Are you thinking of applying for a Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) award this fall? If you are eligible, there is no reason not to! But, like all other funding applications, the key to your success is advance preparation. But what does that mean for this summer? Both GRFP awardees and reviewers offer GRFP tips, but you will also definitely want to think about the following summer homework:
- Learn about Broader Impacts (BI) activities, what this term means, and your activities meet this vital criteria. Try this handy BI guide sheet from NSF. According to this article written by GRFP reviewers “For a large number of applicants, the broader impact criterion was the decisive factor.”
- Select your letter writers and prepare materials to make their job easy. Give them directions for Fastlane (Mizzou has a nice example) and some examples (Vanderbilt offers a useful guide). Choose your writers carefully, select people who know your work well and can speak to different strengths…and then help them do that!
Finally, you should begin to read some winning GRFP proposals! Immerse yourself in the genre of GRFP essay. You can do this by reviewing online examples, like these on Alex Lang’s Blog, or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to see examples from recent Iowa winners (Hawk ID required).
As always, let me know what I can do to help!