NSF-Graduate Research Fellowship: Peer-to-peer mini workshop

Date: December 2, 2016 9:00 am

The Puerto Rico Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation is making a big are making effort to increase the amount of BDP Fellows that apply for the NSF-Graduate Research Fellowship Program and that are successful in doing so. As a strategy to achieve this, UPR have partnered (unofficial for the moment) with the University of California at Berkeley (UCB). UCB is the institution with the most NSF-GRFP across the US.

Therefore, on next Friday, December 2  two students from UCB that will offer an informal peer-to-peer mini workshop related to the NSF-GRFP. This will be the first activity to have students to share their thoughts before the application process. For next semester (spring), UPR is acoordinating a visit from the UCB Graduate Studies Division. This division is the responsible to train UCB graduate students in the GRFP application process. The resources for this first activity are:

  1. Betsabé Castro: 2nd year PhD student at the Integrative Biology Department at UC Berkeley. Received the NSF GRFP on 2015 for an interdisciplinary proposal in the Life Sciences section

  2. Benson Jung: 2nd year PhD student in Materials Science and Engineering at UC Berkeley. Applied twice to NSF, got it the second time.

When: Friday, December 2, 2016

Time: 9:00 am-12:00 pm

Where: Facundo Bueso, Room 341

Resources: Betsabé Castro & Benson Jung

The activity is designed for our Bridge to the Doctorate Fellows espacially for the first year graduate students and sophomore and senior students who are willing to apply for graduate school. First year graduate students will have just one opportunity to apply for the NSF-GRFP in October 2017. However, undergraduate students can apply as undergrads and then apply one more time as graduate students. Sure the undergraduate students can take huge advantage of this workshop as well.

Please go to the NSF-GRFP website and get as familiar as possible with the application process and the rationale behind the fellowship. Specially everything related to the Personal Statement (Personal, Relevant Background and Future Goals Statement):

Also, please get familiar with NSF's merit review criteria: Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts (

The resources might not have the time to go over the statements of all the students that are not from the Bridge to the Doctorate Program. Nevertheless, it is advised for students to prepare their documents for the activity.

Both, Betsabé and Benson suggested that the students prepare at least the Personal Statement so they could go over it to check for the essential elements. For this, they are suggesting that students prepare the Personal Statement following the worksheet in  "UnofficialNSF..." as they think is better to use.

They also included the "Personal Statement Writing Activity" which is a more simple form but they believe may be also an easy way to start to form the personal essay.

It is also suggested that: "those who have already given some thought and are more prepared going in could do the "unofficalNSF..." one. Those who are just starting out could do the "Personal Statement..."