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About sqxz

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  • Birthday 01/01/1992

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  • Location
    Urbana, IL
  • Application Season
    2014 Fall
  • Program
    Biophysics and Quantitative Biology PhD

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  1. No, this is an annual requirement (unless they've changed things for newer fellows). You have to list all of your publications, presentations, broader impacts activities, etc. that have come out in the last year using an online form, and you have to write a page-long summary of your accomplishments. Your research advisor also has to sign off on what you've said in your report and certify that you are making satisfactory progress. Once you've gathered all the necessary components, you submit your report on FastLane into the NSF ether, and you never hear anything about it again. (At least, that'
  2. sqxz

    Urbana-Champaign, IL

    @Eman2 No, I don't think you're missing anything. Like I said in my original post, it's possible to find one bedroom apartments that cost $700/month or less after factoring in utilities, but they'll be among the cheapest available. And, generally speaking, you'll get what you pay for. To get an apartment at this price, you might have to sacrifice square footage, newness/quality of appliances/cabinets/plumbing/etc., proximity to campus, amenities, or any number of other things. You have to decide for yourself which of these things if any are important for you to have with your apartment. I
  3. In my year, three of my seven invitations to interview came after this date. My last invitation to interview came on February 18. It's still early. The competitiveness of the interview process varies widely from program to program. Some places I interviewed stated (when asked) that they had a post-interview acceptance rate of less than 50%. Others stated (unprompted) that the interview was basically a formality. I just want to put this out there now to encourage people to temper their expectations about what getting an interview might actually mean.
  4. Generally speaking, this is a bad idea. If you're applying to the same schools, it is possible that the same professors will be reading your application. Whether they will remember it after reading dozens of other SOPs is another question, though some schools may have a procedure in place for tracking repeat applicants.. More to the point, if you want to be successful with your second round of applications when you weren't in your first, there should be major differences between your first and second applications, and those differences should manifest as more than two new paragraphs in your SO
  5. For anyone already thinking about taxes as they relate to the NSF GRF, here are some key facts and resources that I have found helpful over the past two years (especially last year when I was on tenure for the entire calendar year). The stipend fellows receive from the NSF GRF is considered "taxable income," but it is not considered "taxable compensation" by the IRS. Basically, what this means is that you have to pay income taxes on your stipend each year, but you cannot use your stipend to contribute to traditional or Roth IRAs. Your university will also not include stipend payment
  6. In general, the NSF GRF does not allow you to take a stipend from multiple sources at the same time (though there are some exceptions). However, unless things have changed, the length of the award is 5 years with 3 years of tenured support, and I've also heard of people deferring the NSF GRF for up to one year. It might be possible for you to defer the NSF GRF for one year, then take your first two years of the NSF GRF off tenure, then take the remaining three years on tenure. This would allow you to use all of the funding available to you. However, like a previous poster said, I would de
  7. As far as I know, this is not possible. You only have the option to declare your status for the full year, though you can give up the ramainder of a tenured year part way through if something comes up that makes you want to do so.
  8. sqxz

    Urbana-Champaign, IL

    I agree that it will be difficult to find a one bedroom apartment close to campus with all utilities included for under $700. It can be done if you're willing to accept some of the cheapest apartments in town, but it may not have all of the amenities you're looking for. Any website where apartments are listed (hotpads, ApartmentFinder, craigslist, etc.) can be used to see what options are currently available in Champaign-Urbana. I also agree that Urbana will generally have cheaper apartment options available.
  9. Congratulations! No, it's not bad to wait to accept. In fact, I would encourage you to do so until after your last interview.
  10. For additional information and solidarity as April approaches, this topic may be of interest to you:
  11. For me (speaking qualitatively and anecdotally), three of eight programs accepted almost all of those who were interviewed, and five of eight accepted about half of those who were interviewed.
  12. Don't worry about it. I had only received my first of seven interview invitations at this point in my application season, and my last interview invitation came in mid February. Official rejection letters will be sent, but most likely not until March or April.
  13. For general interest, you can estimate the amount you will have to pay in federal income tax using this website (https://apps.irs.gov/app/withholdingcalculator/), though I don't think this applies to international students. You will have to search state by state to get an estimate of how much you will pay in state income taxes. In addition to income taxes, you may also have to pay FICA taxes, which is a flat tax of 7.65% (for our purposes). If you are registered as a full-time student, you are exempt from FICA taxes. For this reason, some institutions make sure their grad students are alw
  14. As of last year (and I don't believe this has changed), each class of eligible student competes only against the same class for the available awards. That is, undergrad seniors compete only against undergrad seniors, first year grad students compete only against first year grad students, etc. This information comes from the Office of External Fellowships at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, whose director has served as a panelist for several years, and Bill Hahn, who recently served as the director of the NSF GRFP and who gave a workshop on applying for an NSF GRF at UIUC in 2015
  15. sqxz

    Urbana-Champaign, IL

    I lived in Minneapolis for my undergrad, and I do like living in Champaign-Urbana. I have heard Champaign-Urbana described as "micro-urban," and I would agree with that characterization. You can find almost all of the same things that can be found in big cities...there are just fewer of them and with less variety in Champaign-Urbana. For security, you can take a look at this map (https://www.crimereports.com/home/#!/dashboard?lat=40.1117&lng=-88.2073&zoom=13&searchText=Urbana%2C%20Illinois%2C%20United%20States&incident_types=Assault%2CAssault%20with%20Deadly%20Weapon%2CBre
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