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NSF GRFP 2013-14


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Not recommended. Senior undergrad at Princeton. 3.9 GPA. Hertz finalist.

E/VG E/VG VG/VG

I don't understand how I didn't even get HM lol. Comments were strange and contradictory. 

 

 

Yep. Welcome to academia. That's all it is: a bunch of contradictory bullshit.

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Yep. Welcome to academia. That's all it is: a bunch of contradictory bullshit.

lol I literally thought those comments were April fools jokes. They can't be serious. I do seriously feel I got trolled though, but it looks like this has happened in the past?
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Hey everyone!  Long time reader, first time posting.

 

I'm a 2nd-year grad student who switched labs right when the school year started, so I had very little hope of receiving an award because I wrote a proposal after joining a new research field approx. two months prior to the due date.  

 

However, with lots of support from my new advisor (and others) plus a heap of luck, I got it!  Third time's the charm, lol. 

 

One comment I got all three years--and I got an honorable mention last year--was along the line of "applicant has less competitive (undergrad) GPA."  From the reviewer comments I got this year, I conclude that how you present yourself in your personal statement can trump even a low GPA.  Only one reviewer mentioned my GPA, and as an afterthought.

 

I'll definitely keep commenting in the future to help people out.  Congrats to those who received an award.  And for those who haven't gotten one yet and are still eligible to apply next year, keep trying!  =)

 

VG/E, E/E, VG/E

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I'm just so angry I cannot sleep. I wish I had known then what I know now about what category I wanted to be judged in. I'm even more upset that I got excellents in the broader impact, and a mix of very goods and excellents in intellectual merit. I literally have every undergrad national fellowship for my field, 4.0 GPA, 4 years of research and outreach and summer activities. There were like 6 full awards offered to people at my university and I know that my application was better than theirs. Just so infuriating. I have been working towards this every moment of my undergrad career. 

 

Edit: I was just looking over my reviews and both of my VG/E said I was fellowship potential (one even stated Level 1 applicant) and my E/E of course said he recommended for fellowship. I LITERALLY DO NOT GET IT

Edited by mdog3000
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I'm just so angry I cannot sleep. I wish I had known then what I know now about what category I wanted to be judged in. I'm even more upset that I got excellents in the broader impact, and a mix of very goods and excellents in intellectual merit. I literally have every undergrad national fellowship for my field, 4.0 GPA, 4 years of research and outreach and summer activities. There were like 6 full awards offered to people at my university and I know that my application was better than theirs. Just so infuriating. I have been working towards this every moment of my undergrad career. 

 

Welcome to academia, where everything is bullshit.

 

Your first drink is on me. Make it something ridiculously strong.

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I wish I knew then what I knew now. The program I am going to would be classified at bioengineering (55 awards). I applied as genetics (29 awards). Such a better chance by just changing one stupid thing. I wish I had know how much of a difference category made. 

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I wish I knew then what I knew now. The program I am going to would be classified at bioengineering (55 awards). I applied as genetics (29 awards). Such a better chance by just changing one stupid thing. I wish I had know how much of a difference category made. 

 

Yep. One little change and you're fucked. That's how it 'works'.

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G/F E/E VG/VG

 

Not recommended

 

First one seems off, all he said was "excellent student, probably be a great researcher. project does not seem likely to provide new concepts or insight," and "not much potential for broader impacts from either the project or the researcher."  The project seemed like a slam dunk in terms of broader impacts, so I am not sure where he is coming from.

 

The other 2 reviewers were very verbose and very positive in terms of both BI and IM.

Edited by kaboom
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P/VG E/VG VG/VG

 

Not recommended

 

First reviewer didn't seem to follow the main point of my proposal; he claimed the proposal was about data analysis whereas it's actually about stochastic optimization. I can see how it could have been portrayed more clearly in my writing, but the 2nd and 3rd reviewers had perfect grasps on the main point... A bit unsettling to be honest -- not sure if I'll apply again in the future since I'll be a 1st year grad student next year and would likely have to find 3 new recommendation writers.

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Nada. Undergraduate.

 

E/VG

Reviewer acknowledged that I had worked closely with my POI to write the research proposal and that I have a lot of outreach.

 

G/VG

Reviewer noted several research conferences and a manuscript in preparation, then says that my research proposal is vague (tell that to review#1) Acknowledged that I have a lot of outreach.

 

VG/G

Reviewer noted lack of field experience, which makes sense for my application at the time, but I wish he could see me at the largest field station in Central America now (sigh). Acknowledged that I have a lot of outreach, but gave no indication as to why this score is lower than the other reviewers'.

 

 

The best confusing line of the review was: "Her academic record is biology is good, but it is stronger than her record in other scientific disciplines." At the time of application, I had no grades below a B and all grades toward my specific subfield were A/A+. Is it bad now to be better in biology when you're a biologist?

 

 

I think that I got some odd reviewers, although it could have been worse. With more field experience this year, I'll strengthen IM, although I'm maxed out on BI regardless of what they say. I'm guessing an HM or award next year.

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I was shocked to not receive the award. No really. How could they fail to see how amazing I am?! But now I truly do accept the arbitrary nature of NSF funding decisions.

Oddly, I was dinged for not mentioning my non-science outreach activities (which is absurd! I do so much outreach). This year's reviewers were much more positive on my intellectual merits though, which is encouraging! Although, I am a 2nd year now so no more chances at GRF funding. Alas, c'est la vie.

Last year: G/E and G/E
This year: VG/G, VG/G, E/VG

 

I still think I'm awesome.

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Friends, thanks for being great company in this endeavour. This was my second and last possible time applying, as I am already second year in my Ph.D. program (social science).

Didn't get it. One person from my school did get it this year, which is great (last year nobody got it from my school– I am in a social science category that only receives about 8 a year).

 

Onward. There are many other ways to get through grad school. The books, the professors, and the peers is what matters the most. They are our community.

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This is my third year applying for NSF and I have an interesting set of results:

 

2012: First year as an applicant I received the following feedback and Honorable Mention

1)Excellent, Very Good

2)Excellent, Very Good

3)Very Good, Good

 

2013: Second year I was a first year Phd student, had earned a number of awards upon graduating undergrad and had finished my last semester with a perfect GPA. My application included only a few minor revisions suggested from 2012 and clearly only improved- I went from Honorable mention to nothing.

1) Very Good, Very Good

2) Good, Good

 

2014: Third year as an applicant I received the following feedback and again Honorable Mention. Again my competitiveness had only improved with a perfect graduate school GPA and four publications.

1)Excellent, Excellent 

2)Very Good, Excellent

3)Excellent, Very Good

 

Comments from reviewers had little concrete feedback and only positive things to say. Perseverance can pay off, in my case it did not.

 

For those of you who did not win- let my experience serve as a reminder that the process requires much more than a competitive application and is far from fair and consistent. 

Edited by Wolverine
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I didn't receive the award, and I wasn't expecting to. It's my first year applying (as an undergraduate candidate), so my hopes weren't particularly high. I feel good about the experience overall, however, as I wrote my first NSF research proposal and received generally positive feedback and constructive criticism from my reviewers. I'm confident that I can produce an even better application next year. :-)

 

VG/E, VG/G, VG/G

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First, congrats to all that received the award and good luck to those who have another chance at itnext year!

 

This is my second and final year to apply for the fellowship. Received the Honorable Mention.. ugh. I am a bit perplexed as I only received comments from two reviewers. What is especially weird is that there is a page for Reviewer #2, however all of the comment fields are blank. 

 

My reviews read like this:

1) VG, VG

2) IM and BI fields are present but no comments are present

3) VG, E

 

I am wishfully holding out for the slim chance that there was an error and that my application will be fairly reevaluated by a third reviewer who gives me an E/E. This will thereby secure my award and I will profit.

 

Slightly more likely is that Reviewer #2's recommendations were considered, but didn't make it into the pdf. Hopefully they could at least send me the review as it may contain more informative feedback than the dearth of helpful comments reviewers 1 and 3 offered.

 

I dread that most likely they either made an error and won't do anything about it, or that they actually meant to give my high-caliber application only two reviews before mentioning my honorable effort. 

 

Anyone know what is up with this? Has anyone received an honorable mention with only two reviewers? Any chance for reevaluation if there was indeed an error?

 

Thanks for your input!

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Hey everyone!  Long time reader, first time posting.

 

I'm a 2nd-year grad student who switched labs right when the school year started, so I had very little hope of receiving an award because I wrote a proposal after joining a new research field approx. two months prior to the due date.  

 

However, with lots of support from my new advisor (and others) plus a heap of luck, I got it!  Third time's the charm, lol. 

 

One comment I got all three years--and I got an honorable mention last year--was along the line of "applicant has less competitive (undergrad) GPA."  From the reviewer comments I got this year, I conclude that how you present yourself in your personal statement can trump even a low GPA.  Only one reviewer mentioned my GPA, and as an afterthought.

 

I'll definitely keep commenting in the future to help people out.  Congrats to those who received an award.  And for those who haven't gotten one yet and are still eligible to apply next year, keep trying!  =)

 

VG/E, E/E, VG/E

 

I'm in the same boat (about switching labs) but I didn't get the award this year (I applied before switching labs)….I want to apply again in the fall and both reviewers commented on my slightly lower GPA (from undergrad). Would you mind PMing me some tips about how you fashioned your personal statement and how you think that helped make them get over the GPA thing? I'm already thinking about my application next fall… thanks! :)

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