Incentive Program for NSF Fellowship Applicants Has Brought In Over $8 Million

By Elizabeth Brown, CHASS Dean’s Office Student Intern
June 6, 2014

When Dean of the Graduate Division Joseph Childers entered his position, UCR was averaging one National Science Foundation fellowship per year. For the past 5 years, that average has been raised to 13 fellowships a year, this year having a grand total of 18. This jump in number is due to the incentive program developed for graduate students to apply for NSF grants.

Every year, the National Science Foundation allows graduate students to apply to their program for fellowships that offer $30,000 a year in research support for three years, with additional fees for travel and conferences. UCR graduate students have brought in over $8 million dollars in support during the past 5 years by applying to and receiving these fellowships.

Graduate Division Associate Dean Leah Haimo was tasked with starting a program to boost applicants. After speaking with the UCLA Psychology department, who has a very high rate of applicants and acceptances, she began to develop an incentive program, and providing seminars and resources for proper application and proposal writing. The graduate students are encouraged to review their applications and proposals several times in the Graduate Writing Center, with their advisors and during the workshop style seminars through the GradSuccess program. Winning proposals are posted on iLearn for graduates to view as models. Applicants are given $50 for proving they applied, and a $1000 reward for an honorable mention. These students will also be able to receive more specified help having already turned a first version of their proposal.

Since the program has proven successful, the Graduate Division and Dean Childers are now attempting to expand these seminars to help students with other external grants, such as Ford fellowships, Mellon grants, Woodrow Wilson grants, and others that are similar. Dean Childers has a goal of 30 acceptances to the NSF fellowship per year, which he thinks is definitely attainable due to “creating a culture” around upholding and recognizing the excellent science and work that these students are producing and researching.

The Gradsuccess program, as well as more about the Graduate Division can be found at http://graduate.ucr.edu/success.html.

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Career OpportunitiesUCR Libraries
Campus StatusDirections to UCR

College Information

College Student Academic Affairs (All Student Inquiries)
3400 Humanities & Social Sciences Bldg.

Tel: (951) 827-3683 | Fax: (951) 827-5836

College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
3413 Humanities & Social Sciences Bldg.