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Prestigious scholarships and future opportunities


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Yes and no. It can certainly help (there is sometimes a snowball effect with prestige upon prestige), but there is a lot you can do to set yourself apart even though you didn't get the major scholarship. Ask your advisors how you can finish your master's with a competitive Ph.D. application; seek publication/research opportunities.

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I think I might have said something about this to you at another time. But to answer your question the way you phrase it: no, generally it doesn't directly affect your ability to get into a good PhD program if you don't have the CGS-M or something like that. 

The reason why I might say yes to the second part of your question is that highly competitive positions like tenure-tracked professors only go to the top few percent of applicants. There are dozens more PhDs created than there are tenure-track position openings. Generally, prestigious awards at the doctoral and post-doctoral level goes to the top 10% or the top 15% or so. So, to me, not winning a prestigious award like this at the postdoc level tells you that you are likely not in the top tier of applicants. So it's not that a lack of these awards will hurt you in the professor job competition, but it is a signal that there are many others that will rank above you.

I wouldn't worry about it at your stage now though. First, these awards are a little random. Not getting one could mean that you were in the top 15% but just somehow missed the cutoffs or based on how the evaluator was feeling (or it could mean you were in the bottom half---hard to tell). Also, at this early stage, not winning it once is not a big deal. I think though, continually missing out on all the top tier awards every single year is one sign you can use to determine whether or not you think you are a top tier candidate. Secondly, even if you are not a top tier candidate now, at the Masters level, it doesn't mean much because people still change and grow a lot as scholars during grad school. So, don't treat award decisions like they are sealing your fate. 

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