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NSF GRFP 2018-2019

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Just fantasizing about what I will do when I get the email... when I got into grad school I SCREAMED.... just cuz,

 

anyways, wishful thinking! Might scream if I get rejected too...

 

I read somewhere where someone got a false acceptance once? What a nightmare!!! I would be devastated 

 

i might call my best friend right when I get the email and then open it with her on the phone for MORAL SUPPORT

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36 minutes ago, FunInPhonology said:

 

I read somewhere where someone got a false acceptance once? What a nightmare!!! I would be devastated 

 

Supposedly this happened to someone who got their degree from my department the year before I got here. She got the great news and INVITED THE WHOLE DEPARTMENT FOR DRINKS ON HER. Then got the correction and, along with all the sadness that comes with that, was out probably a hundo. I think people heard and gave her money back, but can you imagine? "Yeah, so I heard you actually didn't get that thing, but maybe this five bucks back will make it better?" 

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On 3/30/2019 at 10:40 AM, clinicalpsych20192020 said:

Are results going to be released this week?

we can only hope...

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13 hours ago, FunInPhonology said:

i might call my best friend right when I get the email and then open it with her on the phone for MORAL SUPPORT

Even if I get the email at 5am, I'll probably take a few shots of something strong before opening mine up lol

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So after perusing the reddit threads I wanted to talk about the reviewer comments.

it sounds like some people have a really hard time with this, yes these are experts in our fields looking at our research plan, but I didn’t realize that sometimes they might be really mean?

 

also, can someone explain the scoring? I looks like they use letters “V/V” or something. 

 

I look forward to reading reviews and I hope I will be positive about the feedback. Sometimes you have to take it with a grain of salt and not let it get you down!

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So I applied last year and I didn’t get it, but I can tell you about the scoring. At least for me, I didn’t think the reviewers were mean, and I thought they had some good comments and also some comments that I didn’t think were that good. Each reviewer grades you on two categories, intellectual merit and broader impacts. The letters (I think) are E for excellent, V for very good, G for good, F for fair, and P for poor. I’m too lazy to go find my reviews, but that’s what I remember. Thus, V/V would be very good for both intellectual merit and broader impacts. Unfortunately from what I understand a single good will kill your application, and you can only get a couple of very goods, everything pretty much needs to be excellent. Which is unfortunate of you get one reviewer who didn’t like your stuff.

Edited by pchem2018
Hadn’t finished writing

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7 minutes ago, FunInPhonology said:

So after perusing the reddit threads I wanted to talk about the reviewer comments.

it sounds like some people have a really hard time with this, yes these are experts in our fields looking at our research plan, but I didn’t realize that sometimes they might be really mean?

 

also, can someone explain the scoring? I looks like they use letters “V/V” or something. 

 

I look forward to reading reviews and I hope I will be positive about the feedback. Sometimes you have to take it with a grain of salt and not let it get you down!

So first off, after speaking to a professor who has reviewed for NSF before multiple times and is familiar with the process, apparently NSF did away with panels this go around due to the government shutdown, which means their internal people are reviewing our applications. Can anyone verify this? Assuming that is true, what that means for us I don't know. I would assume we are less likely to be reviewed by experts in our fields though. 

I had to dig to find an explanation of the scoring, but here it is:
E = excellent
VG = very good
G = good
F = fair
P = poor

 

Regarding reviewers being mean, I'd assume they just get tired of reading applications and start writing as concisely as possible while still communicating their problems with an application, which I can easily see leading to sounding mean. Someone could just be an asshole, though. I'd imagine it's similar to reviewer comments from academic journals. Sometimes they're nice and sometimes they're mean.

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55 minutes ago, FunInPhonology said:

also, can someone explain the scoring? I looks like they use letters “V/V” or something. 

Other people above have explain the scoring letters already, so I won't really touch on that. Each reviewer will give you a rating on both intellectual merit and broader impacts. But actually, we letter score you get isn't how they determine who gets the fellowship. Each reviewer actually gives you a number score which is converted to the E, VG, G, etc. Then your Z-score with respect to that reviewer is computed - if you got a very high number score but the reviewer actually ranked most other people higher, then your Z-score will be low. Similarly, if your number score is low but actually higher than most of the people the reviewer scored, then your Z-score will be high. This is how they protect against reviewers who are abnormally harsh or lenient.

 

46 minutes ago, pchem2018 said:

Unfortunately from what I understand a single good will kill your application, and you can only get a couple of very goods, everything pretty much needs to be excellent. Which is unfortunate of you get one reviewer who didn’t like your stuff.

This is not true. I was awarded last year and I got one good and two excellents. It strongly depends on who is reviewing your application and how harsh/generous they were overall. I've noticed that in biosciences, a lot of people seem to get mostly excellents and 1-2 VGs and still not get awarded, but I think reviewers on those panels tend to award a lot of high scores.

Edited by hkcool

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9 minutes ago, clinicalpsych20192020 said:

Do we get to find out our number scores and z-scores?

Nope, just letters associated with reviewers. 

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has it been debunked that there is always a Fastlane maintenance message posted before the scores are posted? Since it seems like they just do maintenance all the time...

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I think they always have the maintenance message before the scores are posted, at least that is was I've seen on posts from previous years. But they also do maintenance for other things with the website occasionally. So it's always a guessing game on whether the results will be posted or not. 

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25 minutes ago, bahbahblacksheep said:

has it been debunked that there is always a Fastlane maintenance message posted before the scores are posted? Since it seems like they just do maintenance all the time...

Not all maintenance messages precede GRFP announcements but all GRFP announcements are preceded by maintenance messages. 

Has anyone heard anything on a delayed reward announcement this year due to the government shutdown? I wasn't expecting an announcement until mid April, but the buzz around here has me nervous.

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23 minutes ago, DrBillyBeans said:

Not all maintenance messages precede GRFP announcements but all GRFP announcements are preceded by maintenance messages. 

Has anyone heard anything on a delayed reward announcement this year due to the government shutdown? I wasn't expecting an announcement until mid April, but the buzz around here has me nervous.

Other people have called them and tbey have confirmed release is set for "early April" still.

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Based on the “early April” statement and the government shutdown, I have a strong feeling it’d be posted no earlier than this Friday - but my guess is more like next week (Tuesday or Friday of course).

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12 minutes ago, Transport said:

Based on the “early April” statement and the government shutdown, I have a strong feeling it’d be posted no earlier than this Friday - but my guess is more like next week (Tuesday or Friday of course).

I think you're probably right on it being no earlier than Friday but more likely next week. I'm just hoping it's this week so that we have enough time to figure out/finalize plans before the April 15th acceptance deadline. 

Also, good luck to everyone on this feed! It's been really helpful to have a community to check in with while waiting!

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9 hours ago, ktrae1006 said:

I think you're probably right on it being no earlier than Friday but more likely next week. I'm just hoping it's this week so that we have enough time to figure out/finalize plans before the April 15th acceptance deadline. 

Just a heads up, but the acceptance deadline is actually May 1st according to the NSF GRFP website.

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11 minutes ago, spamhaus said:

Just a heads up, but the acceptance deadline is actually May 1st according to the NSF GRFP website.

Oh, I meant the deadline to accept graduate school offers. Because having good funding can play such a big role in that decision. Thank you for the clarification though!

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Okay so I'm starting to get a bit neurotic with refreshing the fastlane website for that maintenance update, so I need a distraction.

This whole thing is about celebrating creative people and creative ideas, so let's do that before our ideas are assigned a monetary value (or the lack thereof)!

SO, what were everyone's proposals on? Or if you know you'll be doing a different project than what you applied with, what is that?

I applied with a project looking at how European Mennonite communities may affect jaguar habitat use, but I'll actually be using the NSF funding for brown bear - black bear spatial interactions!

 

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3 minutes ago, cullenish said:

Okay so I'm starting to get a bit neurotic with refreshing the fastlane website for that maintenance update, so I need a distraction.

This whole thing is about celebrating creative people and creative ideas, so let's do that before our ideas are assigned a monetary value (or the lack thereof)!

SO, what were everyone's proposals on? Or if you know you'll be doing a different project than what you applied with, what is that?

I applied with a project looking at how European Mennonite communities may affect jaguar habitat use, but I'll actually be using the NSF funding for brown bear - black bear spatial interactions!

 

I like this idea! Good for releasing tension lol. You have a really interesting topic! It sounds like important research, hope you get the funding 😊

I applied with a proposal for degradable 3D printed scaffolds for bone repair. It looks like I’ll apply it to 3D printed bio-inspired nanostructures though based on the lab I’m leaning towards joining. I don’t feel like my proposal was the strongest, but I’m hoping for good feedback for applying next year if nothing else!

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Just now, Mataharii said:

I like this idea! Good for releasing tension lol. You have a really interesting topic! It sounds like important research, hope you get the funding 😊

I applied with a proposal for degradable 3D printed scaffolds for bone repair. It looks like I’ll apply it to 3D printed bio-inspired nanostructures though based on the lab I’m leaning towards joining. I don’t feel like my proposal was the strongest, but I’m hoping for good feedback for applying next year if nothing else!

Oh boy, that sounds super fancy! Important work for sure! So is the idea that you could fix broken bones with this material and it would degrade after it's healed? 

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It's funny because I applied last year during my senior year of undergrad and refreshed Fastlane for about two weeks straight. I was writing my senior thesis and taking 20 credits of classes and definitely had better things to focus on. It was the perfect tool for procrastination. 

I took a gap year this year to travel and apply to schools which gave me the added benefit of a third chance to apply to NSF. But I haven't thought about it once since I submitted until the past couple days. 

My project looks at ruminant microbiology and seeks to define the host genetic effect vs microbial control on phenotypic variability in methane emission of ruminant mammals. I realized I didn't want to work with animals though, so I will not be continuing that line of research. I will likely end up working in a lab focused on microbial ecology in water sanitation and resource reclamation but I was accepted to my program without the recommendation of a specific adviser so I'm keeping my options open based on advice from my undergraduate research adviser. There are projects in multiple labs I could see myself working on and I want to make sure I fit in the lab before I choose it.

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3 minutes ago, DrBillyBeans said:

It's funny because I applied last year during my senior year of undergrad and refreshed Fastlane for about two weeks straight. I was writing my senior thesis and taking 20 credits of classes and definitely had better things to focus on. It was the perfect tool for procrastination. 

I took a gap year this year to travel and apply to schools which gave me the added benefit of a third chance to apply to NSF. But I haven't thought about it once since I submitted until the past couple days. 

My project looks at ruminant microbiology and seeks to define the host genetic effect vs microbial control on phenotypic variability in methane emission of ruminant mammals. I realized I didn't want to work with animals though, so I will not be continuing that line of research. I will likely end up working in a lab focused on microbial ecology in water sanitation and resource reclamation but I was accepted to my program without the recommendation of a specific adviser so I'm keeping my options open based on advice from my undergraduate research adviser. There are projects in multiple labs I could see myself working on and I want to make sure I fit in the lab before I choose it.

Cool, we are in similar fields! Did you apply under environmental engineering or bioengineering (or biosciences?). I couldn't decide but went with environmental engineering, although I probably should have done interdisciplinary between bio and environmental engineering. What school will you be attending?

I've been working on a lab focused on microbial community engineering for biological nutrient removal and carbon recovery (I work on nitrogen removal currently). My proposal was about creating metabolic models for a halophilic (salt-loving) microbe and using these models for the construction of a synthetic halophilic microbial ecology for the conversion of organic waste (food waste in the project, because our lab already works with that) to value-added chemicals (succinic acid in the project) in a non-sterile, seawater-based bioprocess. 

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