiences promoting diversity and inclusion – these could include advocacy, support, study, and experience with individuals and issues outside your personal background (3000 character limit, including spaces).  Inside Higher Education website has an excellent article on how to write a diversity statement.  The link is here

Our emphasis on Diversity and Inclusivity reflect

  • NSF’s Vision: To cultivate an inclusive culture and work environment that reflects the diversity of our increasingly global community.
  • ISU’s Vision: Our aim is to promote critical thinking, the responsible management of people, professional skills development, innovation in research, teaching, and learning, and the constructive expression of divergent viewpoints.


Required documents (assistantship only)

  1. Letter of support from ISU major professor
  2. Transcripts
  3. Resume/CV

Follow this link to the rubric used in evaluating applications.

Step 3: Deadlines

Traineeship only

Applications will be reviewed and positions offered monthly starting February 1st, until the slots are full for the next academic year.


The deadline for applications is February 1st of each year.  Initial assistantship offers will be made by March 15th.  Applications submitted after February 1st will be considered on a space-available basis.

Step 4: Acceptance of Participation Agreement

If you are selected you will be notified with the final step to complete and sign the participation agreement with your major professor.