Fellowships

This page will contain a variety of fellowship information and advice, mainly through links to other sites, blogs, etc. that I find relevant.

GT listing: http://www.fellowships.gatech.edu/find

Another list for physics majors: https://www.scholarships.com/financial-aid/college-scholarships/scholarships-by-major/physics-scholarships/

GT specific 1-year fellowship: Bobby Jones
Note: Physics student Conor Dunn received it in 2015!

GT PURA awards: a one-semester, $1500 scholarship for research as an undergrad. http://www.undergradresearch.gatech.edu/pura-salary

Work at the Smithsonian!: http://www.smithsonianofi.com/fellowship-opportunities/

Internships: http://afrlscholars.usra.edu/

Postdoctoral opportunities: http://sites.nationalacademies.org/pga/rap/

Letters of Recommendation
A few key points from Berkeley.

First, make a list of professors and/or supervisors who will be your best advocates. Then, set up an appointment to discuss your request in person. Do not make the request via email. Be prepared to articulate your interest and reasons for attending graduate school.
Letters of recommendation are written strictly on a voluntary basis. The best approach is to ask potential letter writers if they are willing to write you a strong letter. If you sense reluctance or the answer is no, ask someone else.

It’s ideal to ask two months in advance. One month is okay. If you approach the person the day before, good luck!

You should give them information to help write it, e.g., CV/resume, statement of purpose and/or other application essays, transcripts (maybe). I often ask students what they would like to me to highlight about them.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Main site
Deadline: Last week of October (exact date varies by discipline)

From NSF: Each Fellowship consists of three years of support during a five-year fellowship period. NSF provides a stipend of $34,000 to the Fellow and a cost-of-education allowance of $12,000 to the graduate degree-granting institution for each Fellow who uses the fellowship support in a fellowship year.

About 2,000 are awarded annually.  You must be a US citizen, national, or permanent resident. You can apply in your senior year of undergrad and/or first OR second year of grad school (so up to two times). NOTE: Your chances of getting it as a senior are much greater than as a first-year grad student! So it is to your advantage to apply NOW.

Don’t reinvent the wheel! There is a ton of advice and examples out there!
UIUC has organized a variety of useful resources here.

Example applications and reviews (GT, with Latex source!)

Example applications and reviews (external)

http://www.pgbovine.net/fellowship-tips.htm (old but still a lot of good advice)

PDF of UIUC presentation (a lot of details and description here!)

Requirements

  • Personal Statement, Relevant Background, and Future Goals Statement (3 pages incl. figs)
  • Graduate Research Statement (2 pages incl. figs)
  • Three Reference Letters (must be received by November 5 by 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time – NO EXCEPTIONS!). Note, the letters have a 2-page limit.
  • Transcripts (but NOT GREs)

Review

Your proposal, like all NSF proposals, will be judged on two criteria:

  • Intellectual Merit
  • Broader Impact

For the first criterion, the proposal must, of course, be well written, but should also be placed in context, i.e., how does what you want to do impact science as a whole? The research should be grounded (doable) but ambitious (not merely incremental).

For the second, the focus is usually on education in some form, particularly of groups underrepresented in science. Again, look to the resources provided for ideas. Take this requirement very seriously – it often is the deciding factor between otherwise equally good proposals!