Fellowship Workshops

Below are the fellowship workshops for Fall 2020. If you need additional assistance with your graduate fellowship application after  our fellowship workshops and review sessions have concluded or are unable to attend a session, here are some options:

  1. Many fellowship competitions list either faculty, reviewers from previous years’ competitions, or current fellowship recipients who may be contacted to answer your questions. (As the fellowship application deadline approaches, be prepared that the person you contact may not be able to respond to further questions or take on additional requests for reviews.) As an example, the AAUW lists current fellowship recipients. Contact those at your institution and ask if they have time to answer your questions. NSF lists faculty contacts at most institutions as well.
  2. Seek out advanced graduate students in your field (or a related field) who have applied for the same fellowship competition. They may be willing to answer your questions or, if they have the time, to offer some feedback on your draft. (The earlier in the semester you ask, the better.)
  3. Ask peers and friends for feedback on your essay drafts. One faculty reviewer for the NSF GRFP has said, “Almost all research statements are good enough. It’s the personal statements that really need work, i.e., more compelling writing to tell a persuasive story, more editing and polishing.” If your faculty advisor provides useful comments on the research statement, then even friends who are not specialists in your specific field or subfield can provide feedback on your personal statement. Get reviews from multiple peers, especially from those who have previously applied.
  4. Use Cornell’s Graduate Writing Service for additional help. If you are a Cornell international student, you have an additional resource, the English Language Support Office, to provide help with your writing. (Sign up early in the semester you plan to have drafts ready for review; appointments from mid-semester to end of the term fill quickly.)
  5. If you would find it useful, you can review sample fellowship applications, submitted by Cornell graduate fellowship recipients, in 350 Caldwell Hall. We send out a call each year asking for essays from those who win an external fellowship; most of the applications we receive are from NSF GRFP recipients. 

We also have a list of fellowship writing tips (PDF) offered by graduate students who have won other external fellowship awards.

Workshops Fall 2020

Fellowships 101: Writing a Competitive Graduate Fellowship Application

Join us to discuss effective ways to identify fellowship competitions, draft an application, get and use feedback, secure strong letters of recommendation, and manage your time and process to submit a successful fellowship application. We’ll identify key elements that reviewers use in their decision-making, using the funders’ evaluation criteria for a successful application. Handouts and discussion guide will be emailed in advance to pre-registrants.

  • Watch the video of the September 22 session, found here.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Information Sessions

Join us for tips on writing a very competitive NSF GRFP application. Current NSF Fellows will share their winning strategies, including how to emphasize the broader impacts and intellectual merits of your research. We’ll provide tip sheets, sample essays, and other resources. Also, check out the 2021 NSF GRFP competition announcement.

Students who pre-register or attend one of these workshops will receive a list of Cornell fellowship recipients who are willing to give feedback on your fellowship application draft.

  • Held on Wednesday, September 30.

Advice from Successful Graduate Fellowship Writers Session

Join us for advice on writing very competitive graduate fellowship applications from successful recipients of external fellowship competitions, such as the Boren, Ford, Hertz, Liebmann, NSF, Soros, and Wenner-Gren. We’ll provide tip sheets and other resources to all who pre-register and/or attend.

Graduate Fellowship Writers Q&A Session

Are you writing a graduate fellowship application for external funding? Join us as we address your questions and provide guidance as you work toward finalizing your fellowship application.

Past Workshops (Fall 2019)

Fellowships 101: Writing a Competitive Graduate Fellowship Application

Are you writing your first graduate fellowship application for external funding? Join us as we identify sources of funding, help you draft competitive research and personal essays, and develop a timeline for productive writing and submission of applications. Bring your questions!

Peer Review and Consultation Sessions

Bring your fellowship application draft and questions; meet with current fellows past fellowship winners, and peers also applying for external fellowships this year to get feedback and advice. Come and go anytime during this session. No pre-registration necessary. Just sign in when you arrive.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Application Workshop

Join us for tips on writing a very competitive NSF GRFP application. Current NSF Fellows will share their winning strategies, including how to emphasize the broader impacts and intellectual merits of your research. We’ll provide tip sheets, sample essays, and other resources.