Fellowship Resources and Workshops

Each year, research degree students at Cornell University secure hundreds of external fellowships, generating more than $15 million in fellowship funding to bolster graduate research and further the university’s mission.

Winning external fellowships is a remarkable achievement that not only recognizes a research student’s exceptional skills and potential but also opens doors to incredible opportunities for growth. Securing such prestigious awards often involves a highly competitive selection process. 

To support our graduate students, Cornell’s Graduate School puts together a compilation of sample essays from past fellowship winners for current graduate students to review as they prepare their applications.   To access these samples, please enter the External Fellowship Portal while logged in with your Cornell Net ID.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Sessions

Graduate students in eligible fields should apply in either their first or second year of graduate school for an NSF GRFP. The fellowship includes three years of financial support.

Check the NSF GRFP website for upcoming information sessions.


Assistance with Graduate Fellowship Applications

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 if you plan to have drafts ready for review; appointments from mid-semester to end of the term fill quickly.)