National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRF) Application Boot Camp

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Designed for MU candidates applying for the 2022 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRF), this four-part, virtual workshop series will lend insight into developing a strong application for this award. By the end of July, workshop participants will have written a first draft of their NSF GRF essays, providing them ample time before the national deadline (October 2021) to refine their proposals.

To be eligible, participants must

  • Commit to writing the first draft of two application essays by July 18,
  • Be eligible to apply for the 2021 NSF GRF,
  • Commit to completing each workshop component, either through attending sessions live or watching a recording of each session within 48 hours of a live event. We encourage students to attend the live sessions as much as possible; however, we understand the session times may not work for all interested candidates

To apply for the workshop, students must complete the Workshop Application and have a faculty advisor complete the Faculty Endorsement Form by Thursday, June 17 at 11:59pm CT.

Pre-Work: Watch Information Session & Read Program Solicitation

Prior to Session 1, watch this one-hour session hosted by Mizzou administrators and staff trained in advising candidates for the NSF GRF and read the most recent NSF GRF Program Solicitation. The session introduces you to the NSF GRF purpose, benefits, eligibility criteria, selection criteria, application components, and more. After completing this pre-work, you will be able to identify the eligibility criteria for the award including academic subdiscipline, and key components of application.

Session 1: Preparing to Write the Research Plan Statement

Thursday, July 1; 11am-noon

Read and critique Research Plan Statements from past candidates to gain confidence in developing your own. Also, receive access to tools (such as a statement outline) to assist you in the writing process. After this session, you will be able to recognize essential components for a successful statement, and  write a first draft of this required essay.

Session 2: Preparing to Write the Personal, Previous Research & Future Goals Statement

Thursday, July 8; 11am-noon

Read and critique Personal, Previous Research & Future Goals Statements from past candidates to gain confidence in developing your own. Also, receive access to tools (such as a statement outline) to assist you in the writing process. After this session, you will be able to recognize essential components for a successful statement, and write a first draft of this required essay.

Session 3: How to Revise Application Materials (it takes a village!) & Q&A

Thursday, July 15; 11am-noon

A strong NSF GRF candidate develops a network of people willing to talk with them about their application and how to make it the best it can be. We’ll talk about how to build that network and who should be in it, as well as answer any questions candidates have about the application as a whole. After this session, you will be able to create a list of individuals to provide feedback on application materials and a plan of action for August and September.

Session 4: Application Feedback from Advisor

Thursday, July 22 – 29

Candidates will meet individually with an NSF GRF advisor to receive feedback on their essays for the first time. Students will be able to incorporate feedback into their application materials for continued work in August and September.

 

A note from the workshop hosts: Investing time in these sessions will help you write a stronger and more strategic NSF GRF application. MU students who received advising support from us in 2020 were more likely to be selected or receive an Honorable Mention in the 2021 NSF GRF competition than MU candidates who did not engage with us. We hope you will join us this summer!

 

Questions? Email fellowships@missouri.edu.

 

Workshop Hosts

Ms. Rachel Newman, Fellowships & Advanced Studies

Mr. Erik Potter, Fellowships & Advanced Studies

Dr. Linda Blockus, Undergraduate Research

Dr. Sarah Humfeld, Undergraduate Research

Dr. Raquel Arouca, Graduate School

Dr. Sara Vassmer, The Connector