As the new fall semester begins, fellowship application time is upon us.
Recently, Seth Sullivant, Associate Professor of Mathematics at North Carolina State University, prepared a workshop on preparing applications for the many fellowships offered by the NSF. As a former NSF Graduate Research fellow and current recipient of the NSF Career Award for his work in “Algebraic Problems in Statistics and Biology”, he brings a level of expertise in the subject, rarely found. His tips are successfully tested (as reflected by his CV), and supported by other current and former fellows and NSF GRFP committee members.
With his approval I share a link to his August 20th, 2010 presentation on “Applying for Graduate Research Fellowships.” In this presentation, Dr. Sullivant presents his advice within a concise decipher of the NSF guidelines. His words of advice are pertinent to Graduate and Post-Doc Fellowship applications.
Following his presentation, Dr. Sullivant invited a panel of Professors and current recipients to contribute any additional ideas. A former NSF GRFP committee member offered the most significant advice to the panel discussion; Continuity of the application is vital. The essays that were most successful maintained a common theme throughout. By the time the reader reviews the research proposal, there should be no doubt that the applicant possesses the skills, experience, motivation, and talent to complete their proposed research.
Personally, I recommend tracking down the essays of previous winners. In my case, I am very grateful to have had that resource.
Good luck everyone!