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The Gunnar and Lillian Nicholson Graduate Fellowship and Faculty Exchange Fund in Forestry was established by the late Gunnar Nicholson for the purpose of enhancing scholarly exchange among Swedish and North Carolina 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.

Gunnar and Lilian Nicholson Student Fellowships

Long term exchange: PhD students

Coast lineNicholson 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.

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: PhD and Master 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 NCSU undergraduates in Sweden and SLU undergraduates at NCSU. Short-term exchanges are defined as lasting 10 weeks to 6 months. Students may take courses, pursue research, or some combination of the two.

Gunnar Lillian Nicholsan at Graduate Fellowship and Faculty Exchange

Klavs Ielejs, first Nicholson Short-term Graduate Student at NCSU

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.

To apply, graduate students must a) have completed at least one semester of graduate study and  be currently enrolled in and making progress towards a forestry degree in FER at NCSU or at a Swedish university.

In the future, we may also support undergraduate short-term exchanges for taking courses and/or participating in a research project.

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.

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.

Click on links for detailed funding opportunities for NCSU students and faculty to visit Sweden and Swedish students and faculty to visit North Carolina State University.

Nicholson Faculty Travel Funds

The Fund also provides travel funds for FER faculty to visit Sweden and Swedish faculty and scientists to visit FER 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). Example proposals are posted here (proposal 1proposal 2). 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 FER 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 FER 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.

For more information on Nicholson Faculty Travel Funds, please email Dr. Erin Sills.

Faculty/Student Activities

2016 Trip Reports

  • Dr. Stith Tom Gower. Discussed potential for research collaboration on managed pine peatland forest carbon at Hofmann Forest and northern Sweden. Also attended Flakaliden Research site 30th anniversary celebration.

2014 Trip Reports

  • Klavs Ielejs. Short-term Graduate Student. Wood Bio-fuels Master Thesis Research.
  • Heather Reese. Collaboration with the Center for Earth Observation.

2013 Trip Reports

  • Daniel Grans. Research collaboration with NCSU Tree Improvement Program.
  • Samuel Egback. Research collaboration with NCSU Tree Improvement Program.
  • Fred Cubbage. Global Timber Investments presentation and meetings with forest economists.

2012 Trip Reports

2011 Trip Reports

2010 Trip Reports

  • Siamak Khorram. Visit to Lund University, Stockholm University, Royal Institute of Technology (Kungla Teknisca Hogskola) and Swedish National Space Board in Solna.
  • Ross Whetten. International Workshop on Wood Biorefinery and Tree Biotechnology. Örnsköldsvik, Sweden.

2009 Trip Reports

2008 Trip Reports

  • Tim Albaugh. Adaptation of Forests and Forest Management to Changing Climate with Emphasis on Forest Health: A Review of Science, Policies, and Practices, held in Umeå, Sweden.
  • Bronson Bullock. Expand on research collaborations and work with faculty at SLU in the field of forest biometrics.
  • Fikret Isik. Visit to Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) (Uppsala, Umea) and Swedish Forest Research Institute (Skogforsk) in Umeå.
  • M. Nils Peterson. Collaborative book with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Department of Urban and Rural Development faculty and staff in Uppsala.
  • Ross Whetten. Collaboration with the Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology (SLU), Umeå.