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HOW TO WRITE SUCCESSFUL GRADUATE RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP PROPOSALS OCTOBER 30, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "HOW TO WRITE SUCCESSFUL GRADUATE RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP PROPOSALS OCTOBER 30, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 HOW TO WRITE SUCCESSFUL GRADUATE RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP PROPOSALS OCTOBER 30, 2009

2 1) National Science Foundation (NSF) 2) Department of Energy (DOE) Graduate Research Fellowship Programs (GRFP)

3 NSF GRFP Eligibility Information Citizenship – US citizens or nationals or permanent resident aliens of the U.S. Field and Degree Program – Master’s or doctoral degrees in the fields of science, mathematics and engineering.

4 Eligibility Timeline

5 Award Information Type of Award: Three years of support that may be used over a five-year period Estimated Number of Awards: 1,654 Funding: $66,987,000 for new fellowships in FY 2010 pending the availability of funds Award Date: Late March 2010

6 Award Information For each matriculated Fellow, S&T receives a $40,500 award per Fellow tenure year to cover the costs The Graduate Research Fellowship stipend currently is $30,000 for a 12-month tenure period The cost of education allowance currently is $10,500 per tenure year Fellows are allowed an additional one-time $1,000 International Research Travel Allowance Honorable Mention: supercomputing time through the Teragrid Award- Maximum of 3 years usable over a 5 yr. period

7 Evaluation of Applications NSF’s merit review criteria: – What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity? – What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity?

8 Guidelines for Applying Fellowship applications must be submitted by the prospective Fellow. Applicants must register with the FastLane system prior to submitting an application. Complete applications include: – information that must be submitted electronically using NSF’s FastLane Graduate Research Fellowship Program application module at – supporting materials that must be submitted in hard copy.

9 Deadlines The FastLane application material is due by November 12, 2009 (5:00 p.m. in the applicant's local time zone) for Engineering. The Supporting Application Materials are due as follows: – Received by field of study deadline: Undergraduate GPA Form and Official Academic Transcript(s) (excluding Fall 2004) – November 30, 2009: GRE Subject and General test scores (optional) – December 1, 2009: 3 Reference Letters (required).

10 Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE SCGF) Eligibility Benefits Application Evaluation Key Dates

11 Fellowship Information Includes physics, chemistry, biology (non- medical), mathematics, engineering, computational sciences, and areas of environmental sciences. Award approximately 80 graduate fellowships Fellowships will begin in the Fall

12 Eligibility Open to students who are U.S. citizens and will be at least 18 years of age by the time the fellowship begins (August 15, 2010) Students must be an undergraduate senior majoring in physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, engineering, environmental sciences, or computers sciences; or a first-year or second-year graduate student in a qualified research-focused Master’s or Ph.D. program at an accredited U.S. college or university at the time of applying;

13 Eligibility Continued Students must: be enrolled as a full-time student at the time of applying; have completed a baccalaureate degree in a field of physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, engineering, environmental sciences, or computers sciences by July 31, 2010; and have an undergraduate cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.3 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) at the time of applying.

14 Qualified Graduate Degree Program The Master’s or Ph.D. degree program pursued must require a research thesis/dissertation. Selected applicants must be enrolled as a full-time graduate student at an accredited college or university in the United States or its territories by the fall of Students pursuing a Master’s degree must plan to pursue a Ph.D. in a qualified graduate program immediately following the completion of their Master’s degree.

15 Benefits Living Stipend: Fellows will receive a yearly stipend of $35,000 for general living expenses. Tuition Support: Fellows are eligible to receive up to $10,500 towards college/university tuition and fees.

16 Research Stipend Fellows will receive a research stipend of $5,000 per year, which may be used for the following purposes: – Travel, lodging, meals, and registration/participation fees for approved research activities and/or professional development experiences; – Purchase of laboratory research supplies relevant to participant’s graduate research; – Journal subscriptions relevant to graduate studies or scientific professional development; – Books for coursework or graduate research; or – Computer and peripherals for academic use (not to exceed $900 of research stipend per year).

17 Application Evaluation Merit Review Criteria: Academic Performance Scientific and/or Technical Merit of Proposed Plan of Research Scientific and Technical Contributions Outside of the Classroom

18 Application Information All application materials must be submitted through the DOE SCGF online system by November 30, Applicants must provide the following to be considered: 1)A completed online application 2)The applicant’s academic transcripts 3)Three letters of reference

19 Intellectual Merit CriteriaPersonalPreviousProposed Adv. KnowledgeNovelty Prop. QualityMotivation Personality Res. Ability Related Res. Quality of Prop. Tie backs TransformativeSignificance Impact OrganizationClarity, Order Scope ResourcesSupport Profs As appropriate

20 Broader Impacts CriteriaPersonalPreviousProposed Teaching, Training, Learning Teaching Mentoring As appropriate Underrepresented Groups Mentoring of underrep. Role model Service Learning Res. As appropriate Infrastructure Research & Educat. As appropriate DisseminationGeneral Pres. and Pub. Scientific Pres. and Pub As space allows / if needed Societal BenefitsEvidence of desire How did you benefit society Civ. will cease w/o Prop. Res.

21 The Starting Point Do the background work: – You’re doing that now! – Lots of good advice already up on the NSF website Know what you’re up against: – ~10% success rate, “Best of the best” Get some help: – Get an Application Mentor

22 Why Does the NSF Want ME?* You demonstrate a combination of: – Intelligence – Leadership – Social responsibility – Determination – Excitement – Ability to succeed in an ever- changing, complex environment You exhibit strength in Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts to Society regarding research capacity *

23 Evaluation Criteria Intellectual Merit: “Demonstrated intellectual ability and other accepted requisites for scholarly scientific study, such as the ability –(1) to plan and conduct research; –(2) to work as a member of a team as well as independently; and –(3) to interpret and communicate research.” Broader Impacts: “Contributions that –(1) effectively integrate research and education at all levels, infuse learning with the excitement of discovery, and assure that the findings and methods of research are communicated in a broad context and to a large audience; –(2) encourage diversity, broaden opportunities, and enable the participation of all citizens--women and men, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities--in science and research; –(3) enhance scientific and technical understanding; and –(4) benefit society.”

24 Know thyself… Make a list of everything notable you’ve accomplished in the past 4-8 years – Intellectual Merit Activities: research, class projects, design teams, industry projects, others – Broader Impact Activities: teaching, mentoring, leadership roles, teamwork experiences, volunteer efforts of any kind These activities are the evidence by which others will judge who you are

25 Know thyself… Match your activities with evaluation criteria – You should have evidence for every criteria Where do you excel? – This is what makes you stand out – It should be a theme that spans your essays – eg. For me it was mentoring Personal statement: tutoring experience (actively recruited minorities) Past research experience: Influence and benefit of my undergraduate research advisor’s mentoring on me Proposed research experience: Started program in my research group for minority & female REUs

26 Additional Advice… Personal Statement – Intro: The big picture of who I am – Past: Evidence of who I am – Present: What I’m doing now to further demonstrate and build upon who I am – Future: What will I do with who I am in the future? How will NSF GRF help me do that?


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