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NSF GRFP 2017-18

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I'm also very interested in this topic -- are certain categorize more or less competitive, and what are the advantages/disadvantages of choosing interdisciplinary? My project is also mostly ecology with some aspects of chemistry/ecotox thrown in, though the overall topic is contaminant impacts on ecosystem ecology. 

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Hi All, 

Wrapping up with my application and still looking for a way to shave off a few lines from my research plan. My advisor suggested I use 13 pt. line spacing, which she uses in her nsf proposals. I looked at the solicitation and it outlines document format as such: 

  • standard 8.5" x 11" page size
  • 12-point, Times New Roman font or Computer Modern (LaTeX) font
  • 10-point font may be used for references, footnotes, figure captions and text within figures
  • 1" margins on all sides
  • Single-spaced (approximately 5 lines per inch) or greater line spacing. Applicants should not use line spacing options such as “exactly 12 point,” that are less than single spaced.

Would 13 pt exact line spacing fall into the "single-spaced or greater line spacing" ? I used this spacing last year and nothing was ever said about it, so I assume it is okay. But, I'm hoping for your thoughts on the matter. 

Cheers. 

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On 10/20/2017 at 7:53 AM, paleoearth said:

Would 13 pt exact line spacing fall into the "single-spaced or greater line spacing" ? I used this spacing last year and nothing was ever said about it, so I assume it is okay. But, I'm hoping for your thoughts on the matter. 

I would advise against doing that. Either it takes up more space and you miss out on being able to say some things, or it takes up less space and you are violating the rules. I think it's unlikely that they would actually return your application without review because of this, but it's still not worth the risk in my mind.

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Does anyone know if demographic information is taken into consideration when the panel is awarding fellowships?  

Also, is the number of fellowships awarded equivalent across subfields? Is there a general rule surrounding how to choose a field, other than relevance? 

Thanks!! 

-PL

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Cross posting this here, in case anyone is running into eligibility issues. Short version- the program solicitation this year has different eligibility requirements stated than FastLane, and it's causing people to be ineligible. I personally think there's an issue with FastLane, and the solicitation should be adhered to- the more people that call in and keep with the same story the better. 

 

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Can anyone shed light on something my advisor told me? I just submitted my application against the wishes of my advisor (he's still going to write me a letter of rec, but I'll get to that). He has an incredibly high standard for the research statement, and basically told me that it was sub-par and would not be competitive at all. He said that if I did submit, his letter of recommendation would not include anything about supporting my the project proposed in my statement (which I really hope doesn't tank me). I had others review it as well, including a professor who literally teaches a class on how to get a GRFP,  and everyone I talked to said I had a strong statement and that I would be competitive for getting an award. The thing that really bugged me was that my adviser didn't even want me to submit, stating that it could ruin my reputation among the science community. First of all, I think it's utter nonsense that three reviewers that look at 30+ applications each are going to remember the name of a poor applicant and spread that around the scientific community. Second of all, I don't think a statement that has been positively reviewed by several professors and numerous past recipients would remotely fall under the category of being so bad that it would hurt my reputation, regardless of whether that's true or not. Am I crazy to think he's crazy for this opinion? I plan on discussing this with him, but should I discuss with a higher-up as well?

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23 hours ago, Gabi said:

What is everyone doing about headers or page numbers? Some past winners told me to add them but do they provide value and is it okay if they are within those 1" margins?

I didn't. Didn't want to chance it being against the 1" margin rules.

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1 minute ago, Levon3 said:

I didn't. Didn't want to chance it being against the 1" margin rules.

I just looked on the FAQ page https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2017/nsf17123/nsf17123.jsp#q47

"47. Should I put my name, the statement title, and page numbers in the margins on the statements?

Applicants do not need to add their name or any other identifying information to their statements. Therefore, it is not necessary to fit your name, the statement title, or page numbers on the statements, either within or outside the margins. However, it is fine to submit an application with your name or similar identifying information in the 1" margins, as long as the identifying information does not contain meaningful statement content."

 

Looks like it is okay to do so. 

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18 hours ago, PhageLord said:

Does anyone know if demographic information is taken into consideration when the panel is awarding fellowships?  

Yes. They are deliberate about awarding to underrepresented groups.

 

18 hours ago, PhageLord said:

Also, is the number of fellowships awarded equivalent across subfields? Is there a general rule surrounding how to choose a field, other than relevance? 

Not sure about this. You can download last years' awards and sort by subfield--it might help you answer this question.

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9 minutes ago, Marinebio444 said:

Can anyone shed light on something my advisor told me? I just submitted my application against the wishes of my advisor (he's still going to write me a letter of rec, but I'll get to that). He has an incredibly high standard for the research statement, and basically told me that it was sub-par and would not be competitive at all. He said that if I did submit, his letter of recommendation would not include anything about supporting my the project proposed in my statement (which I really hope doesn't tank me). I had others review it as well, including a professor who literally teaches a class on how to get a GRFP,  and everyone I talked to said I had a strong statement and that I would be competitive for getting an award. The thing that really bugged me was that my adviser didn't even want me to submit, stating that it could ruin my reputation among the science community. First of all, I think it's utter nonsense that three reviewers that look at 30+ applications each are going to remember the name of a poor applicant and spread that around the scientific community. Second of all, I don't think a statement that has been positively reviewed by several professors and numerous past recipients would remotely fall under the category of being so bad that it would hurt my reputation, regardless of whether that's true or not. Am I crazy to think he's crazy for this opinion? I plan on discussing this with him, but should I discuss with a higher-up as well?

There's no way for any of us to know that, and it depends. Your advisor may be crazy, or they may have some very specific reason that they didn't communicate well as to what the problem was.

Reviewers may not remember you, particularly... But they'll likely know who your advisor is. Research communities aren't that large. It sounds more like he's worried about having his name associated with the proposal. 

Those other faculty reviewing your proposal may not be as familiar with your subfield, or your professor might be crazy. 

That said, it doesn't bode well having the PI not support your project- if you get awarded, they have to write something every year for you to keep it, as well. 

But there's no way for us to know what of those is true. 

I'm not sure what you would discuss with a higher-up? A PI telling you that they can't support your research proposal isn't great, but it's not doing something "wrong" either, especially since they still wrote you a letter.

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I'm also a second year applying w/o publication. Lots of posters and two articles in preparation but not submitted/under review :(

I am super curious on how the "you can only apply once (in grad school)" rule is going to affect this year's applications as a lot of us applying are first timers. I'd love to ask long time reviewers if they notice any changes.

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I submitted this morning in a panic after several hours of Fastlane being down. As soon as I was able to get through I uploaded everything and hit submit.

 

However, I have since thought of a few revisions. Does anyone know if there is a method to edit my application after it has been officially submitted? (before the deadline, of course)

 

There is a link: "Withdraw Application Package" with the following confirmation warning:

 

  Quote
Are you sure you want to withdraw the application? If you withdraw the application, your

application will not be considered for the Graduate Research Fellowship competition.

Click Back to return to previous screen.

 

I am afraid to use that option because I fear it may void my application entirely, when all I want to do is make an edit and then re-submit.

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3 hours ago, RazaXo said:

I submitted this morning in a panic after several hours of Fastlane being down. As soon as I was able to get through I uploaded everything and hit submit.

 

However, I have since thought of a few revisions. Does anyone know if there is a method to edit my application after it has been officially submitted? (before the deadline, of course)

 

There is a link: "Withdraw Application Package" with the following confirmation warning:

 

  Quote
Are you sure you want to withdraw the application? If you withdraw the application, your

application will not be considered for the Graduate Research Fellowship competition.

Click Back to return to previous screen.

 

I am afraid to use that option because I fear it may void my application entirely, when all I want to do is make an edit and then re-submit.

You should email the people at the GRFP ASAP. They should get back to you pretty quickly.

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I submitted my application to the NSF GRFP a week ago and have been really kicking myself every day since. I'll try my best to give a logical explanation of what happened, and my general question is: will this cause my application to be returned without review?

After pouring dozens of hours into the application materials, I came to the page asking me to select which option applied to my current situation (i.e. senior undergraduate, final year of BS/MS program or a first year graduate student). My university offers a 5-yr BS/MS program, to which I have been accepted, and I am currently in the 5th year (my B.S. was conferred in June 2017, at the end of the fourth year, and my MS will be conferred in June 2018, at the end of the fifth year). So I selected that I was in the final year of a BS/MS program, because that is honest to god what I thought was true. A day or two passes and I decided to check all of this with the NSF GRFP help line. What they told me was that the fact that I am enrolled in a BS/MS program needs to be stated on my attached transcripts, and if it wasn't I should have attached a letter from my university registrar, to confirm it that way. So I looked at the transcript I attached, and saw that it showed me as a student in the MS program, not the BS/MS program, which initially caused me to freak out a bit. After talking with the registrar more directly I found out that I was only enrolled in the BS/MS program while I was an undergraduate so that I could take graduate level coursework, and that when my BS was conferred I was moved into a full time, purely MS program. So I called NSF back and explained my mistake, knowing that there was no way I could rectify this retroactively, and just wanted them to tell me if this would cause my application to be returned without review. Frustratingly, they just told me they couldn't tell me for certain if that was the case, just that it was possible it could disqualify me, and also possible that the review committee would decide to still look at my application just as a first year graduate student instead of a BS/MS student.

Can anyone on here shed some light on this/give me there opinion of whether or not my application will be reviewed. If it's going to be disqualified I'd like to withdraw my application so that I can apply again next year, but if there's a decent chance it still gets reviewed I might decide to leave it. 

 

Thanks. 

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On 10/31/2017 at 5:30 PM, PickleRick said:

I submitted my application to the NSF GRFP a week ago and have been really kicking myself every day since. I'll try my best to give a logical explanation of what happened, and my general question is: will this cause my application to be returned without review?

After pouring dozens of hours into the application materials, I came to the page asking me to select which option applied to my current situation (i.e. senior undergraduate, final year of BS/MS program or a first year graduate student). My university offers a 5-yr BS/MS program, to which I have been accepted, and I am currently in the 5th year (my B.S. was conferred in June 2017, at the end of the fourth year, and my MS will be conferred in June 2018, at the end of the fifth year). So I selected that I was in the final year of a BS/MS program, because that is honest to god what I thought was true. A day or two passes and I decided to check all of this with the NSF GRFP help line. What they told me was that the fact that I am enrolled in a BS/MS program needs to be stated on my attached transcripts, and if it wasn't I should have attached a letter from my university registrar, to confirm it that way. So I looked at the transcript I attached, and saw that it showed me as a student in the MS program, not the BS/MS program, which initially caused me to freak out a bit. After talking with the registrar more directly I found out that I was only enrolled in the BS/MS program while I was an undergraduate so that I could take graduate level coursework, and that when my BS was conferred I was moved into a full time, purely MS program. So I called NSF back and explained my mistake, knowing that there was no way I could rectify this retroactively, and just wanted them to tell me if this would cause my application to be returned without review. Frustratingly, they just told me they couldn't tell me for certain if that was the case, just that it was possible it could disqualify me, and also possible that the review committee would decide to still look at my application just as a first year graduate student instead of a BS/MS student.

Can anyone on here shed some light on this/give me there opinion of whether or not my application will be reviewed. If it's going to be disqualified I'd like to withdraw my application so that I can apply again next year, but if there's a decent chance it still gets reviewed I might decide to leave it. 

 

Thanks. 

I would assume you are fine, at worst you are applying as a first year grad student which is completely legal by their rules. Make sure you keep up communication with them to ensure something isn't interpreted wrong, for example maybe they look at your transcript and think you've been in a masters program for 5 years.

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I just applied for the first time last week! First year grad student in archaeology.... Last year, only 12 archaeologists were awarded :blink: 

I'm not sure if that reflects the number of archaeologists who actually applied, or if they give out fewer awards to some of the fields??

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Did we ever get confirmation that there are only 1,000 spots due to potential budget cuts?

Also, does anyone know if the shutdown goes on for a few weeks does that mean that we could not hear back before April 15th?  I am a senior undergrad applying to PhD programs and getting the fellowship could change my decision on where to attend.  I don't think the shutdown will last that long,  but what if it does affect the turn around time.  I know the odds of getting one are pretty slim (especially if there is a cut in awards), but I want to know before I accept an offer.  

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The shutdown means all reviews in progress stop, and FastLane shuts down completely, so if it goes on too long it could conceivably have an effect, yes. 

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Hi all, I have a question about applying as a first year grad student. I feel like my application stands a decent shot. My undergrad grades were good, I have publications where I'm first author, and lots of relevant research experience. In my program, first year students don't start research until summer at the earliest. I had 3 letters of reference from past research experiences, then included a 4th from my temporary advisor at my current institution. This person was the chair of the graduate committee and is familiar with my work. I took his class at got an A, and he is slated to be my thesis advisor after this year, so he's familiar with my past research and I've met with him frequently to craft my fellowship applications.

This person doesn't know me in a research capacity though. He is just in the same field as me and can maybe speak a little bit to the work I've done in the past and its impact, but I have other references for that. Do you think this puts me at a disadvantage for the NSF GRFP? I would have just gone with three references from my past research, but I thought it would look pretty bad to not have a letter from my current institution...

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8 minutes ago, Eigen said:

I didn't think you could use three references. Did they change that?

Is there a typo here? You can list four and rank them. The first three will be read, which I'm pretty sure is the same as past years. In my top 3 ranked, I had my current academic advisor, research advisor from undergrad, and supervisor for a research internship at a national lab.

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1 hour ago, hkcool said:

Is there a typo here? You can list four and rank them. The first three will be read, which I'm pretty sure is the same as past years. In my top 3 ranked, I had my current academic advisor, research advisor from undergrad, and supervisor for a research internship at a national lab.

No, I'm just out of date and couldn't check since the site is down. It was three when I applied and when the last student I helped applied. 

In your case then, I think the 4 th letter will help not hurt. A weak letter doesn't detract when coupled with strong ones, and as you say, you need one from your current school. 

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For those who currently are wondering about the government shutdown here is the full text from their website

 

"

Due to the lapse in government funding, National Science Foundation websites and business applications, including NSF.gov, FastLane, and Research.gov will be unavailable until further notice. We sincerely regret this inconvenience. 

Updates regarding government operating status and resumption of normal O&M can be found at www.opm.gov.

In cases of imminent threat to life or property, please call the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-428-2189.

The following addresses the various assistance and contract-related policy and systems issues that may arise during the lapse in appropriations of the Federal Government.  NSF is providing this information as a service to our proposer and awardee communities in the hopes that it will address most of the questions you may have during this time period. 

Please be aware that, except as noted below, NSF will not be available to respond to emails or phone calls during the lapse in appropriations, but will respond to your inquiries as soon as practicable after normal operations have been resumed.  NSF is committed to minimizing the negative impacts this disruption may have on the science and engineering enterprise and, as necessary, will issue follow-on guidance after the lapse in appropriations ends.

 

FOR MORE INFOMRMATION ON THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION'S PLAN FOR OPERATIONS DURING A LAPSE IN FUNDING PLEASE CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINK

https://help.extsharepoint.nsf.gov/Shared%20Documents/NSFShutdownPlan.pdf

"

 

Update:


The government reopened today but there is fear it will shutdown again in February.

Edited by balaenopter_a

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