September 9, 2016 at 11:41 am

How to Apply for NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

by Matt McCullough ’17

Interested in doing research as a graduate student?

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship ProgramThe National Science Foundation awards $138,000 to graduate students over three years to conduct STEM and STEM Education research through the Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

Dr. Roxanne Malé-Brune, Director of Grant Development and Projects at Ohio University, has advice on how to write a competitive application.

She outlined the complex application process and provided many external sources for more information at an August workshop. Students can view her NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program presentation online.

See upcoming workshops offered by Student Research & Creativity.

Malé-Brune’s most important takeaway was this: Applicants must be able to show what they have done so far, how they accomplished that, what their ultimate goals are, and how they are going to accomplish them.

The application also emphasizes intellectual merit and broader impacts. Meaning that it is important applicants are not only intelligent, motivated students, but also that they have in some way impacted the community around them. However, the presentation by itself does not compare to having a professional walk through the process.

The workshop was helpful in understanding the process because Malé-Brune lectured on more than just the words on the slideshow. Simply reading through the presentation is not enough! Fortunately, students who are interested in applying this year but missed the workshop can arrange a meeting with Malé-Brune to talk about the program.

Students who are interested in applying next year can expect the workshops to be held again next fall. Students who have questions in the meantime should contact Malé-Brune. More information on student research in general can be found online.

NSF’s GRFP is not the only program to fund student research. Student’s can also look into Fulbright, and many others.

Paying for graduate school is much easier when NSF gives out so much money. It also serves as invaluable career experience to help students get a job after graduation. Any student interested in research might want to consider this program—and attend next year’s workshop to make their application a competitive application.

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