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When Should I Apply for NSF Graduate Research Fellowship?

You can apply once for an NSF Graduate Research Fellowships as a rising senior or before entering a graduate program.  You can also apply once during the first term of your graduate studies or at the start of your second year of study. This raises the question, “When should I apply?” The answer is easy for grad students entering their second year who haven't applied before: apply again NOW! And [...]

By |2019-06-01T19:51:30-07:00April 17th, 2019|Fellowships, Selected Blog Posts|Comments Off on When Should I Apply for NSF Graduate Research Fellowship?

The Most Important Component of Your GRFP Application

The GRFP fellowship application requires three letters of recommendation, two essays, and university transcripts.So which of these is the most important?Trick question. There is no “most important component.” Applications are reviewed holistically. This means that the reviewers are supposed to look at the entire application as a whole. Based on that holistic impression, they’ll decide whether you qualify or not.

By |2019-06-01T20:43:35-07:00February 1st, 2019|Fellowships|Comments Off on The Most Important Component of Your GRFP Application

How to Write a Great Title for Your Research Project

START BY TELLING THEM WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO GET, NOT WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO DO. A great proposal addresses the reviewer’s need. A great title highlights your solution to that need. Emphasize the results, not the activities.Here's a good technique for writing a great title: Make a list of words in your proposal that are important. Focus on those that convey the novelty of your idea. Brainstorm as many titles as you [...]

By |2019-06-01T21:45:39-07:00February 15th, 2018|Fellowships|Comments Off on How to Write a Great Title for Your Research Project

Why Don’t Superstars Always Win NSF Graduate Research Fellowships?

Why don’t superstars always win? All the GRFP advice I’ve found is pretty straightforward: (1) compile the information that demonstrates you’re already awesome; (2) outline a clear career plan that shows you’ll continue being awesome; and (3) demonstrate a commitment to service which extends your awesomeness. Done. But you still didn’t win. Granted, there is always someone better out there. But this is isn’t a head-to-head [...]

By |2019-06-01T21:44:49-07:00January 18th, 2017|Fellowships|Comments Off on Why Don’t Superstars Always Win NSF Graduate Research Fellowships?

How to Choose the “Field of Study” for the GRFP Application

The NSF is divided into broad directorates like Biological Science, Engineering,Social/Behavioral/Economics Science, etc. These are divided into divisions, which are further subdivided into programs or fields of study. For example, the Math and Physical Science directorate includes divisions of Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, etc. Within the Chemistry Division are programs in Chemical Catalysis, Chemical Synthesis, etc. The Appendix to the Program Announcement contains a comprehensive list of fields: Some projects fit clearly into one [...]

By |2019-05-10T08:39:39-07:00December 2nd, 2016|Fellowships|Comments Off on How to Choose the “Field of Study” for the GRFP Application