Workshop for NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program – August 11

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On July 20, 2020

The Office of the Vice Chancellor of Research (OVCR) is hosting a workshop on August 11 about the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. The workshop will be held via Zoom. Registration closes August 6th.

If you, other faculty, or qualified students are interested, please RSVP at and attend all or parts of our workshop (see below) to assist with this process. We encourage sophomores and juniors to attend. There is one session for faculty new to the GRFP and for staff who assist faculty.

About the program.
The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines (see the Fields of Study list at the end of this notice) who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions. You can read the program solicitation here:

Undergraduate seniors and bachelor’s degree holders may apply before enrolling in a degree-granting graduate program. Please encourage sophomores and juniors to attend the workshop.

Those already enrolled in graduate school may apply one time only and must be in their first year or just beginning their second year of graduate school.

NSF awards $46,000 each year to the GRFP institution to cover the Fellow stipend and cost-of-education allowance for each NSF Graduate Research Fellow “on tenure” at the institution.
The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Fellowship stipend is $34,000 for a 12-month tenure period, prorated in monthly increments of $2,833. The institutional cost-of-education allowance is $12,000 per tenure year per Fellow.

Applicants must self-certify that they are eligible to receive the Fellowship. To be eligible, an applicant must meet all of the following eligibility criteria by the application deadline:
• Be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident
• Intend to enroll or be enrolled full-time in a research-based graduate degree program in an eligible Field of Study in STEM or STEM education (see below and Appendix of for eligible Fields of Study)
• Have never previously accepted a GRFP award
• If previously offered a GRFP award, have declined by the deadline
• Have never previously applied to GRFP while enrolled in a graduate degree program
• Have never earned a doctoral degree
• Have never earned a master’s, professional, or bachelor’s-master’s degree in any field, unless returning to graduate study after an interruption of at least two (2) years
• Not be a current NSF employee

For questions concerning eligibility and fields of study, contact the Graduate Research Fellowship Operations Center, (866) 673-4737, or

We will have a workshop on writing the application for the NSF GRFP on August 11, 2020.

9 AM The Prestige and Benefits of a Becoming a GRFP Fellow
Learn about this highly coveted, three-year STEM fellowship from the National Science Foundation, including eligibility and how to apply. It includes a generous stipend ($34,000 a year) and tuition waiver. For US students who will be entering graduate school in 2021, and first year graduate students who meet specific criteria.
Before attending, VERIFY YOUR ELIGIBILITY at

10 AM To Win, You Must Understand how Applications are Scored
In order to receive an award offer, your application packet must convince the review panel that you have exceptional potential to (a) complete a graduate degree, (b) launch a promising research career and (c) share your research with diverse public and scholarly audiences. This session will teach you about the two scoring criteria and the “evidence” reviewers seek to assess your potential to engage in research and outreach activities.

11 AM The 3 C’s of Writing Statements: Compelling, Congruent, & Complete
It is clear that GRFP reviewers across disciplines respond well to statements that are compelling, congruent, and complete. This hour is dedicated to writing and formatting the two GRFP statements, tips for documenting your abilities, and how to make the two statements work together. These five pages are your best opportunity to set yourself apart from other high achieving applicants.

12 PM NSF ‘s Graduate Research Fellowship Program: Faculty Engagement is a Key Factor
Each year, 10,000+ high achieving students submit competitive applications for this nationally prestigious fellowship but only 10% will succeed. However, faculty CAN boost the panelists’ impression of their mentees. This session will address (a) mentors’ critique of the student’s research plan; (b) helping students address the two scoring criteria (intellectual merit and broader impacts); and (c) strategies for impactful reference letters. For NSF PI’s, we will discuss how to make broader impacts a win-win situation for you and future applicants. Learn about this nationally prestigious, $120,000 three-year fellowship for US students at (Intended for faculty new to the GRFP, grant writers, post docs, and program staff).

Please RSVP by August 6, 2020:

Before the workshop, students are encouraged to review the information at the following link: After reading this material, students need to determine who their research mentor(s) will be and start the process of putting together their personal information, personal statement, graduate research statement, and a list of potential references. Documents to assist with writing these components and any workshop documents will be posted to a Google drive: You can also find information on writing Broader Impacts statements here: Students do not have to start and bring a draft, but it would be helpful.

About the workshop presenter, Robin G. Walker, PhD

Since 2004, Dr. Walker has been developing applicant learning materials for the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). Her unique worksheets and national site (GRFP Essay Insights) were utilized by faculty mentors, post docs, and student researchers at top-tier research institutions across the US. Dr. Walker has served on four NSF GRFP review panels, which helps to inform her perspective about “what it takes” to receive an award offer. Over the years, she has critiqued hundreds of GRFP applications and served as mentor to numerous GRFP applicants and awardees. Additionally, Dr. Walker has presented a national webinar on the GRFP for the Council for Undergraduate Research; at national meetings for the directors of the Ronald E McNair Scholar Program; and for students at the University of Central Florida, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Missouri, and other universities. Dr. Walker earned a BS degree from the University of Illinois and her MEd and PhD degrees from the University of Missouri. She has 35 years of successful proposal writing experience for state and federal grants and contracts. Her CV may be viewed on LinkedIn

Please notify Abbie Sherman ( if you plan to apply for the NSF GRFP or have any questions about the workshop. If there is enough interest, the OVCR’s Office might be able to provide support to assist with writing of the applications.

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On July 20, 2020. Posted in Student Announcements, Student News