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2014 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

2014 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). Shelley Hawthorne Smith UA Graduate College ssmith@grad.arizona.edu. NSF: Where Discoveries Begin!. Applying for the NSF GRFP is an excellent opportunity in many ways!. What will this presentation address?. Who is eligible?

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2014 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

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  1. 2014 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Shelley Hawthorne Smith UA Graduate College ssmith@grad.arizona.edu

  2. NSF: Where Discoveries Begin! Applying for the NSF GRFP is an excellent opportunity in many ways!

  3. What will this presentation address? • Who is eligible? • What is the NSF GRFP? • How do I apply? • How do I successfully apply?

  4. Who is eligible for the NSF GRFP? • US citizen/national/permanent resident • Early stages of study • Max of 12 mo. full-time grad study by Aug. 1, 2013 (24 semester hrs. or 36 qtr. hrs.) • Seniors • 4th & 5th years of a 5-yr. joint program or 4th year & after completion of a 4-year program • 1st year or beginning 2nd year graduate students • Extenuating circumstances (interruptions/changes)

  5. What fields of research are supported under the NSF GRFP? • Engineering, • Computer and Information Science and Engineering, • Materials research, • Mathematical sciences, • Chemistry, • Physics and Astronomy, • Social Sciences, • Psychology, • STEM education and learning, • Life Sciences, • Geosciences

  6. What about Interdisciplinary Research? • “a mode of research by teams or individuals that integrates information, data, techniques, tools, perspectives, concepts &/or theories from 2 or more disciplines or bodies of specialized knowledge to advance fundamental understanding or to solve problems whose solutions are beyond the scope of a single discipline or area of research practice.”

  7. What fields of research are NOT supported? • Practice oriented professional degree programs • MD/PhD or JD/PhD, medical, dental, law or public health programs • Clinical, counseling, business, MBA, social work, most education & history • Medical sciences or research with “disease related goals”

  8. What is the NSF GRFP? • The National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. 

  9. Three Years of Support • $30,000 stipend – 3 years of support over 5 years • $12,000 Cost of Education • Institution waives or refunds all tuition and fees • Support for persons with disabilities • $45,000/yr. = $126,000 total = $21,000 per page

  10. How do I apply? • Register on FastLane. This is the system used to submit applications. • Three essays • Personal Statement Essay, Previous Research Essay, Proposed Research Essay • Three letters of recommendation (or more) • Transcripts

  11. Timeline • Late August: Application available online • Early Fall: Grad College has two early deadlines for applicants to submit their essays for feedback • Mid-November: Official NSF deadlines (vary by field) • March – April 2014: Awardees and Honorable Mentions announced

  12. How do I write a successful application? • Essays • Letters of recommendation • Other details

  13. The Three Essays 1. Personal Essay (2 pp.) 2. Previous Research Experience (2 pp.) 3. Proposed Plan of Research (2 pp.) NSF GRFP Program Information 4. Description of Completed Graduate Study (only if more than 1 year of grad study)

  14. Essay Tips • Read lots of examples. • Spend time on the NSF website. • Read the directions carefully and follow them. • Use subtitles. • Write many drafts and feedback from numerous people. (Try to meet all of the campus deadlines.) • Write to the review criteria.

  15. NSF Review Criteria 1. What is the intellectual merit of the applicant? 2. What are the broader impacts of supporting the individual’s graduate study?

  16. Five Review Elements 1. What is the potential for the proposed activity to: a. advance knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields (Intellectual Merit); and b. benefit society or advance desired societal outcomes (Broader Impacts)? 2. To what extent do the proposed activities suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts?

  17. Five Review Elements 3. Is the plan for carrying out the proposed activities well-reasoned, well-organized, and based on a sound rationale? Does the plan incorporate a mechanism to assess success? 4. How well qualified is the individual, team, or institution to conduct the proposed activities? 5. Are there adequate resources available to the PI (either at the home institution or through collaborations) to carry out the proposed activities

  18. Include • personal, professional, and educational experiences, carefully illustrating how these experiences demonstrate your potential to fulfill the broader impacts criterion.

  19. Consider the Review Process • Assigned to panel based on your cue • Read by 2 -3 – or more readers • May be referred to another panel • Review in peer group (sr/1st/2nd) • Holistic view of references, proposed research & proposed institution • Assume an educated scientist , but not in your exact field as your audience

  20. Letters of Reference • 2 people you’ve worked with in your present or most recent department, including thesis advisor if possible. • Scientists or faculty with current knowledge of your academic, professional experience, and ability. • Enter correct emails in Fastlane & click “send email” to initiate.

  21. Help Referees Help You • Select carefully & meet face to face (NOT by email) • Have a substantive discussion on goals • Provide a complete folder on yourself • Make sure they can write personally • Actively discuss your research topic • Contact early; remind as needed • Due by Field of Study Deadline on FastLane

  22. Submission Tips • Set up Fastlane account as soon as possible • Review FAQ & Applicant User Guide • Work in word processor & upload • Do not insert any web links • Proof carefully before uploading • Give account access to referees early • Check status of application regularly • Call Help Desk if necessary

  23. Resources • Faculty/Peer Support • Sign up for NSF GRFP application support (go to the “finances” page of the UA Grad College website.) • Three sources of information: nsf.gov, nsfgrfp.org, fastlane.nsf.gov

  24. Focus! Grad school is busy, but this is worth your time! TODAY you can: • Register for GradFunding support. • Talk to your advisor.

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