Support for preparing graduate fellowship proposals

Preparing a graduate fellowship proposal (NSF GRFP, NIH, etc.) isn't something you have to do alone.


See below for opportunities to connect with mentors, join peer review groups, find events series and info sessions, and identify online resources.

  • Fellowship Mentor Meetings

    meet with a mentor to plan a strategy for your graduate fellowship application


    UVA Engineering Graduate Students can request a zoom meeting meet with a fellowship mentor to plan an application strategy and cohesive story for a graduate fellowship application. After submitting the form, a mentor will set an appointment up with you via email if someone is available. You are encouraged to plan ahead as last minute appointments may be difficult to schedule. Note that GRFP applicants would be better served via the GRFP Mentor meetings.

     

    request a mentor meeting
  • Meet with a GRFP Mentor

    Work with a mentor in the early stages of thinking through and planning your application


    UVA Engineering graduate student preparing NSF GRFP applications can request a meeting with a GRFP mentor to talk through early ideas for their applications, conceptualize the overall story and message of their application, work on content development, idea grouping, application strategy and outlining and more. Note that detailed discussion of drafts of materials is better done in a Peer Review Group or in one-on-one GWL consultations.

    Request an Appointment
  • NSF GRFP Prep Collab from the GWL


    The GRFP Prep Collab Site from the GWL includes video workshops, guides, example essays from UVA Engineering winners, & more to help you prepare your NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program application. Follow the video sequence to prepare your application: 1- Intro to the GRFP, 2- Planning & Drafting your Application, 3- Revising & Refining Your Application. Most GRFP elligible students are added automatically, but you can also Sign Up for access. Note: not the same as the PhD+ GRFP Collab.

    Go to the Collab Site (reqs UVA login)
  • GRFP Mentor Weekly Drop In Hour

    Thursdays 2:30-3:30pm, starting June 30 | Zoom | for Engineering graduate students applying for the NSF GRFP


    If you are a UVA Engineering graduate student preparing NSF GRFP applications, join us for these informal weekly zoom sessions where you can connect with different mentors each week. Most sessions will likely be structured coworking time with mentors on hand for questions. Some sessions may have focus topics and tips presented by mentors (see calendar). Feel free to drop in when you can and connect via video, voice or text chat as works for you.

Upcoming Events

  • GRFP Mentor Panel

    Tues. July 19, 2:30pm | Zoom


    If you are considering applying for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), join us for this panel of GRFP Mentors. The GRFP mentors are UVA Engineering grad students and postdocs who have won the fellowship & have volunteered to help new applicants prepare their materials. A few of the mentors will appear on this panel to field questions and offer tips and insight into the process.

    details & registration
  • Join the Fellowship Mentor Network

    Help graduate engineering students prepare graduate & postdoctoral fellowship applications


    Have you won, recieved honorable mention on, reviewed for or advised a graduate or postdoctoral fellowship? If so, consider volunteering to help graduate engineering students with their fellowship applications. The fellowship mentor network is a new (Fa21) GWL initiative to help identify and connect fellowship mentors in the UVA Engineering community. How you volunteer is up to you- you can meet with applicants, give feedback on proposals, develop support materials, serve as a panelist, andwer questions online, offer a workshop or more. Sign up on the interest form. As the network in formalized, details will follow. Some informal connections have already been made. We appreciet your support an dideas as this new initiative takes shape. Questions can be directed to kellyc@virginia.edu.

    Sign Up

Meet our GRFP Fellowship Writing Mentors

GRFP mentors volunteer to help students in preparation of their NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) applications. Mentors may meet one-on-one with students during the planning phases of their application. They may also develop resources, help organize events, participate in panels, or lead peer review groups (PRGs).

  • Become a GRFP Mentor

    Help graduate engineering students prepare their NSF fellowship applications


    Do you have experience with the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)? Are you an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship recipient or honorable mention? Volunteer to support graduate engineering GRFP applicants. Opportunities include meeting 1-on-1 with applicants, giving feedback, developing/identifying materials, giving presentations, and participating in a panel. Additional ideas for involvement and interest in offering events & support for other fellowships are also welcome. We typically recruit mentors in late spring/early summer to mentor in summer/ fall. Feel free to email kellyc@virginia.edu to get connected.

  • Bethany Gordon

    Bethany Gordon

    PhD candidate, CEE | GRFP Mentor


    Bethany Gordon is a PhD Candidate in Civil Engineering at the University of Virginia. As a fellow in the Convergent Behavioral Science Initiative (CBSI), she researches applications of designer psychology to improve social equity in the built environment. She is an 2019 NSF Graduate Research Fellow (GRFP), UVA SEAS Dean's Scholar, and a GAANN teaching fellow. She received her BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UVA in 2017.

  • Brooke McGirr

    Brooke McGirr

    PhD candidate, CHE | GRFP Mentor


    Brooke McGirr is a doctoral candidate in chemical engineering researching cell signaling in pancreatic cancer. She is interested in helping fellow engineering students to improve their scientific communication skills. As a recent recipient of the NSF-GRFP, she looks forward to helping students develop their applications as a GRFP mentor.

  • Grace C. Bingham

    Grace C. Bingham

    PhD student, BME | GRFP Mentor


    Grace Bingham is a Ph.D. student in the Biomedical Engineering Department researching microscopic methods for interrogating how mechanical forces in tissues aid disease progression in fibrosis. She advises students during their grant drafting and helps them to effectively communicate their ideas and highlight their achievements as a NSF GRFP mentor.

  • Josephine (Josie) Lamp

    Josephine (Josie) Lamp

    PhD student, CS | GRFP Mentor


    Josephine (Josie) Lamp is a third-year Computer Science PhD student, 2020 NSF GRFP and an Olive B. and Franklin C. Mac Krell Jefferson Fellow. Her research is at the intersection of Healthcare, Computer Science and Cybersecurity and she is developing privacy-preserving machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques for clinical decision support systems. She is excited to help others craft their NSF application packages and highlight their amazing accomplishments! 

  • Juliet Simpson

    Juliet Simpson

    PhD candidate, MAE | GRFP Mentor


    Juliet Simpson is a PhD candidate in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering researching energy storage for wind energy integration with a focus on compressed air energy storage. She applied for, and received, the NSF GRFP in her 2nd year at UVA in 2020. She enjoys communicating science to new audiences and is ready to help students tell their story in the GRFP application. 

Past Events

  • *GRFP Reviewers Panel (GWL & PhD+)

    Wed. Sept. 15, 1-2:30pm | ZOOM


    For rising 1st and 2nd year UVA grad students considering applying to the NSF graduate research fellowship program (GRFP)- join us for this panel of fellowship reviewers where you can learn about how applications are reviewed, gather insights and tips to apply to your own application, and ask questions about the process. Attendees should read the NSF GRFP Program solicitation to familiarize themselves with the fellowship before the panel.

     

     

    More Info, add to google calendar, & Register
  • *GRFP Reviewers Panel (GWL & PhD+)

    Tues. Sept. 15, 2pm | ZOOM


    For rising 1st and 2nd year UVA grad students considering applying to the NSF graduate research fellowship program (GRFP)- join us for this panel of fellowship reviewers where you can learn about how applications are reviewed, gather insights and tips to apply to your own application, and ask questions about the process. Attendees should read the NSF GRFP Program solicitation to familiarize themselves with the fellowship before the panel.

     

     

    More Info, add to google calendar, & Register
  • Writing Research Proposals*

    w/Katie Pelland, PhD | Th. April 2, 2-3:30pm | ZOOM


    Join us for this interactive workshop on writing research proposals. Research proposals are a particularly persuasive form of technical writing and are used to move to the next step in a program or acquire funding for your work. The tips in the presentation will be most applicable to funding proposals (grants & fellowships) but can also help with dissertation proposals. Register online.

     

    Details, registration, & add to calendar
  • GRFP Application Planning - PhD+ NSF GRFP Spring Prep Series

    Tuesday. March 31, 4pm | check website for latest info including delivery and possible time changes


    For eligible 1st year graduate students

    This 3-session workshop series is intended to introduce prospective applicants to the GRFP and assist them in preparing the content of their applications. Although the GRFP is due in mid-October, there is limited time to strengthen your application during fall semester alone. This workshop series can help!

    Together, we will identify the strengths and weaknesses of your application package, talk through the review process, and discuss with a panel of previous GRFP winners. You will leave this workshop series with an outline of your application essays and list of suggested tasks to strengthen your GRFP application.  

     

    Details & Registration
  • GRFP Essay Specifics - PhD+ NSF GRFP Spring Prep Series

    Tuesday. March 24, 4pm | check website for latest info including delivery and possible time changes


    For eligible 1st year graduate students

    This 3-session workshop series is intended to introduce prospective applicants to the GRFP and assist them in preparing the content of their applications. Although the GRFP is due in mid-October, there is limited time to strengthen your application during fall semester alone. This workshop series can help!

    Together, we will identify the strengths and weaknesses of your application package, talk through the review process, and discuss with a panel of previous GRFP winners. You will leave this workshop series with an outline of your application essays and list of suggested tasks to strengthen your GRFP application.  

     

    Details & Registration
  • Funding Discovery Tools Workshop*

    with Jeffrey J. Fox, PhD | Wed. March 18, 2pm | ZOOM (updated)


    Learn how to find travel grants, fellowships, research grants and post-doctorate positions using Pivot and GrantForward, two funding discovery tools that all UVA students, faculty, and staff can use. Bring your laptops! The goal for the workshop will be for each attendee to leave with at least one customized search and automated email alert. This will be an informal session; the first 30-40 minutes will be an overview of the tools with some example searches that will be relevant to grad students and postdocs. Then each attendee will create a customized search & set up an automated email alert. - UVA Engineering Research Development & The GWL

    Details
  • GRFP Editing Swap- GWL GRFP Series

    4pm Thurs. Oct. 10 | Brown Science & Engineering Library 133


    Bring your NSF GRFP application essay drafts to this editing swap to give and receive surface level editing feedback and notes. Attendees should bring 2 paper copies of their application essays and pen/pencil to the event. Attendees will exchange papers and given written corrections and notes on one another's drafts before having brief explanatory conversations. The event is expected to focus on late stage editing, minor corrections, formatting improvements, and targeted feedback suggestions in preparation for the midOctober deadline.

    All attendees will be expected to bring drafts and to give corrections and feedback on the drafts of others. GRFP Mentors will be on hand for questions.

    Details & Registration
  • Intro to the NSF GRFP and Grad Fellowships- GWL GRFP Series

    3pm Tues. Sept. 10 | Rodman Room (Thornton A207)


    This presentation will introduce students to the basics of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program & its application process. Additional fellowships and search, resources, and basic tips for grad fellowships relevant to early grad engineering students will also be touched on. If you are a new domestic UVA engineering graduate student in a research degree (MS/PhD), consider attending this workshop to see how you might be able to apply for this or other prestigious fellowships. Primarily for 1st & 2nd yr UVA Engineering grad students, but advanced engineering graduate students, engineering faculty and staff are welcome to attend. Grad students outside of engineering can attend if space permits.

    Details & Registration
  • NSF Workshop Series: Session 3- Complete Application Review

    organized by Keisha John, PhD | 12-5pm (10 minute appointments) Fri. Oct 12 | New Cabell Hall (various rooms)


    Discuss the review of your complete application by faculty members and current NSF Graduate Research Fellows. Each participant will be assigned a 10-minute appointment to receive verbal and written feedback on their application. Note: You need to have participated in session 2 and have sent your complete draft and a CV/resume, to keishajohn@virginia.edu by 5pm on Thursday, October 4 to attend this session. Each application is reviewed by faculty members and experienced NSF GRF recipients in preparation for this final session. 

     

    A National Science Foundation Series Workshop

    This workshop series includes three sessions intended to help eligible applicants learn about the fellowship and craft competitive applications, with individual feedback offered by experienced faculty and NSF GRFP recipients.  The goal of the series is for applicants to have a completed application by mid-October, with time before the final deadline to make additional edits (See here for the list of deadlines and eligibility information:  https://www.nsfgrfp.org/applicants/important_dates).   

    Organizer: Keisha John, PhD  | Director of Diversity Programs, Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs

    10 minute appointments between noon and 5:00pm | Oct. 12 | New Cabell Hall (various rooms)

    learn more
  • Graduate Fellowship Student Panel: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP)

    with past award winners | 2:30-3:30pm Mon. Sept. 24 | Wilsdorf 200


    Hear from engineering graduate students who have applied for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) and won or recieved honorable mention. Learn from their experiences, get advice and ask questions. Discussion may be applicable to other fellowships as well. Questions may be submitted in advance here or asked at the panel. No registration required but attendees are asked to sign in at the event.

    2:30-3:30pm Mon. Sept. 24 | presenters: NSF Graduate Research Fellows from Engineering | Wilsdorf 200

  • Intro to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

    with Professor John R. Scully | Thur., Sept. 20, 1:30pm-2:30pm | Wilsdorf 200


    Come learn about the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) and how to apply. This opportunity to increase your stipend to $34,000/year and earn a pretigious fellowship is open 1st and 2nd year engineering graduate students who are US citizens, nationals or permanent residents. 

    Wilsdorf 200, Thursday. Sept. 20, 1:30-2:30pm | presenter: Professor John R. Scully, MSE

    learn more & add to calendar
  • Dissertation Funding Workshop

    with Keisha John | 4pm Wed. Sept 19 | Robertson Hall 221


    Attend this workshop to learn about various dissertation funding opportunities and resources at UVA and externally to help you identify the best funding opportunities for your dissertation studies.   Students from all fields and at all levels are welcome and encouraged to attend.

    Presenter: Keisha John | Director of Diversity Programs, Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs

  • Writing an Effective NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Proposal (Webinar)

    3:30-5:30pm, Thurs. Sept. 13 | Online, register by Sept. 11


    This national workshop includes two recorded videos and a live interactive webinar. After registering, participants are given access to a video introduction to the GRFP to watch prior to the Sept. 13th webinar. After the webinar led by past award winners, participants are provided with a video on addressing broader impacts. Register by Sept. 11th through CIRTL.

    more info
  • NSF Workshop Series: Session 2- Draft Writing Workshop

    with Keisha John, PhD | 4pm Thur. Sept 13 | Robertson Hall 221 (McIntire School)


    Attend this session to learn everything you need to know to draft a full application. Over the course of the meeting, we will go over each section of the application in detail (the information form, the personal statement, and the proposal), and will provide tips for how to make each section resonate with reviewers. We will focus on strategies for persuading reviewers to fund your proposal through your stated broader impacts, intellectual merits, and the personal statement. Although the application does not explicitly ask for a CV or resume, the session will also help you think strategically about how to incorporate information from these documents into your proposal. 

    Following session 2, prospective applicants should draft their applications and send the complete draft and a CV/resume, to keishajohn@virginia.edu by 5pm on Thursday, October 4.  Each application will then be reviewed by faculty members and experienced NSF GRF recipients in preparation for the final session. 

     

    A National Science Foundation Series Workshop

    This workshop series includes three sessions intended to help eligible applicants learn about the fellowship and craft competitive applications, with individual feedback offered by experienced faculty and NSF GRFP recipients.  The goal of the series is for applicants to have a completed application by mid-October, with time before the final deadline to make additional edits (See here for the list of deadlines and eligibility information:  https://www.nsfgrfp.org/applicants/important_dates).   

    Presenter: Keisha John, PhD | Director of Diversity Programs, Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs

    4:00-5:00pm | Sept. 13 | Robertson Hall 221 (McIntire School)

    learn more
  • Funding Discovery Tools (Library Workshop)

    with Ricky Patterson | 2pm Thurs. Sept 13 | Brown 133 (Engineering Library)


    Funding discovery databases help researchers identify opportunities from public and private funders. UVA now has access to two discovery tools licensed by the Vice Provost of Research, Pivot and GrantForward. These tools allow faculty, students and staff to search for funding and set up email search alerts based on a researcher’s area of interest. After the workshop, the attendees will learn how to create an account, search the databases, share funding opportunities with others, as well as save search strategies for email alerts regarding new opportunities. All students, faculty and staff at the University have access and the ability to create personal accounts. Please bring a laptop for use for this hands-on workshop.

    Presenter: Ricky Patterson | Engineering Library

    Info & Registration
  • Diversity Awards

    with Keisha John | 4pm Tues. Sept 11 | Robertson Hall 221


    Do you know there are many opportunities specifically for underrepresented students from the federal government as well as societies and foundations to apply for external funding for your research, or to attend conferences? This workshop will feature awards specifically for ethnic minority graduate students. We will highlight the Ford Foundation, APA, and AAUW, awards among many others that will support your professional, predoctoral, dissertation and work beyond.

    Presenter: Keisha John | Director of Diversity Programs, Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs

    4:00-5:00pm | Sept. 11 | Robertson Hall 221

  • NSF Workshop Series: Session 1- Introduction

    with Keisha John, PhD | 4pm Wed. Sept 5 | Robertson Hall 221 (McIntire School)


    This session will include an overview of the fellowship as well as an informational panel with current UVA NSF GRF recipients. 

    An National Science Foundation Series Workshop

    This workshop series includes three sessions intended to help eligible applicants learn about the fellowship and craft competitive applications, with individual feedback offered by experienced faculty and NSF GRFP recipients.  The goal of the series is for applicants to have a completed application by mid-October, with time before the final deadline to make additional edits (See here for the list of deadlines and eligibility information:  https://www.nsfgrfp.org/applicants/important_dates).   

    Presenter: Keisha John, PhD | Director of Diversity Programs, Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs

    4:00-5:00pm | Sept. 5 | Robertson Hall 221 (McIntire School)

    learn more