GRFP Essay Insights: Application Resources for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program
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Elise Hernandez

Elise Hernandez, '12 Fellow
Developmental Psychology
University of Mighigan

What does being funded by the NSF GRFP mean to you?

Transitioning to a doctoral graduate program has been one of the most challenging times of my life. Many times, I couldn’t help but feel that I might not really belong here. Being funded by the NSF GRFP has renewed my confidence in myself as individual and as a researcher.

What has been the greatest advantage of winning the award?

The greatest advantage of winning the award is that I now peace of mind in that I don’t have to worry about how I am going to fund the big ideas I have for my dissertation project.

Winning the award has given me time to focus heavily on research and to create a good roadmap for my dissertation topic and methods.

What advice do you have for a student who is not sure
about applying?

There is no doubt that applying for the NSF is an intensive process. But, like many other things in life that require a lot of time and energy, it’s an investment. Applying for the NSF reaps rewards, regardless of the outcome. It serves as a great way to think thoroughly about and lay out your research interests, personal statements, and statements of purpose for graduate school applications. It also serves as good practice in applying for grants. It’s also a great way to think about and model your research interests, personal statements, and statements of purpose for graduate school applications.

Most of all, it’s important to remember that you DO have a chance at winning, so why not?

Social network discussions
Advice from Fellows

If it wasn't for the NSF GRFP, I would not be able to work with either of my current advisors (one at Georgia Tech and the other at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory) because at the time, they did not have the funding to take on another student.

Rene Diaz

'11 Fellow, Engineering

Georgia Tech

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