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NSF GRFP 2018-2019

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2 hours ago, milka49 said:

As much torture as this is, I'm glad they are taking the extra time. I've heard people say that the panels were canceled, and other say they weren't. I hope they weren't and I hope the delay in results means that, despite the shutdown, they are taking the reviewing as seriously as they do every other year. I know this might be coming from a place of already-in-school privilege, and I can't imagine what that added stress must be, but as someone who probably put triple digit hours of work into their application, I'm in a way glad they aren't rushing this.

Agreed!! I’m frustrated by the waiting but I’d rather wait an extra week or however long than receive a review calling me the wrong name or reviewing the wrong proposal lol.

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On 4/1/2019 at 12:05 PM, KayChem2019 said:

Interesting! My proposal was on discovering new bioactive secondary metabolites from species of marine algae that haven't been really investigated. Based on my literature review, they show some promise. I plan on testing potential pharmaceutical applications, but I also want to see if the newly discovered compounds can serve as insect pest deterrents or a sort of biopesticide.

I love seeing more algae people! My work focuses on the use of electron beam irradiation technology to remediate microcystin-lr (produced by cyanobacteria in harmful algal blooms) from water treatment and its residuals.

I'm anxiously awaiting decisions too, but I appreciate the positivity from everyone on this thread :)

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2 hours ago, ayohkay12 said:

I love seeing more algae people! My work focuses on the use of electron beam irradiation technology to remediate microcystin-lr (produced by cyanobacteria in harmful algal blooms) from water treatment and its residuals.

I'm anxiously awaiting decisions too, but I appreciate the positivity from everyone on this thread :)

Ahh, the illustrious microcystins. That sounds amazing!

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1 hour ago, DyingInside said:

Are all award winners announced on the same day or does it vary by field? 

All awards and honorable mentions are made at the same time, thankfully. 

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Is anyone waiting on making a PhD school decision until they hear from NSF?? One school is really putting the pressure on me to tell them my choice but, the tow choices I have are so highly ranked for me it really is coming down to the funding. I feel like I should wait.... anyone with a similar problem?

Edited by DyingInside

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I made an account just to post on this thread. My advisor has funding for me, but I would REALLY like to feel more secure. This entire waiting process has been weeks of internal screaming on my end. I reread my application materials twice - and I don't hate them. I'm not used to rereading something I've turned in and liking it. Which gives me hope, that I'm trying to quash so I'm not too disappointed when I find out the results. Cue repeat of internal screaming. 

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8 hours ago, DyingInside said:

Is anyone waiting on making a PhD school decision until they hear from NSF?? One school is really putting the pressure on me to tell them my choice but, the tow choices I have are so highly ranked for me it really is coming down to the funding. I feel like I should wait.... anyone with a similar problem?

This is such a difficult position to be in, but don't let a school pressure you to commit before you're ready to make a decision. You have every right to wait! 

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8 hours ago, DyingInside said:

Is anyone waiting on making a PhD school decision until they hear from NSF?? One school is really putting the pressure on me to tell them my choice but, the tow choices I have are so highly ranked for me it really is coming down to the funding. I feel like I should wait.... anyone with a similar problem?

I'm *technically* waitlisted at my top school in two programs. My partner has already been guaranteed funding at the same school for a different program, so I know where I'm going to be in the fall, regardless of my admissions status. I just NEED this scholarship though to make it in, or else I'm likely gonna have to reapply next year to both Tulane and the GRFP to get a hold of this elusive funding! I hate all this waiting, and my inability to do anything about it!!!

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2 hours ago, Imalthica said:

I'm *technically* waitlisted at my top school in two programs. My partner has already been guaranteed funding at the same school for a different program, so I know where I'm going to be in the fall, regardless of my admissions status. I just NEED this scholarship though to make it in, or else I'm likely gonna have to reapply next year to both Tulane and the GRFP to get a hold of this elusive funding! I hate all this waiting, and my inability to do anything about it!!!

Good luck!

Edited by IceCream & MatSci

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2 hours ago, FunInPhonology said:

The fact this post has 76k views is giving me life right now 

 

😈

Guilty...

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3 hours ago, FunInPhonology said:

The fact this post has 76k views is giving me life right now 

 

😈

I am probably ~1000 of those. 

In all seriousness, good luck everyone! 

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I understand that if you are a PhD applicant, then having this fellowship will make your application much stronger, but if you are already admitted to a PhD program, then why should you be concerned about your funding? I'm not even sure why a PhD program would admit someone if they cannot guarantee the funding. Sure it is nice to have fellowships but it shouldn't be a determinant factor for students who genuinely want to do science/research. PhD is equivalent of 2 full time jobs and the least the universities can do is to relieve the students  from worrying about a minimum wage stipend.

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36 minutes ago, Neuronophil said:

I understand that if you are a PhD applicant, then having this fellowship will make your application much stronger, but if you are already admitted to a PhD program, then why should you be concerned about your funding? I'm not even sure why a PhD program would admit someone if they cannot guarantee the funding. Sure it is nice to have fellowships but it shouldn't be a determinant factor for students who genuinely want to do science/research. PhD is equivalent of 2 full time jobs and the least the universities can do is to relieve the students  from worrying about a minimum wage stipend.

I don’t understand what you’re saying.

Pretty much everyone is admitted to PhD programs without their own funding. In biology/biomedical programs, the program covers your funding for the first couple years. If you’re an applicant and get a fellowship, it relieves the funding burden of the program and can open up a spot for you if the limiting factor on admission was money. If a program can only afford 10 students but someone has a fellowship then they can admit another student. The fellowship substitutes for this program funding and beyond that it is usually the advisor who covers funding.

If youre starting or in the first year of a program, the program requires your advisor to be able to pay your stipend/benefits when you join their lab. Having a fellowship can make additional labs an option as well as you more stability in that process, as your funding is yours not your PI’s. 

As a second year grad student, fellowships are mostly about alleviating funding for your PI so he/she can spend that money on your experiments/resources. Fellowship are also great for showing you are able to obtain funding and help with later grants and appointments. NSF/NDSEG are much shorter apps than the NIH F31, and three years of funding means I don’t have to do this again until (presumably) postdoctoral fellowships.

I can’t speak for other fields but in biology/biomedical programs, fellowships are rarely/never about TA requirements or increasing your stipend. Those things are guaranteed and set in stone. But it alleviates funds for research and gives more stability to your work. 

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1 hour ago, Neuronophil said:

I understand that if you are a PhD applicant, then having this fellowship will make your application much stronger, but if you are already admitted to a PhD program, then why should you be concerned about your funding? I'm not even sure why a PhD program would admit someone if they cannot guarantee the funding. Sure it is nice to have fellowships but it shouldn't be a determinant factor for students who genuinely want to do science/research. PhD is equivalent of 2 full time jobs and the least the universities can do is to relieve the students  from worrying about a minimum wage stipend.

There are many programs where you are "guaranteed" funding, but the form that takes can be very different between universities, and even between departments. In my department, most people are funded by training grants or their PI's grants. In the department my housemate is in, people are funded almost solely through Teaching Assistantships, which take up a considerable amount of time. Being able to have a few years without teaching to focus solely on research is huge and a big reason why many of them apply as already matriculated grad students.

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1 hour ago, jmillar said:

There are many programs where you are "guaranteed" funding, but the form that takes can be very different between universities, and even between departments. In my department, most people are funded by training grants or their PI's grants. In the department my housemate is in, people are funded almost solely through Teaching Assistantships, which take up a considerable amount of time. Being able to have a few years without teaching to focus solely on research is huge and a big reason why many of them apply as already matriculated grad students.

Agreed. Teaching takes a day to be in class and at least one more day to grade. That either means you're less in lab to work, get less work done, need longer to graduate, etc. Or that you have no off time to release frustrations of weekly grad student existential crises

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2 hours ago, Neuronophil said:

I understand that if you are a PhD applicant, then having this fellowship will make your application much stronger, but if you are already admitted to a PhD program, then why should you be concerned about your funding? I'm not even sure why a PhD program would admit someone if they cannot guarantee the funding. Sure it is nice to have fellowships but it shouldn't be a determinant factor for students who genuinely want to do science/research. PhD is equivalent of 2 full time jobs and the least the universities can do is to relieve the students  from worrying about a minimum wage stipend.

Additionally, you may be in my situation where you have funding on a project that it turns out isn't your favorite, and is also very specific about where you need to take your project. If you get an NSF GRFP, you're granted a lot of freedom as you write your own proposal and outline/goals. 

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I'm questioning the entire financial support structure of PhD programs that has led to fellowships like NSF GRFP to become such an important factor in admission to PhD programs. The amount of work that PhD students contribute to a university's scientific research certainly deserves more than a minimum wage stipend. However in the current system, not only that minimum wage is not guaranteed, but they force the students to participate in extremely competitive and stressful contests called "fellowships" and bring their own minimum wage stipends with them. This just doesn't make any sense! Admissions should only be about scientific merit, as the $ value of PhD students' work is certainly worth much more than what they get.

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9 minutes ago, Neuronophil said:

I'm questioning the entire financial support structure of PhD programs that has led to fellowships like NSF GRFP to become such an important factor in admission to PhD programs. The amount of work that PhD students contribute to a university's scientific research certainly deserves more than a minimum wage stipend. However in the current system, not only that minimum wage is not guaranteed, but they force the students to participate in extremely competitive and stressful contests called "fellowships" and bring their own minimum wage stipends with them. This just doesn't make any sense! Admissions should only be about scientific merit, as the $ value of PhD students' work is certainly worth much more than what they get.

Unfortunately, money throughout the world is not distributed well, in my opinion. The wealthy are super wealthy, and the poor are usually super poor. Also, education is not valued like it should be either. Like in the US, education is not one of the top priorities when it comes to creating the federal budget. So, because of this, there is pretty much a requirement of organizations focused on the value of education. And then organizations have to make scholarships, fellowships, and grants in order to keep things running because in the world of humans, "money is what makes the world go round". This is how I see it, anyways. It is sad and frustrating and maybe it will change one day, but as of right now, it is what we have to do as students, sadly.

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Do any of the people who know reviewers know if they have submitted their work yet or where they are in the process? I'm hoping "after April 9" means next week, but theoretically it could mean anything, so I'm curious if we should be hoping for next week at all. 

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