I’ve been lucky enough to have received funding for my graduate education as well as invaluable experiences through various grants and fellowships. This page serves as a home for my funded applications, as well as some info on the various programs. In the future, I’m planning on writing some blog posts about the application process for these programs to provide some more detailed info for prospective applicants. And, a disclaimer that any of these programs may have changed since I applied to them - please refer to the program websites for up-to-date information!
AAAS Mass Media Fellowship
The AAAS Mass Media Fellowship is a 10-week, paid summer program that places science/engineering students (and postdocs!) in national media outlets such as Scientific American and Discover, as well as regional news outlets such as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Raleigh News & Observer. I spent summer 2020 working (remotely, due to COVID) in the Wichita Eagle newsroom, where I researched and reported science news stories for digital and print. You can see examples of the type of journalism I got to work on over on my writing page. I can’t recommend this program highly enough for anyone who is science-writing curious.
NSF Graduate Research Internship Program (GRIP)
I interned at the US Geological Survey Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center in Corvallis, OR in summer 2017 through the now-defunct NSF GRIP program. The GRIP program has been suspended, but you can still get the NSF to support your internship through the new INTERN program if you are either an active GRFP fellow or funded by an NSF grant.
I don’t know much about INTERN vs. GRIP, but INTERN lets you intern anywhere (e.g. industry, start-ups, museums, non-profits, whereas GRIP only funded internships in federal agencies) which seems, plus it can cover your tuition/healthcare/stipend, which GRIP didn’t.
Given the substantial changes to the program, I’m not sure how useful my application materials will be. The part of my 2016 application that discusses career preparation (the focus of the INTERN program) is here - hopefully it’s useful!
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program
The GRFP notorious for changing the application process just about every single year - the program website has the most up-to-date details on application rules. I applied in 2014, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the formatting rules or specific requirements have changed since I applied. Please don’t consider the materials that I share to be a formatting guide, since they are woefully old.
The GRFP is a notorious crapshoot. My application is absolutely NOT indicative of what a “good” applicant should look like, nor what a “strong” research proposal consists of. My application is one example of what a group of reviewers, who probably only read the materials for a collective few minutes, deemed worthy of funding in my particular research directorate in that particular year. (I submitted a near-identical application the year before and was not funded.) I hope these materials are helpful to you, but know that there is not one formula for success, and that funding decisions do NOT determine your worth.
Joint Genome Institute (JGI) Community Science Program (CSP)
The JGI CSP funds various genomic analyses and is a great way to dip your toe into genomics. They tend to only fund research in very specific areas that are relevant to the DOE’s mission - luckily that includes pretty much any terrestrial biogeochemistry work! When I applied, they were still funding amplicon sequencing projects, but this has since been discontinued. You can still get shotgun metagenomic sequencing projects funded, as well as a bunch of other project types I won’t pretend to understand.
Other research proposal examples
My department at UC Davis had an annual research funding opportunity for graduate students that required a short research proposal. Small grants are a great way to sharpen your research proposal skills, learn to write a budget, and crucially, get some research cash. Specific proposal requirements will always vary, but I hope that these examples give you an idea of how you can structure a short proposal and justify your funding request with an itemized budget. They may be useful for your own internal funding competitions or other small grant opportunities.
I wrote most of these proposals in early graduate school, so they may also inadvertently serve as an example of writing growth over time. They probably also serve as examples of how much I build new proposals off of old ones.