So this year, after two previous attempts, I was finally awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! I guess third time’s really the charm, huh? Though I was going to make a similar post regardless of if I was awarded it, I thought this would be a nice way to add my own advice as to how to give this fellowship your best shot!
So as the thought of grad school gets closer, so does the realization that it might be a good idea to start thinking about what you want to focus on as a research topic. But of course, this leads to many questions such as, how do you even go about narrowing your interests? And how refined of a research topic do you really need before grad school? Will my lack of a focus reflect badly on my grad applications? Does this mean I can’t apply to fellowships? Help meeee!
Not to worry, my friends! Hopefully this post will answer all of your questions and more! For organization purposes, this post will be separated into three parts!
Disclaimer! This post focuses on STEM graduate programs in US universities. In addition, most of these fellowships require you to be a US citizen or permanent resident. Regardless, always read the eligibility requirements carefully.
If you know of common fellowships that are not listed here or see outdated information for those I did list, please let me know and I’ll update the post, as needed.
Last Edited: Sept 5, 2017
FELLOWSHIP SEASON IS HERE! Well, it’s pretty much been here, that sneaky bastard! Let us cry over our applications. ;_;
For those of you that are interested in going to graduate school (or those already in grad school, like myself) I am here to remind you that it is super important to apply for as many fellowships as possible! Why? Because everyone likes money, right?
Admittedly, most STEM graduate programs pay their students a small (but livable) stipend during their time at grad school. However, to get that stipend you might have to do additional things such as extra TA hours, which usually just add to your already busy schedule… Not to mention that bringing your own money to grad school means that 1) for seniors, there’s a better chance of getting accepted to a school/lab of your choice, 2) more professors would be willing to work with you because they don’t have to find funding for you, and 3) sometimes those fellowships give you a bigger salary than your university would! Yay!
So, here’s a list of some fellowships that all upcoming and first year grad students typically apply for, particularly in STEM focused programs!