UMD/Geology Graduate fellowship development workshop -- Fall 2017

last updated 18 July 2017 (reload page for updates)

Overview and Goals

Writing a proposal to a nationally competitive fellowship program has many benefits. Beyond funding for your research interests, it may help you focus your ideas within a broader context, choose an appropriate research supervisor, test the logic of your experimental design, and develop an integrated research and education vision that takes you through and beyond your graduate degree program. This workshop will get you started with the process, drawing on the instructor's experience as an NSFGRFP panel reviewer, 2012-2015 (I am registered for panel for fall 2017 competition).


Meeting time and location: 1p Fridays 9/8, 9/15, 9/22, CHM 0215, but to be confirmed depending on participant availability.

This workshop is specifically planned for applicants to the 2018 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Competition from the Geology Department at the University of Maryland. This includes: undergraduate seniors who expect to apply to graduate school for matriculation in the 2018/2019 academic year, and graduate students in their first or second year of graduate school.

Meeting (1): What are the elements of a successful graduate fellowship application? Meeting (2): Review and discussion of proposal outlines.  Meeting (3): Review and discussion of revised proposal outlines/first drafts. There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion, and I will be available between meetings and after the workshop by email and teleconference. The idea of beginning in September (or earlier!) is to get started early (the NSF GRFP deadline for Geosciences is October 23rd this year, 5pm local time). The workshop format allows for discussion of ideas and strategies, as well as developing a peer group for further help and input on your drafts.

What this workshop will not do: Violate ethics rules of past and current NSFGRFP competitions; share confidential information about those panels or reviewed proposals. The guidance I provide is only my perspective on the application and merit review process, based on my generalized experience. Examples of proposal content from past competitions is provided only for the purpose of guiding your development of original proposals, and is made available with the explicit consent of those providing it.

Schedule (tentative)

Elements of successful fellowship proposals 
Homework 1: What are the elements of a successful fellowship proposal? (to be completed before this meeting)
Review and discussion of proposal outlines or first drafts
Homework 2: Drafting and evaluating your fellowship proposal (to be completed before this meeting)
Discussion of revised proposal outlines or first drafts
Homework 3: Revising your fellowship proposal (to be completed before this meeting)