NSF GRFP 2011-2012

alexhunterlang
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:20 pm

NSF GRFP 2011-2012

Postby alexhunterlang » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:24 pm

While the applications aren't due for a few months (November), it is never too early to start writing your essays for fellowship applications.

Here is a quick overview of the NSF GRFP from the NSF GRFP official site http://www.nsfgrfp.org/

Fellows share in the prestige and opportunities that become available when they are selected. Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $30,000 along with a $10,500 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees, opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.


I was a successful applicant in 2010, and the thing that was most helpful was reading example essays from award winners. In the spirit of giving back, I have posted mine online on my website and found others who have done the same.

List of example essays:
Physics (me) http://www.alexhunterlang.com/nsf-fellowship
Environmental Science http://rachelcsmith.com/academics/nsf.htm
Computer Science http://jxyzabc.blogspot.com/2008/08/cs-grad-school-part-3-fellowships.html
Economics http://www.julianreif.com/other/index.html
Synthetic Engineering http://openwetware.org/wiki/User:Kaull/NSF
Astronomy http://grads.astro.cornell.edu/resources.html
Bioengineering http://ngocnhile.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/nsf-grfp-as-a-1st-time-applicant/

If anyone else knows of example essays (especially physics examples), please post a link below and/or let me know and I'll add a link to my website. I will keep updating my website with new example essays and periodically post updates to this thread.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: NSF GRFP 2011-2012

Postby WhoaNonstop » Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:19 pm

alexhunterlang wrote:While the applications aren't due for a few months (November), it is never too early to start writing your essays for fellowship applications.

Here is a quick overview of the NSF GRFP from the NSF GRFP official site http://www.nsfgrfp.org/

Fellows share in the prestige and opportunities that become available when they are selected. Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $30,000 along with a $10,500 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees, opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.


I was a successful applicant in 2010, and the thing that was most helpful was reading example essays from award winners. In the spirit of giving back, I have posted mine online on my website and found others who have done the same.

List of example essays:
Physics (me) http://www.alexhunterlang.com/nsf-fellowship
Environmental Science http://rachelcsmith.com/academics/nsf.htm
Computer Science http://jxyzabc.blogspot.com/2008/08/cs-grad-school-part-3-fellowships.html
Economics http://www.julianreif.com/other/index.html
Synthetic Engineering http://openwetware.org/wiki/User:Kaull/NSF
Astronomy http://grads.astro.cornell.edu/resources.html
Bioengineering http://ngocnhile.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/nsf-grfp-as-a-1st-time-applicant/

If anyone else knows of example essays (especially physics examples), please post a link below and/or let me know and I'll add a link to my website. I will keep updating my website with new example essays and periodically post updates to this thread.


Wonderful. I like this. I will be applying for NSF this year as I was too lazy last year. =)

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grae313
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Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: NSF GRFP 2011-2012

Postby grae313 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:05 pm

Thanks, alex! I'd like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to apply. The number of awards they give to physicists is proportional to the number of physicists that apply, so having more applicants means more funding for physics students.

I chose not to apply my senior undergrad and first graduate years because I was under the impression that I should be writing a research proposal on what I planned to do in graduate school and this seemed really daunting. I ended up getting the award when I applied in my second year after joining a research group, but I found out that my initial view on the research proposal was completely wrong.

The NSF looks to fund people, not specific projects. The research proposal is for them to see if you understand what research is, can identify an important questions to ask and a method to address it, and write a cohesive proposal. With that in mind, write what you know from your current or previous research experiences, even if you know you won't actually be doing that research in graduate school. It is a fairly simple matter to change your research topic once you get the award.

Also, the award isn't necessarily given to the smartest and most capable physicists. Only one half of the award is based on intellectual merit, the other half is based on "broader impacts." This in part means the broader impacts of your research and you should address this in your essays, but perhaps more importantly, it also means the broader impacts of them funding your graduate career. Your outreach efforts and community service play a huge role in your likelihood of selection for this award. So, if your resume is light on outreach, start now in preparation for next year. Talk to professors or your department administration to get connected with your school's outreach organizations.

Finally, if you aren't selected this year, do try again next year if you are eligible. I know several students who applied every year of their eligibility and finally were awarded in their last year.

alexhunterlang
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:20 pm

Re: NSF GRFP 2011-2012

Postby alexhunterlang » Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:18 pm

I hope people are starting to write their NSF essays! I (and many others) are willing to help answer questions that come up.

Also remember that there are lots of other fellowships out there and they have similar applications. So once you write your NSF essays it is much easier to write many others. I'll work on compiling a list of other fellowships that are available.

alexhunterlang
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:20 pm

Re: NSF GRFP 2011-2012

Postby alexhunterlang » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:41 pm

I've been looking for other example essays. So far I haven't found any physics :(, but I have found some in other fields.

If at the end of this, anyone is willing to share let me know. I can link to your site or I could post the essays on my site.

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InquilineKea
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Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:07 pm

Re: NSF GRFP 2011-2012

Postby InquilineKea » Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:37 am

http://www.stanford.edu/~pgbovine/fellowship-tips.htm - some at the bottom of the page (which is an excellent guide in itself)

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grae313
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Re: NSF GRFP 2011-2012

Postby grae313 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:57 pm

alexhunterlang wrote:I've been looking for other example essays. So far I haven't found any physics :(, but I have found some in other fields.

If at the end of this, anyone is willing to share let me know. I can link to your site or I could post the essays on my site.


The graduate school office at my University has copies of successful fellowship application essays. You should ask around and see if yours does, too.




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