TheFlyingScholar

The NSF GROW - what to expect and when to expect it?

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone! I have applied to the NSF GROW to do research in Australia for 3 months, June-August of 2017, specifically. There is little information out there about the specifics of what happens after you apply, so I wanted to see whether someone might be able to clarify some things for me. That would help SO much.

First, when and how did you guys find out last year (or before that), particularly those who applied to do research in Australia? This is my main concern because I can tell based on the last year's thread that people seem to have found out about their status much later than NSF said they would. I am in a clinical psychology PhD program, so I cannot be away from campus at any other time but the summer. So I unfortunately had to pick early June as my start time, despite all the pressure that this brings. Anyone else had experience with having to start their GROW shortly after being notified? How did you handle that? I wonder whether it might be worth the risk of at least reserving the housing for June ASAP, at a risk of losing the security deposit. And do you guys know of anyone whose application was denied for no apparent reason? (i.e., how safe it is to assume you'll get it and book things in advance?)

Second, regarding the funding provided. I could only come up with about 4k of eligible expenses for the budget proposal. I wanted to be realistic about this rather than try to use up all of 5k. But how does it work in terms of these payments, does NSF just give you 5k if your application is accepted? Do you need to provide any receipts to them? Can you be reimbursed retroactively?

Any relevant information would be highly appreciated, thanks so much in advance!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Indie_soul said:

Hi everyone! I have applied to the NSF GROW to do research in Australia for 3 months, June-August of 2017, specifically. There is little information out there about the specifics of what happens after you apply, so I wanted to see whether someone might be able to clarify some things for me. That would help SO much.

First, when and how did you guys find out last year (or before that), particularly those who applied to do research in Australia? This is my main concern because I can tell based on the last year's thread that people seem to have found out about their status much later than NSF said they would. I am in a clinical psychology PhD program, so I cannot be away from campus at any other time but the summer. So I unfortunately had to pick early June as my start time, despite all the pressure that this brings. Anyone else had experience with having to start their GROW shortly after being notified? How did you handle that? I wonder whether it might be worth the risk of at least reserving the housing for June ASAP, at a risk of losing the security deposit. And do you guys know of anyone whose application was denied for no apparent reason? (i.e., how safe it is to assume you'll get it and book things in advance?)

Second, regarding the funding provided. I could only come up with about 4k of eligible expenses for the budget proposal. I wanted to be realistic about this rather than try to use up all of 5k. But how does it work in terms of these payments, does NSF just give you 5k if your application is accepted? Do you need to provide any receipts to them? Can you be reimbursed retroactively?

Any relevant information would be highly appreciated, thanks so much in advance!

Hey there,

I'm currently in Australia on GROW, and I completely understand how frustrating getting here is haha. 

I heard back May 25th, so if they're running late again this year that will be tough for you to get organized in time unless you start before you hear back. NSF gave me a contact with Universities Australia to help out, but they made it clear that they were pretty hands-off on helping people through the program. I was told that they would prefer if I travelled with a Training and Research Visa (subclass 402, occupational trainee stream), but that it would be possible to travel on the Work and Holiday Visa (462) if time was an issue. I wasn't planning on leaving quickly so I went with the 402, but that was a huge headache. I applied for it in early June and didn't hear back on it until late October, which was about a week away from my departure date. In that regard, I would definitely go with the 462 visa (if you're under 30) because it is way less expensive and is processed and approved instantly. Also, my Universities Australia contact told me to purchase Overseas Student Health Cover, but this is inaccurate information if you're not traveling on a student visa. You actually need Overseas Visitor Health Cover (unless your home insurance covers you abroad). 

As far as housing goes, I arranged to rent a room on Airbnb for my first two weeks and found an apartment when I got here. That might also be a good plan for you, especially if you found a place with a flexible cancellation policy. You probably wouldn't lose much money if you didn't get to go. I was glad I chose to do that because I got the chance to check out neighborhoods before I settled on a place. It's probably more of a toss up on what to do for flights, but if you don't need much of the travel allowance I guess you could probably afford to pay more on a flight from having to book not very far in advance. 

The travel allowance was put into an account for me at my university. An administrator was able to use the money to pay for my flights upfront so that I didn't have to wait to get reimbursed, but other costs will be reimbursed for me. It probably depends on your university's policy. I'm not sure about whether they'll give you 5k anyway, I asked for the full amount. 

Hope this helps, let me know if you want more info about anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, turd_ferguson said:

Hey there,

I'm currently in Australia on GROW, and I completely understand how frustrating getting here is haha. 

I heard back May 25th, so if they're running late again this year that will be tough for you to get organized in time unless you start before you hear back. NSF gave me a contact with Universities Australia to help out, but they made it clear that they were pretty hands-off on helping people through the program. I was told that they would prefer if I travelled with a Training and Research Visa (subclass 402, occupational trainee stream), but that it would be possible to travel on the Work and Holiday Visa (462) if time was an issue. I wasn't planning on leaving quickly so I went with the 402, but that was a huge headache. I applied for it in early June and didn't hear back on it until late October, which was about a week away from my departure date. In that regard, I would definitely go with the 462 visa (if you're under 30) because it is way less expensive and is processed and approved instantly. Also, my Universities Australia contact told me to purchase Overseas Student Health Cover, but this is inaccurate information if you're not traveling on a student visa. You actually need Overseas Visitor Health Cover (unless your home insurance covers you abroad). 

As far as housing goes, I arranged to rent a room on Airbnb for my first two weeks and found an apartment when I got here. That might also be a good plan for you, especially if you found a place with a flexible cancellation policy. You probably wouldn't lose much money if you didn't get to go. I was glad I chose to do that because I got the chance to check out neighborhoods before I settled on a place. It's probably more of a toss up on what to do for flights, but if you don't need much of the travel allowance I guess you could probably afford to pay more on a flight from having to book not very far in advance. 

The travel allowance was put into an account for me at my university. An administrator was able to use the money to pay for my flights upfront so that I didn't have to wait to get reimbursed, but other costs will be reimbursed for me. It probably depends on your university's policy. I'm not sure about whether they'll give you 5k anyway, I asked for the full amount. 

Hope this helps, let me know if you want more info about anything.

Thank you so much! This is extremely helpful, and I PMed you a few more questions too if that's okay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I thought I would get the discussion for this year rolling. After watching someone in my lab go through this last year, I should know better than to anticipate any info about GROW at this time, but anyone heard anything lately?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Storyhill22 said:

Well I thought I would get the discussion for this year rolling. After watching someone in my lab go through this last year, I should know better than to anticipate any info about GROW at this time, but anyone heard anything lately?

They told me about a week ago that they are on schedule to notify us by late April. Having read the posts from previous years, I am skeptical, but at the same time really hoping that this will indeed be the case. What country are you planning on going via GROW and for how long?

Edited by Indie_soul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did any of you have any experience (or know of someone else's experience) with changing the dates of your proposed GROW stay and/or splitting the proposed trip into two trips? My proposed start date of June 1st in Australia is really not looking very feasible right now (assuming my proposal actually gets approved), so I was hoping to either postpone it by 2 months, or, even better, go this and then next summer instead. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm so glad this thread exists. There is very little information about GROW on the internet.

Would anyone be willing to share their successful application? If my application gets accepted this year I'll make sure to pay it forward!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/17/2017 at 12:41 PM, roadrunner797 said:

I'm so glad this thread exists. There is very little information about GROW on the internet.

Would anyone be willing to share their successful application? If my application gets accepted this year I'll make sure to pay it forward!

I was hoping to apply this year... but I can't seem to find any information or any way how! The NSF GROW webpage is still dated for last year (deadline still listed as Dec 2016), and it looks like the GROW application opened mid-September then... But all has been quiet this year. Anyone have any insight?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now