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Advice from the GradFund Team:

One Project, Many Frames (and Many Awards!)

Framing your research Most grad students have had at least some practice writing about the major disciplinary contributions of their dissertation. Indeed, a dissertation proposal defense requires in-depth knowledge of how your project speaks to major research...

Do I Have to? Motivation to Apply for External Funding

Applying for grants and fellowships can be daunting on top of the typical graduate student workload. It is easy to convince yourself to delay the application process when faced with coursework, teaching, research, and meetings. Here are several motivating factors to...

Make the Case That Your Project Will Contribute to Your Field

From a funder’s perspective, your passion for your project isn’t enough. Funders want to know that you have designed a project that does more than simply exercise your own intellectual curiosity. Even when it is not explicitly stated among the priorities listed in the...

Developing a Relationship with your NSF Program

*This blog is in preparation for GradFund’s upcoming Applying to the NSF workshop The National Science Foundation funds graduate students every year in a wide array of disciplines, from cultural anthropology to biomedical engineering. Awards are available for almost...

The NSF INTERN Program: Supplement Funding for Non-Academic Research Internships

On August 27, 2018, the National Science Foundation published a “Dear Colleagues” letter announcing a supplemental source of funding for principal investigators to help provide non-academic research experience to their graduate students.  The INTERN program, as it is...

Strategies for Revision Series (Part 2)

Have a draft of a research statement or personal narrative for your fellowship application? Feel like it’s in pretty good shape, but not sure how to give it that top-level shine? This post suggests a strategy of revision for seeing each part of your essay in a new...

Strategies for Revision Series (Part 1)

Have a draft of a research statement? Sometimes get a sneaking suspicion that it’s not quite hanging together? This post suggests a strategy for revision that’s quick, straightforward, and yet often effective in shedding light on structural problems. I can’t claim...

Procrastinating on your Proposal? Recover Your Motivation for Your Project (Post 3)

One thing reviewers look for in an application is your excitement for the project you’re proposing. But sometimes, it’s hard to access your own excitement. Grad school is a long haul, and even the most passionate researcher on the most interesting project will...

Procrastinating on your Proposal? Try These Tips To Jump-Start Your Writing Process (Post 2)

Some applications have so many different parts, each with its own guidelines, that the process can feel overwhelming. But remember: you only have to work on one piece at a time! Research statements and personal statements are required components in most grant...

Procrastinating on your Proposal? Try One of These Tips To Get Started (Post 1)

We all procrastinate from time to time. The high standards and minimal structure of many graduate programs can make procrastination especially likely for even the most capable students, and when we slip into feelings of guilt or shame, it can become even harder to...

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