Free Money (a.k.a Fellowships)

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Talk given to UTCS graduate students on applying for fellowships

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Free Money (a.k.a Fellowships)

  1. 1. Free money (a.k.a Fellowships)<br />Juan F. Sequeda<br />jsequeda@cs.utexas.edu<br />
  2. 2. NSF Graduate Research Fellowship<br />Deadline in early November<br />Approx 1000 new 3-year fellowships award every year… for all disciplines!<br />US Citizen or Permanent Resident<br />Must be in early stages of grad studies <br />Completed no more than 12 months of full time graduate studies<br />
  3. 3. $$$<br />$40,5000 Annually ($30,000 stipend and $10,500 cost of education)<br />$30,000/ 12 months = $2,500 a month<br />Does NOT include health insurance<br />You need to pay taxes  be responsible and save<br />One-time $1000 International Research Travel Allowance<br />
  4. 4. Applying to (NSF) Fellowship<br />Demanding, but rewarding<br />It’s practice… we will all be writing grant proposals in the future<br />If you are starting to apply now for the Nov deadline  20 hrs/week<br />
  5. 5. What do you need?<br />Application<br />Resume/CV<br />Essay<br />Personal Statement (NSF)<br />Previous Research Experience (NSF)<br />Proposed Plan of Research (NSF)<br />3 Letter of Recommendation (NSF)<br />Transcripts (NSF)<br />GRE<br />…<br />
  6. 6. Personal Statement<br />Use examples<br />I’m a team player  NO!<br />I participated in a research group and led the research that published a paper ….<br />Why are you fascinated by your research area?<br />What examples of leadership skills and unique characteristics do you bring to your chosen field?<br />What personal and individual strengths do you have that make you a qualified applicant? (Examples!)<br />How will receiving the fellowship contribute to your career goals?<br />How does the information in your Personal Statement address the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts criteria?<br />http://www.nsfgrfp.org/how_to_apply/application_materials<br />
  7. 7. Previous Research Experience<br />Make your role clear<br />What did you exactly do?<br />What was your contribution?<br />Demonstrate your ability to do research<br />What was unique and novel?<br />Methodologies, contributions<br />Include broader impact<br />
  8. 8. Previous Research Experience (…)<br />What are all of your applicable experiences?<br />For each experience, what were the key questions, methodology, findings, and conclusions?<br />Did you work in a team and/or independently?<br />How did you assist in the analysis of results?<br />How did your activities address the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts criteria?<br />http://www.nsfgrfp.org/how_to_apply/application_materials<br />
  9. 9. Proposed Plan of Research<br />What is the problem?<br />Why is the problem important?<br />How do you plan to solve it?<br />What is your methodology and why?<br />What are your expected results?<br />What are the broader impacts of your research?<br />Do you expect to collaborate with others?<br />Where will you submit your work?<br />Include citations<br />
  10. 10. Proposed Plan of Research (…)<br />What issues in the scientific community are you most passionate about?<br />Do you possess the technical knowledge and skills necessary for conducting this work, or will you have sufficient mentoring and training to complete the study? <br />Is this plan feasible for the allotted time and institutional resources?<br />How will your research contribute to the "big picture" outside the academic context?<br />How can you draft a plan using the guidelines presented in the essay instructions?<br />How does your proposed research address the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts criteria?<br />http://www.nsfgrfp.org/how_to_apply/application_materials<br />
  11. 11. Writing the Essay <br />Be Specific!<br />Tie essays together<br />Prior work shows ability to fulfill future research objectives<br />Tie Broader impacts and teaching experience to research area<br />Refer to prior research and broader impacts in research proposal<br />Use bold headings<br />Reviewers will be reading thousands of applications over a weekend<br />READ EACH SENTECE: IF ANYBODY COULD WRITE IT, IT’S A BS SENTENCE<br />BE UNIQUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<br />Thanks Katie Coons<br />
  12. 12. Recommendation Letter<br />Ask Early!!!!<br />Ask people who know your research<br />Have your bio and accomplishments written so you can quickly email it to them<br />Potential letter writers<br />Advisor<br />Co-advisor<br />Senior Thesis advisor<br />Professor you blew away with a publishable class project… not just a class that you got an A in!!!!<br />
  13. 13. Your advisor<br />Your advisor wants you to get a fellowship<br />It’s going to save him money<br />My guess: your advisor has applied for grants<br />Work with your advisor<br />Write a recommendation letter<br />Help you write essays<br />
  14. 14. Recommendation Letters<br />Explaining the nature of the relationship to the applicant <br />Comments on the applicant's potential and prior research experiences<br />Statements about the applicant's academic potential and prior research experiences<br />Statements about the applicant's proposed research<br />Information to enable review panels to evaluate the application according to the NSF Merit Review Criteria of Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts.<br />http://www.nsfgrfp.org/how_to_apply/application_materials<br />
  15. 15. Recommendation Letters (…)<br />Choose people that can speak to your abilities and potential, rather than someone with a prominent title.<br />Provide referees sufficient time to write a strong letter.<br />Discuss the application and share your essays with them.<br />Inform them that reference letters should reflect both your “intellectual merit” and “broader impacts.”<br />remind reference writers about deadline. <br />No late letters will be accepted under any circumstances.<br />Have a backup reference in case one of your other reference writers cannot submit their letter.<br />http://www.nsfgrfp.org/how_to_apply/application_materials<br />
  16. 16. Intellectual Merit<br />the strength of the academic record<br />the proposed plan of research and whether it is potentially transformative<br />the description of previous research experience, references<br />the appropriateness of the choice of institution relative to the proposed plan for graduate education and research.<br />http://www.nsfgrfp.org/how_to_apply/review_criteria<br />
  17. 17. Intellectual Merit (…)<br />How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields?<br />How well qualified is the proposer (individual or team) to conduct the project? (If appropriate, the reviewer will comment on the quality of prior work.)<br />To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts?<br />How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity?<br />Is there sufficient access to resources?<br />http://www.nsfgrfp.org/how_to_apply/review_criteria<br />
  18. 18. Broader Impact <br />Contributions that 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.<br />Encourage diversity, broaden opportunities, and enable the participation of all citizens-women and men, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities-in science and research.<br />Demonstrate how it will enhance scientific and technical understanding, while benefiting society.<br />Provide characteristics of their background, including personal, professional, and educational experiences, to indicate their potential to fulfill the broader impacts criterion.<br />http://www.nsfgrfp.org/how_to_apply/review_criteria<br />
  19. 19. Broader Impact (…)<br />How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning?<br />How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)?<br />To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships?<br />Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding?<br />What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?<br />http://www.nsfgrfp.org/how_to_apply/review_criteria<br />
  20. 20. Questions?<br />http://www.nsfgrfp.org/<br />Acknowledgement: Slides from Joel Hestness and Katie Coons from the last GAD talk on this topic<br />

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