Archive for September, 2007


Follow-up to the previous post

September 26, 2007

I am in fact always available to help you with your proposals, but for the sake of your application and my sanity, don’t ask me at the eleventh hour. Until October 15, I’m occupied with giving my standard orientation spiel and interviewing 25 Fulbright candidates. After the 15th, my dance card isn’t quite so full, but I do my best work when I have at least a few days to roll your essay over in my mind and see what sticks and what doesn’t.

I recently attended a really extraordinary fellowship writing seminar given by Professor Isaac Martin in Sociology to five first- and second-year students, where Professor Martin made the true but sometimes counterintuitive point that when you get to this point in your academic career and you decide to apply for fellowships, you are no longer competing against your peers. An NSF, Javits, or Ford Fellowship recipient in your department can do very good things for its reputation, which in turn helps you when you go to look for jobs. So form writing groups, share your essays, and, if you can, get a professor to talk to you about what makes a good proposal. If you’d like, I’ll come to the writing groups myself and pass along what I’ve learned from reading fellowship essays for a year and a half and attending talks given by program representatives. You’ll learn that most vague of traits ascribed to those who get tenure–“collegiality”–and you might even get some money out of it.


First and second year students over here

September 26, 2007

As first and second year students in graduate school, you have a brief window to apply for a number of generous training fellowships offered by outside agencies, created to free you from the requirements of TAing and RAing in your first few years at UCSD. Most of these have deadlines coming up in the next three to six weeks.

For Scientists, Engineers, and Social Scientists (including master’s students)

National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships (

“The Graduate Research Fellowship Program awards fellowships for graduate study leading to research-based master’s or doctoral degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) relevant to the mission of the National Science Foundation.” Please note that this includes social scientists in research-oriented fields.

The eligibility language for this year has changed to include second-year students who have not completed their first quarters of graduate study.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowships carry a $30,000 yearly stipend, plus a cost of education allowance.

Deadlines are staggered throughout November. You will apply directly to NSF online. Recommendation letters due December 1.

For students in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts

Jacob Javits Fellowships (

“The purpose of the Jacob K. Javits (JKJ) Fellowship Program is to award fellowships to eligible students of superior ability, selected on the basis of demonstrated achievement, financial need, and exceptional promise, to undertake graduate study in specific fields in the arts, humanities, and social sciences leading to a doctoral degree or to a master’s degree in those fields in which the master’s degree is the terminal highest degree awarded in the selected field of study at accredited institutions of higher education.” Only students in their first year of study are eligible to apply, so don’t let this opportunity go to waste.

Please note that this award will require you to fill out of a FAFSA, which I highly recommend that you do online.

Stipend is generous, but depends on individual need. Four years of support. Apply directly to the Department of Education online.

Deadline: October 15

For everyone who meets the selection criteria

Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships (

Called “diversity fellowships,” these are actually designed not just to support members of groups whose underrepresentation in the academy has been “severe and longstanding,” but also those who have shown sustained engagement with the members of these groups through volunteer work or academic research. Decided on the basis of academic record and desire to teach at the college level.

Stipend is $20,000/year for three years and an award to the school of $2000 in lieu of tuition/fees.

Apply to the National Academies online.

Deadline: November 15 for application; January 18 for recommendation letters and transcripts.

DAAD Study and Research Scholarships in Germany (

Graduate students may apply at any point in their careers for short-term or long-term programs to study, do research, or earn degrees in Germany.

The application form is online, but will also require a separate mailing of a hard copy in sixtuplicate to DAAD. UCSD is allowed to nominate one priority candidate for extra consideration. For those applying in the Fine Arts, Performing Music, or Dance, the UCSD deadline is October 15. For students in all other fields, it is November 1. Please submit a copy of the application to Linda Vong at the Office of Graduate Studies, mail code 0003, or drop it off on the fourth floor of the Student Services Center.

As always, I am available to help interested students with their applications. Please contact me to get tips on writing proposal statements or to obtain a copy of our fellowship writing guide and successful proposal essays.


Fulbright-Hays competition finally announced

September 19, 2007

The DDRA Fulbright-Hays competition has finally started, and, ironically, this year’s due date is earlier than last year’s–Nov. 5. The Fulbright-Hays award is a highly useful little grant for completing humanities or social science doctoral dissertation research in any non-Western European country, and UCSD traditionally has some luck with it, particularly in anthropology, sociology, and history. We have sample essays available to help you out, and I’m happy to look at anything you want to send along. The UCSD due date for internal processing of the award will be October 31. Everything is done online except sending your transcripts, which I do on your behalf, so please get me copies of those at the same time you hit the submit button online.


Jacob Javits Fellowships

September 19, 2007

Those of you in the first year of graduate studies in the social sciences, arts, and humanities are still eligible to apply for the multi-year, highly lucrative Jacob Javits Fellowships. Javits applications require that you fill out a FAFSA to determine your need eligibility, and you’ll need all of the standard elements of a typical fellowship application. The due date this year is October 15, at which time you apply directly to the Department of Education. I’m willing to read proposals for the Javits, but I need to have them as soon as possible.


IIE visit for scientists and engineers

September 19, 2007

On Tuesday, September 25, Vijay Renganathan from the Institute for International Education will be at UCSD to talk about the following study abroad scholarship and fellowship programs of potential interest to graduate students and graduating seniors:

Winston Churchill Foundation Scholarships: A very prestigious award for graduating seniors in the sciences who wish to study at Churchill College, Cambridge. Deadline – November 12.

NSF Central Europe Summer Research Institute (CESRI): Graduate and doctoral level students in the sciences can spend two months conducting lab work in one of six Central European countries. Deadline – February 4.

Whitaker International Fellows and Scholars Program: Biomedical engineers, from graduating seniors to recent PhD recipients, can go anywhere to undertake an activity relevant to their careers, and towards the goal of increasing international collaboration in the field of biomedical engineering. Deadline – February 11.

The event will be held in Computer Science and Engineering Room 4140 (Warren College) from 11am-12pm, and should feature plenty of advice useful for those of you interested in undertaking research abroad. Please RSVP to Shannon Chamberlain ( if you plan to attend.


San Diego Foundation Fellowships

September 12, 2007

The San Diego Foundation is a local philanthropic endeavor, and they’re offering two two-year, $25,000 fellowships for 20 hours of work related to the foundation’s work in the arts, environment, and science. For a PDF listing the requirements and more information, please contact me at sfchamberlain (at) ucsd(dot) edu. For more than the executive summary, contact Kerri Favela at the SD Foundation: kerri (at) sdfoundation (dot) org.


Reminder: IIE Fulbright

September 7, 2007

Just a quick reminder that the IIE Fulbright grants are due next Friday, September 14. At that time, please hit the submit button on the online application, and deliver a paper copy along with your supporting documents (transcripts, recommendation letters, affiliation letters if applicable) to my office on the fourth floor of the new Student Services Center, next to the Price Center. I will have a box at reception. I can take supporting documents up to a week late.

Just a reminder: Recommendations, transcripts, and affiliations MUST be received in hard copy. Your recommenders do not necessarily have to submit online (although they can if they’d like and it certainly helps the process go more smoothly), but I need a signed hard copy by the time the application goes to New York in mid-October. If necessary, submit unsigned hard copies in the meantime.