Archive for December, 2007


Reminder: Signature lead time and contact information

December 18, 2007

With all of the recent deadlines (NIH, CBCRP, AHA, etc.) I’ve noticed some recurring problems when students seek signatures from Kim Barrett, the Dean of Graduate Studies, who signs as the Authorizing Official or some variation thereof for any graduate student fellowship applications. So here’s a brief FAQ for those of you seeking signatures:

1. What’s Kim Barrett’s contact information?

Everything you need to know is on this page, but here it is again. Kim E. Barrett, Dean of Graduate Studies. 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0003. (858) 534-6655. fax: (858) 534-4304. email: graduatedean (at) ucsd (dot) edu. (Don’t actually spell it out like that, obviously.) All requests for signatures go to me. If I’m not here, you can leave it with the OGS receptionist and I will get it and contact you when it’s ready for pick-up. Please don’t contact Dr. Barrett or her assistant Glenda Wheeler directly–they will just refer you to me, anyway.

2. Who sends my application?

Graduate students are responsible for sending all parts of their applications.

3. (For graduate coordinators) What’s a grant? What’s a fellowship?

A grant is any award where a faculty member applies for a sum of money which he/she might then distribute to students. If a graduate student applies directly, it’s usually a graduate fellowship. Grants go through your usual process, involving Research or OCGA. Graduate fellowships are signed off on directly by Kim Barrett through the process I just described. One big exception to this rule is the NSF Dissertation Improvement Grants. Professors apply for those on behalf of students, even though the students are the primary recipients of the money. Students should keep this in mind when applying for NSF awards: OCGA can take a considerable amount of time to process applications, and they have their own rules and paperwork, which professors who have applied for grants before can help with.

4. What do you need to have Kim Barrett sign off?

Usually I just need the cover page and any budget information you might disclose with your application. All other signatures need to be in place before Dr. Barrett can sign. This is university policy, and I can’t be flexible about it.

5. When do you need everything?

We ask for at least 10 business days. This is not because it usually takes us 10 business days (which I think would officially constitute the world’s longest signature) but because the life of the Dean of Graduate Studies is a busy one and Dr. Barrett is often out of the office, advocating for UCSD’s graduate students in various fora and trying to keep up her own lab and connections with the academic side of the university. If you leave it to the last minute, there’s no guarantee she’ll be in the office to sign.

6. Can’t you just stamp it?

In many cases, no. Look carefully at your face page. Does it say something about “no per signature”? That means that it can’t be stamped. This appears on most NIH documents, for instance.

It’s important to the university that you apply for fellowships and we try to be as flexible as we possibly can about last-minute situations and problems, but there’s a limit to what we can do about very late submissions. Save yourself the heartache of filling out an entire application only to find that there’s no one to sign off on it by getting your facepages to me as soon as possible. I require only the facepage and budget to allow you the maximum amount of time to work on the actual proposal part of the application. As long as you and your advisor are willing to sign off on the science, we’ll sign off on the administrative portion.

With the holiday and the university closure approaching, turn in your applications due in the first part of January no later than this Friday, Dec. 21, for prompt processing.


Department of Homeland Security Fellowships

December 18, 2007

Department of Homeland Security Fellowships are due on January 7, 2008. These are fantastically generous awards ($2,300/month) for anyone whose area of interest is even broadly related to national security. It’s open to students pursuing a doctoral or master’s degree (with thesis component) in science, engineering, technology, or math, and who have GPAs of at least 3.3 on a 4-point scale.

Read more here.


Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowship

December 13, 2007

The Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowship is a very interesting opportunity for students at the beginning of graduate study. Very little information is available about it online, and applications (if you can believe this) are still made on paper. I’ve received those applications now, and I’ve set a campus deadline of Monday, January 7, 2008 for review of applications and nomination of three students. It’s basically an unrestricted award, made to anyone who shows distinction in his/her field, and UCSD is allowed three nominees. Come and see me if you’d like an application. The fellowship is for tuition costs, plus an $18,000 stipend, and is renewable for three years.


UCSB Black Studies Dissertation Award

December 13, 2007

Out of UCSB comes this fantastic opportunity for ABDs who want to spend an academic year in lovely Santa Barbara:


The Department of Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara invites applications for two fellowships for the academic year 2008-2009. Applicants must be advanced to candidacy at an accredited university. The department is particularly interested in scholars whose research focuses on intersections of race, class, gender or sexuality in African/Caribbean/ African-American or Diasporic Studies.

The duration of the award is nine months and the fellowship grant is $20,000. Scholars are required to be in residence during the entire fellowship period and there is an expectation that the dissertation will be completed during the term of residency. Dissertation scholars will teach
one undergraduate course and present one public lecture.

To apply, complete and mail the application to UCSB Black Studies Dissertation Fellowship along with a curriculum vitae, a brief description of the dissertation project (2-3 pages), a writing sample (approx. 20 pages) and three letters of reference to:

Dissertation Fellowship Committee
Department of Black Studies
3631 South Hall
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3150

All materials must be received in our office no later than February 4, 2008.
No fax or e-mail submissions will be accepted.

Please go to the following URL to download the application:


Switzer Foundation Environmental Studies Awards

December 13, 2007

I just heard from the Switzer Foundation that they are dedicating five awards this year to students from southern California. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Switzer awards, here’s the description:

“The programs of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation are dedicated to investing in individual leaders who will be driving positive environmental change and to supporting projects that will have measurable positive results on environmental quality for natural and human communities. The goal of the Switzer Environmental Fellowship Program is to support highly talented graduate students in New England and California whose studies are directed toward improving environmental quality and who demonstrate the potential for leadership in their field.

“The Switzer Environmental Fellowship Program is in its 21st year of existence. In the early years, scientific and technical skills were paramount in the selection process. Over time, the Foundation responded to changes in environmental practice, and recognized that while the sciences are the underpinning of environmental work, practitioners are needed in a variety of sectors and fields, especially those with interdisciplinary interests. Therefore, the Foundation broadly defines its interest in the environment and the means by which positive results can be achieved. Awards have been made to students pursuing environmental policy, economics, conservation, public health, journalism, architecture, environmental justice, business and law as well as the more traditional sciences of biology, chemistry and engineering.”

The award is $15,000 in cash.

For more information about this opportunity, please visit:


University of California Marine Council Fellowships

December 13, 2007

The UC Marine Council has decided to allow graduate students to apply directly for its research fellowships, and I advise all of you SIO students who want $30,000 to think about it. More information here:


American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowships

December 6, 2007

The AHA Predoctoral Fellowship competition was just announced, and I noticed, while scrolling through last year’s statistics, that Predocs had a whopping (for fellowships, anyway) 41 percent success rate. This makes it well worth your trouble to fill out one of these applications, if you’re working on anything “closely or broadly related to cardiovascular function and diseases, stroke and cerebrovascular diseases, related basic and clinical biomedical sciences, bioengineering/biotechnology and public health programs, including related social and behavioral sciences, or related epidemiology.”

Find out more here. There are two parts to the submission–electronic and paper. Electronic is due on Jan. 9, and the original plus three paper copies to the AHA offices on Jan. 15.