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mav160

Applying for NSF GRFP and Ford Foundation Fellowship: Advice and where to find the best information

13 posts in this topic

I am currently a first year Masters student in Psychological Research, and I want to apply to a PhD program in Quantitative Psychology next year. I recently heard about predoctoral graduate fellowships, and I am highly interested into applying for them (mainly Ford Foundation and NSF GRFP). However, I don't know very much information about the process (there has never been an applicant in my program), and it is unclear to me what information is accurate online. Does anyone have any advice for the application process (in psychology in particular)? Are there any great guides or websites I should be looking at? Is there a way to access past proposals that have been successful?

Thanks for your help. Even basic information is helpful considering I just started looking at these today. :D

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If i'm not mistaken, you can not apply for the NSF GRFP if you have more than 12 months of graduate study, aka you can not apply if you already have your Master's. 

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4 minutes ago, paleoatmo said:

If i'm not mistaken, you can not apply for the NSF GRFP if you have more than 12 months of graduate study, aka you can not apply if you already have your Master's. 

Some master's take 12 months or less. 

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In addition to the websites listed above, I would highly highly recommend working with multiple profs on your personal statement and research statement. Try to see if anyone from your institution has served on a GRFP review committee before, even if it's in a slightly different field or subfield (it can sometimes be better to have someone who doesn't know you look at your personal statement, too!). You can also work with grad students or post-docs who've previously won the award, if you know any. The general tips from those websites are great (and I used them to a degree), but nothing beats the one-on-one feedback from a prof or other live person!

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7 hours ago, paleoatmo said:

If i'm not mistaken, you can not apply for the NSF GRFP if you have more than 12 months of graduate study, aka you can not apply if you already have your Master's. 

You can't apply if you have completed 2 years of graduate study (I've only done one). Since I've never applied previously and won't have my Master's by the time I submit in the Fall, I'm still qualified. I hadn't known that until just recently!

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6 hours ago, kevinrhinoceros said:

In addition to the websites listed above, I would highly highly recommend working with multiple profs on your personal statement and research statement. Try to see if anyone from your institution has served on a GRFP review committee before, even if it's in a slightly different field or subfield (it can sometimes be better to have someone who doesn't know you look at your personal statement, too!). You can also work with grad students or post-docs who've previously won the award, if you know any. The general tips from those websites are great (and I used them to a degree), but nothing beats the one-on-one feedback from a prof or other live person!

Thank you for the advice. Unfortunately, no one in my institution has ever won it. Do you think professors who have previously won grants worth talking to?

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Posted (edited)

@Levon3

Thank you for the helpful websites. I was having a lot of trouble finding the proposals that had won previously. Much appreciated!

Edited by mav160

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1 hour ago, mav160 said:

You can't apply if you have completed 2 years of graduate study (I've only done one). Since I've never applied previously and won't have my Master's by the time I submit in the Fall, I'm still qualified. I hadn't known that until just recently!

Did you start in the fall of last year? If so, yes you qualify. If you started earlier (summer term or before), then you do not. This is only if you are a full time student. If you are part time, you can only have completed 24 semester credit hours or 36 quarter credit hours.

https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2016/nsf16588/nsf16588.htm

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54 minutes ago, jmillar said:

Did you start in the fall of last year? If so, yes you qualify. If you started earlier (summer term or before), then you do not. This is only if you are a full time student. If you are part time, you can only have completed 24 semester credit hours or 36 quarter credit hours.

https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2016/nsf16588/nsf16588.htm

Yeah I'm a full time student that started my master's on August 25, 2016. So Fall last year. 

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2 hours ago, mav160 said:

Thank you for the advice. Unfortunately, no one in my institution has ever won it. Do you think professors who have previously won grants worth talking to?

Hmm. Well, the GRFP is pretty different from a regular grant in that they're more funding you as a person instead of your research. NIH grants are also pretty different from NSF grants in terms of scope/focus. If you can find someone who has NSF funding, they'll at least be helpful with the research statement.

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There are so many resources online for the NSF GRFP, but the Ford is harder to find and I don't know why. I am currently waiting to hear back about my Ford application. I had current Ford fellows at my university help me with my proposal, if it wasn't for them I wouldn't even know where to start! 

Having said that, there is actually a Ford thread active now at GradCafe. I suggest you follow that too. Results are due soon and students should be posting the comments and you can ask questions directly about what worked and what didn't in their applications.

Good luck!

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