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Gunnar and Lillian Nicholson Graduate Fellowship and Faculty Exchange Fund

The Gunnar and Lillian Nicholson Graduate Fellowship and Faculty Exchange Fund in Forestry was established by the late Gunnar Nicholson to enhance scholarly exchange among Swedish and NC State University students, faculty and scientists. Nicholson Fellows are prepared for international careers through work on cutting-edge issues ranging from conservation of genetic diversity in the tropics to tree improvement and silviculture of temperate and northern species.

View the Gunnar and Lilian Nichsolson Endowment Funding Quick Facts Sheet

Application Timeline

For priority consideration for summer or fall semester travel, apply by February 15 (5 p.m. EST). For priority consideration for spring semester travel, apply by August 25 (5 p.m. EST). Applications submitted after these deadlines will be considered only if funding is still available. Please submit applications to JJ Acosta by email (

Gunnar and Lilian Nicholson Student Fellowships

Long term exchange: Swedish Ph.D. students

Nicholson Graduate Fellowships are awarded to Swedish graduate foresters studying forest genetics and forest management at NC State. Successful applicants receive funding for a period of up to four years to earn a Ph.D. degree.

This award includes an $24,000 annual stipend plus all tuition, student fees, and health insurance. Students are also granted one round-trip airfare per year for travel to Sweden for purposes of promoting the Nicholson exchange program. Students may also apply for up to $22,000 to cover research costs during the exchange period.

Click here for information on current and past Nicholson Graduate Fellows Recipients

To apply, students need to submit a) a letter of interest to the international committee (Dr. Erin Sills) and b)  an application to the graduate school with GRE and TOEFL scores.

For questions and more information about how to apply, please email Dr. Erin Sills.

Short term exchange: Ph.D. and Master’s students

Starting in 2013, the program created a short-term exchange of graduate students between FER and forestry programs at Swedish universities such as SLU (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences), as well as study abroad by NC State undergraduates in Sweden and SLU undergraduates at NC State. Short-term exchanges are defined as lasting 10 weeks to 6 months. Students may take courses, pursue research or some combination of the two.

To apply, graduate students must a) have completed at least one semester of graduate study and  be currently enrolled in and making progress toward a forestry degree in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at NC State or at a Swedish university.

A Nicholson Award for Short-term Student Exchange includes a) round-trip airfare between Sweden and Raleigh, b) travel-related expenses (e.g. visa applications, international health insurance), and c) $1,000 per month stipend while at the partner university. Students may apply for up to $5,000 to cover research costs during the exchange period. Students also have the opportunity to apply for funding to pay tuition for courses for credit.

All students who receive Nicholson Awards for Short-term Exchange are expected to submit reports on their experiences, suitable for posting on the Nicholson webpage, within 1 month of completing their exchange.

Trip reports of past short-term Nicholson Award recipients (Google Drive folder)

The priority deadline for applications is January 25 for Summer or Fall semester exchanges and August 25 for spring semester exchanges. Applications submitted after these deadlines will be considered only if funding is still available. Applications should be submitted by email to Dr. Erin Sills.

Nicholson Faculty Travel Funds

The Nicholson Fund also provides travel funds for Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources faculty to visit Sweden and Swedish faculty and scientists to visit our department to pursue scientific collaboration on any topic and in any discipline related to forest resources.

As described in the RFP, faculty should apply for these funds by submitting a brief proposal that describes the intended use of the funds, approximate dates, budget, and how the proposal furthers collaboration between NC State and SLU (or other Swedish universities and research institutions). Every fall, there is a deadline for priority consideration of funding proposals for the coming year. However, requests for funding are accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis, contingent upon availability of funds.

While Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources faculty members are in Sweden, they are encouraged to promote exchange with our department. This might include (1) learning about undergraduate curricula in order to better advise students interested in study abroad at SLU, (2) meeting with potential candidates for the Nicholson Fellowships, or (3) discussions with faculty about opportunities for developing dual degree and other joint programs. The outcome of these discussions should be included in a brief trip report.

Trip reports of past faculty recipients (Google Drive folder)

Sample proposals:
Sample Proposal 1
Sample Proposal 2

Any additional questions about Nicholson Faculty Travel Funds, please email Dr. Erin Sills.