Summer Fellowship Boot Camp

July 28, 2017

Posted: August 13, 2016, 5:13pm

For the last two weeks, I’ve been participating in The Graduate School’s Summer Fellowship Boot Camp for essay writing. Running for the second year, this intensive workshop is for incoming or rising second year PhD students who are interested in applying for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, or the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. Over 10 days, we went over all of the details and the different components of these applications. Dr. Meredith Drake Reitan, the Associate Dean for Graduate Fellowships, taught us everything from whom to ask for letters of recommendation, to the topics we need to cover in our written statements. Going through this boot camp alone significantly increases our chances of receiving these prestigious fellowships!

During the second week, we each met with three different groups of students for essay review and critique. It was incredibly helping getting feedback from PhDs in other fields, such as Psychology and Computational Biology. They provided thoughtful insights into the technical descriptions of our research projects, as well as our personal stories and narratives. Through this boot camp, I am more confident in submitting a successful application than I was last year. I still have two entire months to work on my statements, but I have drafts that are close to being finished. I’ll try to create a BME-specific fellowship review group for final polishing. Although this workshop is now over, I’m looking forward to keeping in touch with some of the other doctoral students I met here! If you are a PhD student looking for funding, check out USC’s fellowship database here:

Published on July 28th, 2017

Last updated on August 10th, 2017