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Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 Eighth Street, Troy, New York 12180-3590 USA

(518) 276-6310
Fax: (518) 276-6680

Physics, Applied Physics, & Astronomy
Prizes, Awards, and Scholarships

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Undergraduate Awards and Prizes

At Rensselaer  

The G. Howard Carragan Award (Physics Majors Only)
An annual award based on the income from funds contributed by friends and former students of Professor Carragan, the prize is awarded to a senior in the Department of Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy for outstanding scholarship. The Advising and Learning Assistance Center will send a memo in February asking for nominees to be submitted by the end of March. This award is given out at Commencement.

Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize (Seniors and Graduate Students)
The $30,000 Student Prize is awarded to a Rensselaer senior or graduate student who has created or improved a product or process, applied a technology in a new way, redesigned a system or in other ways demonstrated remarkable inventiveness. Award winners gain invaluable exposure to the science, business and investment communities through national press around this award. More information.

Richard Madey '43 Physics Prize  (Physics Majors Only)
This fund, established by Richard Madey ’43, recognizes the need for technically educated people who will serve the betterment of mankind through the “application of science to the common purposes of life”. The income from this fund shall be used to make an award to the undergraduate physics major with the highest grade point average at the end of the junior year. The prize shall consist of a cash award of up to five hundred dollars and a certificate. The names of the prize winners shall be listed on a plaque which shall be displayed prominently in the Department of Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy.

Robert Resnick Award  (Physics Majors Only)
Awarded to an undergraduate student majoring in Physics or Applied Physics for Academic Achievement. The Award is given out at the annual Robert Resnick Lecture. The Undergraduate Program Committee will select the Resnick awardee.

Founders Award of Excellence  (Campus-Wide Competition)
The Founders Award of Excellence was established in 1994 to honor students who embody qualities of creativity, discovery, leadership, and the values of pride and responsibility at Rensselaer . We nominate seniors as well as graduate students who have a high GPA and leadership qualities. The nomination form must be filled out along with a letter of nomination that includes the student’s accomplishments with supporting material. All paperwork must be turned in to the Dean’s Office.  The award consists of a special certificate, recognition by faculty, staff, and peers at the Honors Convocation ceremony held in the beginning of November, and a $100 cash prize. More information.

RAA Student Community Service Award  (Campus-Wide Competition)
Created in 2002, the RAA Student Community Service Award recognizes an individual student or fraternity/sorority for their respective involvement with community service and philanthropic activities in the local community. The award is a plaque given to the student with a $1,000 donation in the name of the recipient to the charity of their choice. The deadline for nominations is in the middle of December. With any questions, Contact Geoff Seber at (518) 276-2324 or More information.

Nadia Trinkala Service Award ’12 (Undergraduate and Graduate Student)
The Nadia Trinkala Service Award is given to a Physics or Applied Physics undergraduate or graduate student who has made significant contributions to the community and quality of life at Rensselaer and in City of Troy.

The J. Lawrence and Gertrude Katz Award in Physics (Graduating Seniors)
Established in 2001, by J. Lawrence and Gertrude Katz, this award is presented to the student selected as the outstanding graduating senior receiving a Bachelor of Science in Physics.


APS Undergraduate Physics Apker Award

Fulbright Program

USAA National Collegiate Physics Sciences Awards

Fellowships, Scholarships and Internships

At Rensselaer  

Undergraduate Research Program (URP) at RPI (Campus-Wide Competition)
Kim Ellenwood (Undergrad and Continuing Education, Walker Lab, (518)276-2244 is the contact person for URP. You can participate in URP: just for the experience, for credit, or for pay. The application deadline is the third Friday of the semester. The URP form needs to be completed and a written description of the planned research, 500 words. More information.


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