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Workshops and Information Sessions

National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Information Sessions
Join us for an overview of the GRFP application process and for tips on applying.

The Summer 2019 Fellowship Application Support Program is currently closed and will reopen Spring 2020. The program offers deadlines and writing support to assist UA students in completing fellowship applications over the summer.

Applications: The application deadline has passed but we try to help students at any point in the summer. If you are interested in this program, please email Shelley Hawthorne Smith.

The Summer 2019 Application Support Program is currently closed but will reopen for Summer 2020. Please use the information below as a reference.

The Summer Fellowship Application Support Program serves to assist UA students in completing fellowship applications over the summer and to improve the quality of the applications. We provide summer deadlines for students to submit drafts of their fellowship applications for feedback.

If you enroll in the program, you will commit to submitting at least one draft of an application over the summer.

The OFCE provides application support for specific fellowships through workshops, feedback on essays, and more.

Application Support Programs

Currently Open

 

The purpose of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce in the United States. The program is an excellent source of funding for graduate students – providing awardees with $34,000 annually for three years, as well as additional benefits.  NSF Fellows at the University of Arizona receive full tuition, mandatory fees, student health insurance for the Fellow, and a $500 travel grant during tenured years.

Current postdoctoral scholars will share seven (maybe more!) insights on effective strategies for obtaining postdoctoral funding.

Tuesday, September 10 from 12:30 - 1:30 in ENR2 S215

Join us for an overview of the application process for the NIH F31s. This session will be relevant for applicants and their advisors.
Monday, September 16 from 12:00 – 1:00 in University Services Building Room 214

Completing this form will register you for NSF GRFP application support. Please review your eligibility in the Program Solicitation prior to completing the form. If you have questions about eligibility, please email NSF.

Learn more about DAAD and the selection of the UA priority candidate. Thursday, August 29 from 12:30 - 1:30 in University Services Building Room 209.

Please review the information on the DAAD website, particularly eligibility, prior to attending the session.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship is an excellent opportunity for students in or going to graduate school. Join us for an overview of the application process and some application tips.

Please review the NSF GRFP website, particularly the eligibility found in the Program Solicitation, before attending:

UA Box:

To submit essays, please upload them to our Box folder.

Email me if you need an invitation to the folder.

As a UA student, you have access to a UA Box account. You can find more information, including how to get an account, at UITS.

DAAD Fellowships provide support for study in Germany. Each year, the University of Arizona facilitates the selection of one priority candidate. Applicants from the UA are not required to submit for priority candidacy; applying for the priority candidacy is optional and students can apply individually to the DAAD's various programs. The following opportunities through DAAD are generally most relevant for graduate students:

Please follow the directions below to submit drafts for feedback. Questions for the additional document are below the directions.

UA Box:

To submit essays, please upload them to our Box folder. Directions for getting a Box account (free to UA students) are below.

Submitting Essays

Please help us out by following these directions!

Basic Funding Research

Databases and Information for Graduate Students

If you are just beginning your search for funding, begin with the following databases and websites:

The University of Arizona Graduate College
Office of Fellowships and Community Engagement

Georgia Ehlers, Director
University Services Building #204E
888 N Euclid Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85721-0158

Thank you for your interest in joining a Writing Efficiency Group. If you would like to commit to joining the group, please fill out this form. This will also help us select times for our in-person writing sessions.

By enrolling in the Summer 2019 Application Support Program, you commit to submitting at least one draft of your application essays over the summer. You do not need to be in Tucson to participate.

Come discuss your fellowship applications and meet the Graduate Editors between 9:00 - 11:00 on Thursday, May 2nd in the Graduate Center (1600 E 1st St, SE corner of 1st and Cherry). A short panel discussion will take place at 9:30. Refreshments provided.

If you plan to apply for the NIH F31, please sign up for advice on the application process and feedback on drafts.

Writing Efficiency Group are intended for you to help you move forward in your writing and to become a more efficient writer. The group lasts for one month. Please fill out this form if you are interested in being part of a Writing Efficiency Group.

Writing for fellowships hard. Writing is hard.

 

True.

 

My name is Andrew Kunihiro and I am a 5th year PhD student in the Department of Nutritional Sciences. My dissertation research focuses on the metabolism and bioactivity of curcumin, a dietary polyphenol from the turmeric rhizome. Specifically, I look at how curcumin can prevent bone destruction caused by bone-metastatic breast cancer.

 

This form is currently closed. Please email us to express your interest.

 

Please email us with questions or if you plan to apply.

The purpose of the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (FH DDRA) fellowship is to contribute to the development and improvement of the study of modern foreign languages and area studies in the U.S. by supporting full-time dissertation research abroad.

My name is Sarah Renkert and I am a Ph.D. student in Applied Sociocultural Anthropology. I have applied to multiple fellowships and I would like to share five key takeaways to success.

 

In the funding world, we like to say that fellowships go to people and grants go to projects.

 

Generally, this is a fairly accurate description. But, you ask, does this matter?

 

Travis Sawyer, a graduate student who has worked with us in the Office of Fellowships, has had great success both in obtaining fellowship proposals for himself and in assisting other graduate students in writing their own fellowship proposals.

 

The Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad supports dissertation research that is not in Western Europe or North America. The research should be in a language other than English.

The Fulbright-Hays is specifically for people doing dissertation research outside of the U.S. and Western Europe. Please visit this website prior to registering: https://grad.arizona.edu/ofce/application-support/fulbright-hays-doctora...

Tuesday, November 13 from 12:30 - 1:30 in University Services Building Room 209

Did you know the National Science Foundation offers funding to graduate students?

Of course you did.

However, did you know that the Romance Writers of America also has funding for graduate students? As does the government of Ireland, the Slovak Academic Information Agency, and the Huntington Botanical Gardens.

But how could you possibly find a funding opportunity that is just right for you?

I’m about to tell you.

STOP!

Finding funding is a challenge for any graduate student. But it is particularly difficult for international students studying in the United States. Here are a few tips and resources for those of you who are international students at the UA.

Consider starting your search for funding in your country of citizenship. Some of the best funding can come from a student’s home country.

Please fill out the form below so that we can remain in communication regarding the DAAD. Thank you!

The GradFunding Newsletter distributes information on current funding opportunities.

To subscribe to the newsletter, send an email to list@list.arizona.edu. Include "subscribe gradfunding John Doe" in the subject line (replacing, obviously, your name for John Doe). Leave the message body blank and delete any automatic signature.

Feel free to browse previous GradFunding advice columns or to look at previous GradFunding newsletters below.

The number one question I get in the Office of Fellowships, is “how do I find funding?”

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. The possibilities are endless; maybe a person you meet on the bus will decide she wants to pay your tuition or an anonymous donor will buy the equipment you need. I hope something like this this happens to you.

 

The purpose of the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (FH DDRA) fellowship is to contribute to the development and improvement of the study of modern foreign languages and area studies in the U.S. by supporting full-time dissertation research abroad. UA Internal deadline is June 22nd.

Collectively, the Graduate College Office of Fellowships has approximately 31 years of experience with fellowships. In this last newsletter of 2016 I will pass along some bits and pieces we have learned along the way.

Wed. Mar 21 - 1:30PM - 2:30 PM
Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad
Walk In Advising Session
University Service Bldg. Rm. 204E - 888 N Euclid

Apply for the Summer 2018 Fellowship Application Support Program for support in completing fellowship applications over the summer. Participate from on or off campus. Select Track One if you are near the beginning of your graduate work. Select Track Two if applying for dissertation or postdoctoral support. Applications Deadlines: Priority Deadline - Wednesday, April 11 at 5:00 p.m.

University of Arizona campus at sunset

The Office of Fellowships and Community Engagement (OFCE) assists graduate students in searching and applying for funding outside of the UA. We provide a monthly newsletter with current funding opportunities and advice on applying for funding. We also host workshops and provide application support for specific fellowship opportunities.

“What I have found,” a graduate student recently told me, “is that I like rejections. They are a chance to learn, a path forward.”

Just to be clear, this student had had a few days to contemplate his most recent rejection; I imagine that this was not his first reaction to the news. Additionally, he had received a beautiful rejection with all sorts of accolades for his work accompanied by very concrete suggestions for improvement.

In our office, we find that many students feel lost when thinking about fellowships and appreciate an explanation of the basic landscape of funding. Georgia Ehlers, director of the Graduate College Office of Fellowships and Community Engagement, and I have put together a few of the basics about fellowships which might be helpful as you make plans for the new year.

What is a fellowship?

Hello fellow funding seekers!

My name is Brandon Hellman, and I am a third year PhD student in Optical Sciences. I am developing new LIDAR (3D mapping, input) and 3D display (output) systems. LIDAR is very important for autonomous vehicles: a traditional camera does not offer clear enough depth-perception information for a car to drive itself. 3D display . . . and who doesn’t want to see a floating Princess Leia hologram?

Dear Graduate Students,

Katherine Guns’ last NSF GRFP application was as close to perfect as I’ve seen an application. So I was surprised when she did not receive the fellowship. However, I was delighted to learn that, as she explains below, she did end up being very successful in receiving funding. Read her wonderful story below.

If you are just beginning your funding search, here are some answers to some basic questions:

How do students pay for graduate school?

Most students pay for graduate school through a combination of the following ten avenues.  

Hola! My name is Laura Zambrano-Vazquez and I am a graduate student in the Psychology Department at the University of Arizona. I was fortunate enough to be awarded the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) in 2011.

My name is Diana Meter and I’m a 4th year PhD student in Family Studies and Human Development at the University of Arizona. I became a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in 2012.

My name is Andrea Stevens and I am in the 3rd year of my PhD program in the Geosciences Department at the University of Arizona. I received my NSF Graduate Research Fellowship the second time I applied in 2014.

Hi! My name is Ryan Watson I am receiving my PhD in Family Studies and Human Development (FSHD) at the University of Arizona. The National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) assisted my work from 2011-2014.

 

My name is Linnea Honeker. I am a Graduate Editor and I am working toward my Ph.D. in Environmental Science with a Microbiology Minor in the Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Sciences. I was awarded the NSF GRF in 2013.

Hello everyone! My name is Katie Leight and I am a fourth year student in the Chemistry PhD program at the University of Arizona. I do analytical and organic research in the McGrath and Saavedra labs. I received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP) in 2013, and I am a graduate editor.

Hi!  I’m Antonio Gómez, and I was a Master’s student in the Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Entomology and Insect Science at the U of A from the fall of 2012 to the summer of 2014.  I’m on a short break with lots of trips in the field to collect beetles in our wonderful outdoors in southern Arizona before moving to Oregon to start a Ph.D. in the Integrative Biology Department. 

My name is Elise Bell, and I’m a fourth year PhD candidate in the Department of Linguistics. My research focuses on the variety of Welsh that is spoken in the Patagonia region of Argentina. My dissertation work is an examination of the ways that bilingualism with Spanish affects the way Argentinean Welsh speakers perceive and produce Welsh vowels. Because my research requires fieldwork to collect data, I’ve applied to quite a few fellowships and grants to fund my research related travel.

My name is Tamee Albrecht. I am a second-year PhD student in the School of Geography and Development. My research explores the implications of changes in the timing and location of water availability on water security. In the Himalayan foothills of South Asia, groundwater springs are the primary source of water for domestic and irrigation uses in rural villages, however, groundwater spring flows have been declining due to climate change and expanding hydropower development.

Because many funding opportunities require US citizenship or residency, finding funding can be particularly difficult for international students. However, opportunities do exist for international students. As I have worked with Saleh Ahmed, an international student in Arid Lands Resource Sciences, I have been impressed with his persistence in looking for and applying for funding. I have also been impressed with the way in which his work and ideas have developed over the past year. I asked him to share his experience applying for funding with all of you.

The purpose of these workshops is to help you get some writing done. Feel free to come if you are just beginning the essays, if you are polishing the essays, or in somewhere inbetween.

Graduate students have a lot to do. On top of completing classes, passing exams, doing research, and writing papers, most graduate students plan to present at conferences, get papers published, teach, etc. When I encourage graduate students to apply for fellowships and grants, I realize this is one item on a long list.

So, when should students work on applications for funding opportunities and when should they focus on other things?

Dear Graduate Students,

In the coming few months, the GradFunding Advice will come from your fellow graduate students across campus. When considering whom to invite to write an article, I’ve asked students who I believe will have something valuable to say to other graduate students across campus. Meg Mills-Novoa has been persistent in looking for and applying for funding; her efforts have paid off. 

The Summer 2017 Application Support Program serves to assist UA students in completing fellowship applications over the summer and to improve the quality of UA student fellowship applications.

My name is Kat Compton and I’m in the 4th year of my PhD program in Geosciences at the University of Arizona. I received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in 2012.

 

Hi!  My name is Ben Rackham.  I’m a PhD student in the astronomy program at the University of Arizona.  I started a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) in 2014.

Let me tell you a story.

About a year ago, I received an email from a student in linguistics asking if I would review a draft of her proposal for the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research. This was the first time I had heard of the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research, or at least, the first time it caught my attention. With a little investigation, I found that the American Philosophical Society supports the fund and that several UA graduate students in geology have previously received the award.

The beginning of a new year is a good time to update your curriculum vitae (CV) and resume. As most of you know, the main difference between a CV (from Latin for “course of life”) and a resume (from French for “summary”), is length. Whether you have a CV or resume will depend on your discipline and your professional goals. I will refer to CVs in this article, but the ideas apply to both CVs and resumes. You should have a template version of the document that you keep current and adapt to opportunities as you apply to them.

Now that it is the middle of application season, we have gotten a number of questions about writing timelines for fellowship applications. Here are a few tips:

Letters of recommendation can be the determining factor in fellowship competitions. Because a good letter of recommendation is so much work to write, you want to do everything you can to make the process easy for your professors. With the help of Graduate College Dean, Andrew Carnie, and Graduate College Assistant Dean, Janet Sturman, I have outlined four tips to help you get the best letters possible.

1. Plan ahead:

You may have heard of a student who decided to apply to a fellowship two weeks before it was due, dashed an application together, and received the fellowship.

Sometimes this happens. But not often. Although it makes for a less interesting story, most successful applicants plan well ahead of the deadline, work strategically towards making themselves good candidates, and then systematically apply.

As summer approaches, consider putting together a plan for fellowships to which you might apply. Below you will find a general guide to help you think about process.  

In the Office of Fellowships, we often read essays for fellowship applications that have been copied and pasted from dissertation proposals. While the copy and paste function is one that we ourselves utilize and view with great affection, the use of it can be a barrier to being awarded a fellowship. Below you will find some tips for revising a dissertation proposal, or any research proposal, into a proposal for a fellowship application.

Before beginning the narrative, consider the answers to the following questions:

Why do I love this project?

If the prospect of all the holiday social obligations fills you with unmitigated delight, you can stop reading this article now. Go ahead and click on another article.

Now that it is just those of us who feel at least some measure of anxiety anticipating social events we can discuss the topic at hand – holiday parties.

The most frequently asked question I receive from graduate students is how to find funding. Finding funding is like finding a job; it takes a mixture of work, perseverance, luck, and connections. 

We have some basic information on funding graduate school on our website (https://grad.arizona.edu/ofce/funding-101). Further, here are a few strategies to keep in mind in your search for graduate funding:

1. Talk to People

With all of the fellowship opportunities in the fall, a graduate student could spend the semester writing fellowship applications. Don’t.

Your main goal as a graduate student should be to, as quickly as is reasonably possible, set yourself up for the next step in your career. Applying to a few choice fellowships can help you achieve this goal.

But how do you decide which fellowship application is worth your time?

Do your research. Ask yourself, how well do I fit this opportunity?

The Office of Fellowships and Community Engagement (OFCE) provides information and assistance to graduate students to help them become more successful in their search for funding outside of the UA.

Last month I gave you five tips for getting your writing done. If you, along with most graduate students, have not gotten as far as you had hoped in your summer writing, don’t despair. Don’t feel guilty. Have a look at the tips here and continue writing – onward and upward! 

When you are ready to have others read your fellowship applications, here are five tips for getting the best feedback possible.

1. Give your readers guidance.

When you send or post drafts for others to read, be sure to give them some context for what they are reading.

With approximately 1,600 annual awards, the Student Fulbright is one of the largest and best recognized national fellowships. I often talk with graduate students who think that they might be interested in a Fulbright but are not sure about the details. If you are one of those people, read below for insight from Emily Kotay, the Scholarship Advisor in the Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships (ONCS).

Most graduate students have ambitious summer writing goals. If you are one of them, here are five tips to help you be successful in meeting those goals.

1. Find a daily time to write. This means putting words on paper. You also need time to read and do research, but you should schedule time to actually write. Whether it means brainstorming ideas for fellowship applications, outlining, or editing, you should touch your writing every day.

Thank you for participating in the NSF GRFP Application Support Program. We hope that it was helpful for you! We would greatly value your feedback in order to improve the program next year.

Thank you for your help with the GRFP Application Support Program. We have really enjoyed working with you! Although the primary goal of the program is to support applicants, we also aim to make the experience professionally beneficial to you. Please let us know how we can improve the program in the future, both for applicants and for Editors.

Elizabeth Stahmer, the Director of the Social and Behavioral Research Institute, has worked on applications for funding from multiple organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Department of Defense, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the State of Arizona, and dozens of private foundations.

In my recent interview with her, she gave numerous nuggets of excellent advice for finding and applying for funding. I share them with you below.

What do you do?

One of the lovely, and potentially challenging, elements of academia is summer. While summer often gives graduate students a change of pace, funding it can be tricky.

Many of you already have your plans solidified. For the rest of you, consider this a tap on the shoulder to begin, or to continue, thinking about how you will finance your summer.

Here are a few suggestions:

Travel

Money for graduate fellowships generally comes from the following sources:

As you search for funding, large fellowships of thousands of dollars will probably catch your attention. You should apply to the big fellowships, but also consider applying for smaller ones. Aiming for the small potatoes is worth your time for three reasons:

  1. The more you apply for fellowships, the better you will get at it.

  2. Smaller fellowships are usually less competitive so you are more likely to receive the award.

Finding funding is like finding a job. There is no one way to go about it and talking to people is usually your best strategy. However, an additional excellent strategy for finding funding is to sign up for funding alerts.

Yes, it is true, you can receive email alerts specially designed to fit your research interests! You can also receive funding alerts from organization that you think might be interested in your research.

You have done a lot in the past three weeks. Unless you are one of the lucky few, this has probably included managing some financial uncertainties. Hopefully you have most of your questions answered by now. But the University of Arizona is a big place and you might find that you have to run around in circles a bit before getting issues resolved.

Here are few suggestions for students trying to navigate the financial milieu of graduate school.

Last spring a student came into my office to discuss a specific funding opportunity. I found her research compelling and I looked forward to learning more about it when she sent me her essays. But when I began to read the draft of her fellowship proposal, I soon found my mind drifting to topics like snacks. I gave her comments and we are still waiting to hear the results of the competition.

As we approach the fall semester, I hope that many of you have plans to apply for funding opportunities.

However, in the busy life of graduate school, students often start to wonder if taking the time to apply for fellowships and grants is worth the effort. Graduate students are generally successful people, so after being rejected once or twice, some give up applying.

Librarians are treasure chests for graduate students. A few good tips from a librarian can provide a graduate student with just the right resources and save him or her hours of work. With this in mind, I interviewed University of Arizona librarian Jill Newby for a few tips on creating a bibliography for fellowships.

 

Along with fellowship opportunities, I include some internship opportunities in the GradFunding newsletter. Internships can be invaluable for both the academic and professional life of a graduate student. For more information about internships, I contacted Jeff Patten, UA Career Services career coordinator and counselor, and Cynthia Van Driess Watson, the Assistant Director of the UA Career Services. If you are interested in an internship, their insights may be useful.

 

Why seek out an internship?

 

Few graduate students are familiar with Sponsored Projects. But if you plan on continued research, chances are that you will eventually need to know about this department. Lori Schultz, Assistant Director of UA Sponsored Projects, generously provided the following brief introduction.

What is the purpose of Sponsored Projects?

For a graduate student who is new to grant writing, or even a seasoned grant writer, an RFP (Request for Proposals) can be intimidating. Every organization arranges the document differently and the language used is often abstruse. Depending on the agency, there may not even be a single document but a scattering of information across webpages. This GradFunding article will help you navigate RFPs, in whatever their form, and get the information that you need. 

Application support is available for UA students applying to the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program! Registrants will have access to successful essays, assistance with an application plan, and more.

UA Graduate Students are invited to attend a summer workshop series on applying for fellowships. Topics range from making a fellowship application plan to managing the revision process. Attendees will make concrete progress on the application during the workshops.

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