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NSF GRFP 2012-2013


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I called NSF today and they said that they are making the final selection now and the result will be released in the first or the second week of April...

Ugh... I hate the suspense.. ****ing republicans   (granted, the democrats are also partially to blame too)

Did anyone else get one reviewer who was way out of line with the other two?

 

I got

E/E

E/VG

G/F

 

with horrendous comments from the third reviewer that were completely inconsistent with the first two. And I was not awareded :(

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Wow. I was awarded. This is impossible. I have applied for other fellowships in the past and been rejected, so my hopes weren't that high. I still can't believe it!

Here are my scores. Third reviewer was a little harsh, it's surprising I received the award at all...

 

IM/BM:

 

E/E

E/E

G/VG

 

I am a second year graduate student so this was my last chance. I am so happy :)

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F/F

VG/G

 

One said that I didn't give enough detail on the proposal, but that I have good experience in research and with giving local presentations. The other said I described my proposed research well, but don't have enough experience disseminating my research. One said that my tutoring experience and local research presentations show a commitment to broadening participation in science, but my proposed research didn't clearly describe impacts to a broader audience. The other said that I lacked demonstration that I could integrate education and research, but that my proposed research would clearly benefit society if successful.


I...just don't know what to think at this point, other than to just do everything better. I'm a first year graduate student, so at least I still have next year. This was my first time applying. Are the reviews always this seemingly contradictory? I guess just different reviewers put emphasis on different things? I'm not surprised that I didn't get it this time, I just don't know what to make of the feedback...

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I got a similar comment. My undergraduate academic background essentially is crap, but is expected give [X things I wrote about why my UG sucked]. Then I got that my graduate career is fabulous. I ended up with VG/VG G/E ... I was just hoping that my undergraduate grades (which are from 7 years ago) would be out weighed by my two papers, 5 years of research experience before grad school, and good letters. 

Such is life!

 

I know what you mean, I'm in the same situation.  It's frustrating because I also have two publications and many years of research experience.  I feel like my undergraduate grades will always haunt me. When will they not matter any more? So what if they suck, I've proven myself in the lab and harder coursework in graduate school. Oh well, it's not anything I haven't heard before. 

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E/E

G/F

Got wonderfully amazing comments from the first reviewer and only a couple sentences from the second reviewer (I don't think he/she even looked at my app). Something must be funky if my ratings are THAT different. Oh well. Better luck next time.

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Awarded this morning... I'm in shock. I had a low undergrad GPA (3.2), but a strong proposal that I spent a lot of time on, very good letters of recommendation, and a handful of upcoming publications. As you can see from my signature, I've had a pretty awful application season. I won't be attending the 1 school where I did get in, so hopefully with this award I can convince some programs to reverse their decisions (since I've heard of that happening in the past). Fingers crossed, especially since I can't defer funding for a year, and it would be a shame to have to not accept the fellowship because I didn't get in anywhere!

 

Applied to environmental sciences division (in the same category of undergrads, though I've been out of school working in research for the last 2 years):

 

(IM/BI)

E/G

VG/VG

E/E

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I got awarded! Holy crap, I'm crying right now, this is unreal.... looking at the reviews, my broader impacts section was very strong!

For reference, I am an Bioengineering undergraduate, applying for Bioengineering PhD programs. I guess I'll add the rating system everyone keeps writing:

My reviews were:

 

E/E

E/E

E/E

AHHHHHHH! I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE IT AHHHHH

 

PS - I had a "low" GPA too, a 3.3!  But they seemed to think it was just fine, one mentioned my "strong academic record" o_O

Edited by SydTheKyd
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Can't believe it. Found the email in my SPAM folder about 10 minutes ago, almost deleted it!

 

VG/E

E/E

E/E

 

Interestingly, one of the reviewers mentioned that my credentials were "not up to the caliber of the rest of the strong field this year", luckily he only counted for one vote!!

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E/E

G/F

Got wonderfully amazing comments from the first reviewer and only a couple sentences from the second reviewer (I don't think he/she even looked at my app). Something must be funky if my ratings are THAT different. Oh well. Better luck next time.

I had similar reviews, both this year and last. The first reviewer actually had some negative comments but gave me VG/E and the second reviewer had nothing but good comments and yet I got a F/G. It's really frustrating to see such differing opinions, it would have been nice to get that 3rd reviewer to clear the air a bit. Still have one more year, hopefully a stronger publication record will help next time. 

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Got it! Never got the email, I found out by the flood of congratulations emails from my department (they must notify the school).

 

VG/E

VG/E

G/VG

 

The last reviewer had issues with my lack of publications (I'm an undergrad, didn't start research until last summer because of financial problems), and thought I was a guy...

Edited by fishasaurus
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Didn't get the fellowship, but got positive feedback:

 

E/E

VG/VG

VG/VG

 

Does anyone know what getting at least an HM entails? Is E the best score possible?

Congrats to everyone who got it this year! Very competitive bunch we are.  :)

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Didn't get the fellowship, but got positive feedback:

 

E/E

VG/VG

VG/VG

 

Does anyone know what getting at least an HM entails? Is E the best score possible?

Congrats to everyone who got it this year! Very competitive bunch we are.  :)

'Excellent' is the best score, then 'very good', good, fair, poor.

Their website says "The NSF accords Honorable Mention to meritorious applicants who do not receive Fellowship awards. This is considered a significant national academic achievement and provides access to cyberinfrastructure resources through the XSEDE. Please refer to http://www.xsede.org for more information on cyberinfrastructure resources."  

I don't know what XSEDE is...?

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When people say they got good and or helpful comments, what exactly does that mean? Paragraphs of specific advice?

 

One reviewer wrote 2 sentences for each section. The other wrote a little more, but only because s/he added a few sentences "summarizing" what I wrote. Their comments were pretty generic (do more on broader impacts, etc)... 

 

 

I just don't know what to make of the feedback...

 me either...

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Got the fellowship! I received the e-mail at 3:45 AM, a minute or two after the list was posted online (for those keeping score).

 

Ratings: (IM/BI)

E/VG

E/E

E/G

 

I completed my undergraduate honors thesis a few days before the NSF deadline and then spent way too much time on my personal statement essay (which was quite good by the time I was through with it), resulting in an embarrassingly raggedy previous research essay . For that essay, I had three major research experiences to write about. By the time I had finished writing about the first research experience, the deadline was like 7 minutes away. So, I decided to cover my other two research experiences by copy/pasting old abstracts... but I could only find one of the two abstracts in my cluttered hard drive! Luckily I had more or less written the proposed plan of research several months prior and didn't have too many updates to make. In the end, I pressed "submit" at 8:00 PM (literally).

 

Indeed there was some reviewer criticism about those essays. However, I apparently had stellar letters of reference that buoyed my application to success. I'm still in disbelief.

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When people say they got good and or helpful comments, what exactly does that mean? Paragraphs of specific advice?

 

One reviewer wrote 2 sentences for each section. The other wrote a little more, but only because s/he added a few sentences "summarizing" what I wrote. Their comments were pretty generic (do more on broader impacts, etc)... 

 

 

 me either...

I got the award and had two good reviewers that gave me E/E.  They both mentioned my letters of recs and undergrad research made up for my bad grade (less than a 2.7GPA).  They like my research topic and engaged enough in my project that they gave me tips on what they would like to see me do, what ways I could make the project even better, and what I should have elaborated more on.  However one said I explained my project extremely well considering I only had 2 pages.  They both gave me props on broader impacts which was actually my biggest worry even though I have a low GPA, I have little to no formal volunteer experience with the people

 

I got one G/G review and that was horrible.  It's like the reviewer had a bad day, saw my low GPA and completely didn't even try.  Basically said my GPA was low, I have no publications and probably not motivated, also said I dont understand the implications of my research project (which is basically the opposite of what the other reviewers said about my implications).  I honestly didn't find that review helpful.  Nothing in there actually suggested that how  I could improve.  Then again, he did give me G/G so he must have saw something good.

 

I'm pretty sure without the good letter of recs from professors and supervisors then I wouldn't have the validation needed for the reviewers to give me top scores.

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When people say they got good and or helpful comments, what exactly does that mean? Paragraphs of specific advice?

 

One reviewer wrote 2 sentences for each section. The other wrote a little more, but only because s/he added a few sentences "summarizing" what I wrote. Their comments were pretty generic (do more on broader impacts, etc)... 

 

 

 me either...

 

One reviewer seemed really impressed with my application, one seemed to like it good but not great, and the last one gave actual good advice in that, I think I can see why my application wasn't strong enough. Basically, the last guy liked my application and the way everything was written, but I think my lack of publications (which I explained) was equivalent to a lack of evidence of independent ability, and that my lack of tangible outreach was also a lack of evidence in outreach. So, while I'm grateful to have the first reviewer's comments to make me feel slightly better, I think the last guy's comments have shown me what I'm really missing so I know what to focus on for this time period until the next application season.

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Got it! Never got the email, I found out by the flood of congratulations emails from my department (they must notify the school).

 

VG/E

VG/E

G/VG

 

The last reviewer had issues with my lack of publications (I'm an undergrad, didn't start research until last summer because of financial problems), and thought I was a guy...

 

Congrats to everyone who got the award/honorable mention!

 

Fishasaurus, maybe your institution was also obsessively refreshing the fastlane page at 3 am to see if the list had been updated lol. The email is probably in your spam folder, that's where mine was.

Edited by swamped
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Congrats to everyone who got the award/honorable mention!

 

Fishasaurus, maybe your institution was also obsessively refreshing the fastlane page at 3 am to see if the list had been updated lol. The email is probably in your spam folder, that's where mine was.

Didn't see it in my spam folder, but I sent them an email and got the acceptance email right afterwards (it was the same exact text as the award letter available in Fastlane). One of my professors was a reviewer last year, so he knows people and probably heard ahead of time when the list was getting put up. I'm not the only person from my department to get it, so maybe one of them let him know. I've heard that programs start hounding their recruits who are still undecided if they get the fellowship, so I'm sure the departments check just as obsessively as we do. :)

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