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1 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Seminar 2 ©Valorie Troesch 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "1 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Seminar 2 ©Valorie Troesch 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Seminar 2 ©Valorie Troesch 2006

2 2 Topics we’ll cover today Essay 1 – Comments, questions, suggestions Essay 2: Previous Research Experience Essay 3: Proposed Plan of Research Questions and comments

3 3 Essay 2 Previous Research Experience Essay Describe any previous scientific research activities in which you participated Purpose of research Your specific role in the research; did you work independently or as part of a team What you learned from your research (how to plan & conduct, work independently or as part of a team, learn interpret & communicate results – elaborate on this) Separate UG from graduate research If none, describe activities that prepared you to undertake research List any publications or presentations Not to exceed 2 pages

4 4 What purposes does your prior research experiences essay serve? Intellectual Merit: Establishes your intellectual and academic competencies and your demonstrated research skills Broader Impacts: You may not have done some or all of the elements of this criteria, but your past experiences are indicators of what you are likely to accomplish in the future

5 5 How to Write Essay 2 Proceed in chronological order As to each research activity, answer all the questions about it Make an outline & list so that you are organized Be sure to include your publications Page limit – 2 pages

6 6 What if I’m short on research experience? This is a challenge, but not an impossible one to meet. Examine your experiences carefully – you will almost always find multiple experiences (jobs, volunteer work, laboratory work for courses) that have involved the elements needed for doing research – examples:

7 7 Experiences to consider: Have you worked both independently and as part of a team? Doing what? How did it go? Have you had to plan and manage a job or other activities? How did you go about it and how successful were you? Have you had to use your communication skills – in what ways? Won any awards? Was anything published (newspaper, newsletter, etc.)? Examine all your experiences – you will be amazed at what you have to offer. Talk to your advisor and others to help gain insight into the connections between your experiences and your ability to plan and conduct research.

8 8 Essay 3 Proposed Plan of Research – 2 pages Clear, concise, original Describe how you became interested Present a complete plan for a research project that you may pursue while on fellowship Must demonstrate your understanding of research design and methodology Must explain the relationship to prior research, if any Must describe how you propose to address Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts in your research. If no research plan formulated, discuss a topic that interests you and how you would propose to conduct research on that topic.

9 9 What purposes does your proposed plan of research essay serve? Intellectual Merit: The proposed plan of research is one component of the intellectual merit assessment. Be certain your plan demonstrates the elements of the I.M. criterion. Broader Impacts: This essay is one component of the broader impacts assessment. It is, perhaps, the most compelling essay you will write. You must demonstrate that your proposed research is meritorious, that it will contribute to the field of knowledge, that you know how to do it, and that the results can benefit society.

10 10 Proposed Plan of Research NOTE the format requirement for this essay. Include: –The title –Key words –Hypothesis –Research plan –Anticipated results or findings –Literature citations –Statement attesting to the originality of the research proposal

11 11 Proposed Plan of Research Title:Descriptive of your project (acronyms are good if you can come up with a good one) Key words:For literature search.

12 12 Proposed Plan of Research Hypothesis – remember what a hypothesis is: a concept that is not yet verified but that, if true, would explain certain facts or phenomenon

13 13 Hypothesis It is expressed as an affirmative statement, not a question. It is assumed to be true for purposes of further investigation. It must be testable, and that is what your research will do. Work with your advisor to develop and state your hypothesis.

14 14 Proposed Plan of Research A Suggested Format for Writing the Essay 1.Identify your research field and the research problem you want to address. 2.Describe how and why you became interested in this topic. Discuss the relationship of any prior research to your proposed research. 3.Provide a brief scientific background of the topic or problem. Discuss how the knowledge gained from your research will advance the field and why this is important. Use references to support your statements.

15 15 Proposed Plan of Research, continued 4.Describe your research plan: Strategy, methodology, and controls. How will you test the hypothesis? What is the work plan? What experiments will you conduct? What controls will you use and why? What instrumentation will you need? What problems might you encounter and how will you address them? What is your research timetable? This should demonstrate your understanding of and ability to use the scientific method.

16 16 Proposed Plan of Research, continued 5.Anticipated results and findings: What future research opportunities might your research lead to? How will you disseminate or communicate the results of your research? Remember, your research in graduate school is just the beginning…. 6.In a separate and final paragraph, specifically address the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts of your proposed research. This can also serve as a summary paragraph. 7.Literature citations (included in 2-page limit) 8.Statement attesting to originality of research proposal – this is often neglected!!!!

17 17 Your Assignment Write a first, second, third – whatever – draft of Essays 2 and 3. Get some feedback. Let your advisor read it Send it to us: – me ( – College of Engineering & Science: Godfrey Kimball ( (et your friends read Let your friends read and comment Revise, revise, revise.

18 18 This Seminar Power Point is on the Graduate School web page at: ************************** Next seminar Thursday, October 5 6 – 8 p.m. Pizza and beverages served ***************************** Listen to what the reviewers of NSF Graduate Research Fellowship applications have to say. Advice from the horses’ mouths. You don’t want to miss this!!! Follow-up

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