The Graduate School hosted a Research and Fellowships Week panel on the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship program. Current USC NSF PhD students and Graduate School staff offered this advice on why and how apply for this prestigious fellowship:
Illustrate in your application an interdisciplinary approach to your research.
Remember the NSF is funding the researcher, so there is some flexibility in the topic and evolution of your research.
Get a lot of feedback on your application and focus on telling a cohesive story that connects your research to your personal statement.
Explain how you give the research community a new perspective to influence and view to their own and future research.
The NSF has opened new doors and given me credibility to get further funding for postdoc research opportunities.
In August, we host an intensive fellowship writing Boot Camp, this is followed in October with faculty led proposal review clinics and a networking event in January for all students who applied for external funds. We are also happy to put applicants in touch with awardees and we often visit programs and schools to talk about funding options.
The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program supports outstanding graduate students in STEM and Social Sciences who are pursuing research-based Master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. Institutions.
The USC Graduate School has a lot of resources for students looking for fellowships. A Fellowships and Awards database was recently launched at http://awardsdatabase.usc.edu/.