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NSF GRFP 2018-2019

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36 minutes ago, gummybear9 said:

Undergrad, BME, offered award: VG/VG, E/E, E/E

Also, does anyone know how to change the institution I proposed when applying? That's not where I ended up going.

Nevermind, they give you the chance to change it after you accept!

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VG/VG, VG/VG, E/E in Civil Engineering, first year grad student. I didn’t get it, and they said my weak points was a lower than average BS GPA in the applicant pool (3.46) and my outreach during undergraduate could have been stronger. Everything else was extremely positivite though, so that boosted my morale!

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1st year PhD, Biomedical Engineering, Honorable Mention. 

I was very excited about my honorable mention, but now I’m a little upset with the reviews. I only have 2 reviews each of which maybe wrote 2 sentences. It made me feel like no time was put into reviewing my application and was very disheartening. Last year I had 3 wonderful reviews with very helpful feedback. Anyone else feel this way? 

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Life Sciences applicant - Honorable Mention

Only have 2 reviews, both of which were overwhelmingly positive.

Extremely frustrated that a third person didn't review my application.

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Environmental Engineering - Honorable Mention

VG/E, E/E, VG/VG 

Undergrad applicant so I'll be trying again, but I'm so confused. Lol the reviews don't really help me understand what I lacked.

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VG/E, VG/E, VG/E - AWARDED!!! Undergrad in ME/ChE going for Bioengineering PhD. 

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Posted (edited)

I am very proud of all of those you got the award! That's awesome!

However, as a "Not Recommended" person with some conflicting reviews and I think a bit nitpicky at that, I feel defeated. The thing keeping me going is the fact that I got an internal fellowship and an external fellowship and I have an awesome PhD research advisor with great project ideas, which I feel super lucky about. Also, I can't let this experience as well as my successes define me, just have to put a little bit of effort into getting over the reveviewers' words. I guess you can't win them all.

Also, I am proud of myself for a good application in general. I didn't have a mentor to help me, and I wasn't even currently working on research at the time, but I did get help from two people, which I am super thankful for.

Good luck to everyone on their future endeavors!

Edited by IceCream & MatSci

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I know we all like to joke about Broader Impacts in the application process but after reading my reviews I'm genuinely astounded by how little the reviewers know.

I got a VG/E, E/E, E/F! Two of my reviewers gave me excellent for broader impacts and one gave me a FAIR (reminder that the scale is E/VG/G/F/P). I genuinely don't know how to take an application process seriously when the reviewers are this inconsistent. Ugh.

I also had a weird comment for the VG review in academic merit that I only had one letter of rec? Unclear if the NSF system glitched or someone missed it, cause I had three.

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Finally got my reviews. Excellent; good, poor. Not so bad. Some good stuff that made me feel good about my work. One said that a referee didn’t have confidence in my work. Cool thanks 

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I also got only two reviews:  E/E, E/E and I was offered an award for cognitive psychology as an undergraduate. 

The reviews are quite a bit more positive than I would have expected, and my jaw dropped at this line: "Your letters speak impossibly highly of your abilities, drive, and sense of purpose.  You are described as the best undergraduate that these faculty have had the pleasure of working with and everything in your application materials reflects that to be true."  While I'm honored, that seems a bit over the top >.<   

I'm currently 35, and my first attempts at community college right out of high school were quite unsuccessful for 6 years, with a GPA under 2.0.  My family and friends are quite shocked that I'm graduating, let alone being accepted to Yale and winning this award.  The moral: don't let failures from the past impede your successes in the future.  

ViewApplReview.pdf

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I wasn't recommended, (VG/G , E/E, E/VG, E/G) , but the reviewers gave really thoughtful comments! Does anybody know why the number of reviewers are so varying? Does it have to do with the field for which we're applying in? First year grad student in computational biology. 

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First year Master’s student applying in evolutionary biology. Received honorable mention. Checked reviews today - E/VG, E/E, E/E! Honestly was proud of the honorable mention but seeing my reviews makes me wonder how close I was to being awarded. The one “very good” said my potential broader impacts are significant but another sentence or two would be needed. It’s even worse to get so close 😭😭😭

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, icerm4 said:

Does anybody know why the number of reviewers are so varying? Does it have to do with the field for which we're applying in?

I think this just demonstrates how's random the process is.  If you need all Es to get an award, it's obviously much easier if you only have two reviewers.  My only hope is that within each discipline they are the same.  Im not sure if they award proportionally within each field, if it just goes by review score overall irrespective of field, or something inbetween.

In applying to phd programs, I wasn't even considered for one of my top programs because my POI forgot to email the selection committee his interest in new students this year (with me being his top pick).  Just goes to show how much is out of your control. 

 

Edited by CogSciRob

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45 minutes ago, IceCream & MatSci said:

I am very proud of all of those you got the award! That's awesome!

However, as a "Not Recommended" person with some conflicting reviews and I think a bit nitpicky at that, I feel defeated. The thing keeping me going is the fact that I got an internal fellowship and an external fellowship and I have an awesome PhD research advisor with great project ideas, which I feel super lucky about. Also, I can't let this experience as well as my successes define me, just have to put a little bit of effort into getting over the reveviewers' words. I guess you can't win them all.

Also, I am proud of myself for a good application in general. I didn't have a mentor to help me, and I wasn't even currently working on research at the time, but I did get help from two people, which I am super thankful for.

Good luck to everyone on their future endeavors!

4

¡Pa' lante! (I hope you understand Spanish?) --- keep going forward! We at the BME/BIOE chat are SO proud of you!! And besides, this is just the first attempt - you'll get them next year or the next one. I also didn't have a mentor/faculty to help/review, but sometimes we have to work with what we have at the moment. And you know what? It makes you grow, in all aspects. Don't be hard on yourself. After all, you are on an awesome fellowship and have plenty of time to come up with a stronger application for NSF (and I can help if you'd like!).

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Hi all,

I thought I shared this with the group: https://www.sigmaxi.org/news/keyed-in/post/keyed-in/2019/03/11/shutdown-story-nsf-graduate-fellowship-program-reviewer%27s-concerns 

The process this year was a bit different because of the government shutdown, unfortunately it impacted both the reviewers and applicants. 

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Just now, CL001 said:

Hi all,

I thought I shared this with the group: https://www.sigmaxi.org/news/keyed-in/post/keyed-in/2019/03/11/shutdown-story-nsf-graduate-fellowship-program-reviewer%27s-concerns  

The process this year was a bit different because of the government shutdown, unfortunately it impacted both the reviewers and applicants. 

Ouch. That explains my wildly inconsistent Broader Impacts scores, that weren't ironed out in a conference. Bummer. Damn shutdown.

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Applied in Chemistry

Four Reviews: E/E, E/E, E/E, VG/VG

Received: Honorable Mention

Currently a post-baccleareute researcher, so I guess I fall into the undergrad pool. VG reviewer said he wishes my recommendations were up to date. I think one of my reviewers accidentally submitted the wrong recommendation. I'm honored to receive the honorable mention, but I am also a little confused as it seems that I received better feedback than some people that actually received the award.

 

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8 minutes ago, CL001 said:

Hi all,

I thought I shared this with the group: https://www.sigmaxi.org/news/keyed-in/post/keyed-in/2019/03/11/shutdown-story-nsf-graduate-fellowship-program-reviewer%27s-concerns 

The process this year was a bit different because of the government shutdown, unfortunately it impacted both the reviewers and applicants. 

Yup, honorable mention here. I got E/E and E/E (no third review), and overwhelmingly good comments. It was definitely going to be more of a crap-shoot than ever, yet I just wished they would have had some criticisms or suggestions on how I could improve my application.

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9 minutes ago, AnotherThrowawayAccount said:

 I'm honored to receive the honorable mention, but I am also a little confused as it seems that I received better feedback than some people that actually received the award.

 

From what I understand, your z score for each reviewer is factored in, so a VG from someone who gave mostly Ps might be better for you than an E from a reviewer that mostly gave Es.  As others have said, the shutdown seems to have made the process even more random. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, gummybear9 said:

Nevermind, they give you the chance to change it after you accept!

Hey do you know if we have to email the CO for the proposed institution? Like I know we have to email the CO listed, but that person changes if the institution was changed.

Edited by drfigue

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One of my reviewers said "the proposed research is interesting and quite polished in contrast to the applicant". They absolutely tore me apart and didn't write a single positive thing. Many of their comments were just false, too, like saying that it's weird that I have not been published yet or given any presentations when I am currently in publication for two different papers, and I have given presentations?!? The other reviewers were mostly very encouraging and gave some valid criticism, which I really appreciate, but this one person was incredibly negative in a way that felt a lot more personal than constructive. Yikes....

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I had one reviewer give a VG/VG and literally wrote “see scores” for all the comments. This seems beyond lazy to me, I question if they even read my statement and proposal.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, EcoEcho said:

One of my reviewers said "the proposed research is interesting and quite polished in contrast to the applicant". They absolutely tore me apart and didn't write a single positive thing. Many of their comments were just false, too, like saying that it's weird that I have not been published yet or given any presentations when I am currently in publication for two different papers, and I have given presentations?!? The other reviewers were mostly very encouraging and gave some valid criticism, which I really appreciate, but this one person was incredibly negative in a way that felt a lot more personal than constructive. Yikes....

Right there with you. I applied as undergrad in 2017 and got very positive comments. I got mostly VG/E for IM and  F/G for broad impacts which each reviewer said to focus on to have a strong application. Come 2018 and I take the lead to volunteer at an outreach, teach elementary students and formulate outreach plans for the years to come. Currently working with high school students. What do my 2019 reviews say? "Limited prior experience with outreach, though he claims plans to engage more in future" and graded Fair which is complete BS. The other (of 2 reviewers) said VG broad impacts but could be improved (semi BS).

On IM both reviewers noted how I have 4 f*n publications by year 1 BUT my grades are A and B (only had 2 classes first year as mandated by program) which is apparently a failure to them. I took 5 years off between undergrad and grad school so I didnt feel the need to explain a B as I get back into the groove of things, but fml.  Both gave contradicting statements about what my proposal entails, I dont think the first reviewer even read it properly. 

"...nor in how these prior experiences relate to his current work. Research topic was not well justified, and hypothesis seemed rather speculative." 

so overall they were a few sentences each and highly disappointing and subjective. Happy I'm working towards industry to escape this BS system. 

 

Edited by Here2vent

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Ooookay I'm fucking livid and I'm mostly to blame. 

F/G, E/VG, VG/VG

I'm a BS/MS student, but when I applied, I had no graduate courses counting towards my GPA.  The only academic level that can reapply, as BS/MS students can, is level 1.  So that's what I selected. WOW THAT WAS A MISTAKE.  The ONLY negative comment on my application was from Reviewer 1, same comment for both IM and BI: The academic level is 1 for this applicant. However, she is already in here first year of graduate school.

 

NOT

HAPPY

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Geosciences, second year grad student, awarded.
E/E, E/E, E/E

Comments were overwhelmingly positive and provided some good criticism for me to chew on.
For those of you applying again, based on the reviewers' comments, the reviewers for my discipline focused on justifiability, feasibility, and one commenter brought up that it would have been good for me to discuss how I might move forward with results. A more detailed outreach plan would have also been appreciated by reviewers. 

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