Superfund Research Program

This webpage contains guidelines and background information about the K.C. Donnelly Externship Program for the 2024 fiscal year.

Annual K.C. Donnelly Externship - Promotion of Multidisciplinary Efforts in Graduate and Post-Doctoral Research

What is the K.C. Donnelly Externship?

The Superfund Research Program (SRP) established an award named in honor of K.C. Donnelly, Ph.D., Department Head of Environmental and Occupational Health, Texas A&M University, who passed away on July 1, 2009. Donnelly's research consisted of studying environmental exposure and genotoxicity of complex chemical mixtures. He was also a dedicated mentor to his students and post-doctoral researchers, instilling in them the importance of applying their knowledge and findings to communities exposed to environmental contaminants.

The SRP recognizes a compelling need to promote multidisciplinary research among early investigators (e.g., graduate students/post-doctoral researchers) which includes the recruitment of talented researchers and improving the quality of the educational and training environment. The purpose of these awards is to provide current SRP-funded graduate students/post-doctoral researchers with multidisciplinary opportunities and experiences within other SRP-funded grants, government laboratories (e.g., EPA, ATSDR, NIEHS), or other agencies (state, Tribal).

Examples of these types of externship experiences include:

  • A graduate student performing laboratory research would like to learn a novel analytical technique at another SRP funded center to enhance his/her research project.
  • A post-doctoral researcher conducting epidemiology research would like to understand how their results may apply to risk assessment at a federal agency.
  • A graduate student conducting remediation research would like to participate in a community engagement activity at another SRP funded center.

Who is eligible for an Externship?

To be eligible, the individual must be:

  • A graduate student (Master's or Ph.D.) or a postdoctoral researcher (status must be maintained for duration of externship).
  • Conducting research/activities in any project/core within an SRP Center.

What does the recipient of the Externship receive?

  • Support for up to three (3) months consisting of supplies, travel, and housing costs for the duration of the externship (amount not to exceed $10,000 in direct costs.
  • Travel funds to attend an SRP Annual Meeting where the recipient is invited to present their research. These costs should be included in the budget.

What are the criteria for the Externship?

The graduate student/post-doctoral fellow and Principal Investigator are strongly encouraged to contact their respective Program Administrator (listed on the Notice of Award; see contacts below) to discuss their proposed project to ensure it fulfills the description and goals of the K.C. Donnelly Externship Program. They should also consult with their university's business official for guidance on developing the budget. Graduate students/post-doctoral fellows should also consult with their university's business official to determine that acceptance of the K.C. Donnelly Externship Award does not conflict with the terms and conditions of fellowships or other salary support held by the individual.

  • The host institution must be one of the following:
    • A currently funded SRP grant recipient (P42, R01, R43/R44, R21)
    • Government agency or laboratory (e.g., EPA, ATSDR, NIEHS, etc.)
    • Other state or Tribal agency or laboratory
  • A project is proposed that demonstrates a multidisciplinary opportunity that is within scope of the parent grant,
  • The project includes a clear and strong mentorship plan demonstrating that the individual will receive guidance throughout the duration of the project,
  • The project demonstrates that it will enhance the individual’s skills, knowledge, and professional goals and current research.

Note: (1) This must support the scope of the active SRP parent grant; (2) Laptops and computers cannot be purchased with the grant funds.

How many graduate students/post-doctoral researchers can receive an externship from each institution?

SRP Center grants (I.e., P42) are limited to one externship per year.

Whom do I contact if I have questions about the externship?

Please contact the assigned Program Administrator listed on the Notice of Award (see below for a listing of the SRP Program Administrators).

SRP Program Administrators:

Danielle J. Carlin, Ph.D.
Health Scientist Administrator, Superfund Research Program
Tel 984-287-3244
[email protected]
Michelle L. Heacock, Ph.D.
Branch Chief, Superfund Research Program
Tel 984-287-3267
[email protected]
Heather Henry, Ph.D.
Health Scientist Administrator, Superfund Research Program
Tel 984-287-3268
[email protected]