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Graduate Peers' Schedules

Winter 2016
Peer Advisor Availability

Writing Peer
Kyle Crocco

Mon: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Tue: 10 a.m.-noon
Wed: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Thu: 10 a.m.-noon

Funding Peer
Stephanie Griffin
Mon: 10 a.m.-noon
Wed: noon-2 p.m.

Diversity Peer
Ana Romero

Mon: noon-2 p.m.
Wed: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

The peers sometimes hold events or attend meetings during their regular office hours. To assure you connect with your Graduate Peer Advisor, we encourage you to contact them by email and make an appointment.


Campus Map


View UCSB Graduate Student Resources in a larger map


Finding Funding Workshop: October 19

Did you miss the last Finding Funding Workshop? Are you worried about finding campus and extramural resources for your research or tuition this year? Would you like to enjoy free snacks while learning about campus financial resources for graduate students?
Find FundingCredit:

All graduate students are welcome to attend the next Finding Funding Workshop. We'll be going over on-campus resources for your graduate careers, as well as resources and databases through the UC System and elsewhere.

Finding Funding Workshop

When: Monday, Oct. 19, 10:30 a.m.

Where: SRB 2154 (second floor conference room)

Please RSVP to Steph Griffin at


Funding Opportunities: November 2015 Deadlines

The following fellowships/scholarships open to graduate students are just a small sample of a variety of available funds and opportunities available. Make sure to check all award websites for specific information on their application requirements. For more opportunities, check out the GradPost’s Funding page, reach out to the new Graduate Division Funding Peer, Stephanie Griffin, or browse the Pivot database.


NSF Awards: Open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only. Deadlines vary by field, but most are Oct. 20-30. For full lists of upcoming deadlines, see the NSF website. To access past successful NSF applications, please visit the Graduate Student Resource Center in 1215 SRB. 

The Graduate Student Resource Center’s successful applications for different fellowships.

Cyber Security Scholarships: Open to second semester students; U.S. citizens only. The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association offers a $5,000 merit scholarship to students in the field of cyber security, computer sciences, information technology, electronic engineering, or related field. Deadline is Nov. 1. For more information, visit the AFCEA website

GEM MS Engineering Fellowship: Open to Engineering Master’s students only; U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science offers a fellowship package of: full tuition and fees, yearly living stipend of $8,000, and up to two paid summer internships. Deadline is Nov. 15. For more information, visit the GEM Fellowship website

Education & Social Sciences

AERA Minority Dissertation Fellowship in Education Research: Open to Ph.D. candidates only. U.S. citizens or permanent residents only. The American Educational Research Association offers a $19,000 stipend and travel expenses to the AERA Annual Meeting towards dissertation education research by a minority graduate student. Deadline is Nov. 2. For more information, visit AERA's fellowship website

Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowships: Open to Ph.D. candidates only. U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and deferred action status only. Approximately 36 fellowships of $25,000 stipends and an all-expenses-paid trip to a Conference of Ford Fellows will be awarded for the 2016-2017 academic year to doctoral students who are committed to a teaching career in any field and whose dissertation research will promote greater student diversity and engagement of underrepresented populations. Deadline is Nov. 13. For more information, visit the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine website. 


Carter Manny AwardOpen to all Ph.D. students. The Graham Foundation offers two awards to doctoral students for original work with the potential to impact the field of architecture: $15,000 for dissertation research and $20,000 for dissertation writing. Applicants must be nominated by their departments, and departments may nominate only one student per award. Deadline is Nov. 15. For more information, visit the Graham Foundation's website.

WHDOF/Elizabeth Greenhalgh Memorial Scholarship: Open to female graduate students. The Women’s Diving Hall of Fame offers a $1,500 scholarship to a woman diver who is dedicated to pursuing a graphic arts, photography, or journalism career to benefit the ocean environment or ocean community. Deadline is Nov. 20. For more information, visit the WHDOF site.

All Fields

American Fellowships: Open to all female Ph.D. students; U.S. citizens only. For American female doctoral students in any discipline, the American Association of University Women offers the American Fellowships $20,000 stipend to offset her living expenses while she prepares her dissertation. Deadline is Nov. 15. For more information, visit the American Association of University Women's website. 


NSF East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes Fellowship Program

EAPSI locationsLooking to do your STEM research in East Asia or the Pacific this summer?

The National Science Foundation (NSF) East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI) Fellowship Program provides U.S. graduate students in science, engineering, and STEM education with an opportunity to spend eight weeks (10 weeks for Japan) during the summer to conduct research at one of the seven host locations in East Asia and Pacific: Australia, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, and Taiwan.

The program is a collaboration between the NSF and counterpart agencies in each host location.

An EAPSI award provides U.S. graduate students 1) first-hand research experiences in Australia, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, or Taiwan; 2) an introduction to the science, science policy, and scientific infrastructure of the respective location; and 3) an orientation to the society, culture, and language.

It is expected that EAPSI awards will help students initiate professional relationships to enable future collaboration with foreign counterparts.

NSF EAPSI Fellowship Program

Deadline: Nov. 12

Eligibility: U.S. citizens or permanent residents enrolled in a research-oriented master's or Ph.D. program in science, engineering, or education. Applicants must propose a research project in a field of science, engineering or STEM education supported by NSF.

Funds: $5,000 stipend and roundtrip airplane ticket to the host location. Foreign counterparts provide in-country living expenses and accommodations (arrangements vary by host location).

More info: Check out the website.


Fellowship Application Tips for NSF Grants and Beyond

Credit: Howard LakeCredit: throgers








‘Tis the season … for fall funding applications, anyway. On Oct. 1, the Graduate Division hosted a panel discussion with faculty and graduate students about applying for an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. The advice shared could be applied to a number of different types of funding applications. Below, read a recap of some of the key takeaways from the panel discussion.


Know your audience. A funding application is different from other types of writing that you do as a graduate student. With a seminar paper or journal article, you have a captive and patient audience who are probably reading your paper thoroughly and willingly. It is the exact opposite with funding applications. The readers for funding applications are typically coerced faculty members who are impatient readers because they’re basically serving on the review panel out of social and professional obligation. Keep this in mind and make your application materials easy to read.

Dot your i's and cross your t’s. Reviewers are looking for reasons to weed out applications from the stacks that they are being obligated to review (see above). Make sure you meet the criteria that the application is asking for and submit it on time.

Credit: umjanedoanStructure your story well. Your funding application should have three main parts: what is the knowledge gap, why it’s important to fill this knowledge gap, and how you’re going to fill it. It should also be very front-loaded, like an inverted triangle. You want to engage your audience quickly with your cool research problem, and then move on to the details of why you’re the best person to answer this research problem. Use headings and good transitions to help readers get to the most important parts of your application quickly.

Sell yourself. Most funding agencies aren’t necessarily interested in funding a particular project or type of research; they are interested in funding you as a researcher. You need to convince the reader to fund you by communicating like a competent researcher from your field. Showcase your knowledge of the key players in your field (they may be reading your application!), and convey yourself as smart, capable, and motivated.

But don’t oversell yourself. Highlight the significance and timeliness of your work by using evaluable claims (e.g. “this is the first time someone has done this”) instead of by excessively marketing yourself based on vague statements without supportable facts.

Details, details, details. The more specific you can be, the better. If you can point to previous research you’ve done, that’s also helpful.

Plan ahead and ask early. You will probably have multiple drafts and rounds of revisions for your application, so give yourself at least three months to produce a finalized version. You will probably find it helpful to get feedback from your advisor, department peers, and/or peer advisors. Also, give your recommenders at least two to three weeks notice to write you a letter in time to submit it by the deadline. You’ll also need to give them a copy of your application materials to write the letter, so plan accordingly.

A collection of successful fellowship applications located in the Graduate Student Resource CenterUse the prompt. Reference the specific language and structure suggestions that you find in the application guidelines.

Look at successful applications. Note the structure, content, and focus of these applications and use them as sources of inspiration. The Graduate Division keeps a library of successful funding applications (both campus-specific and extramural) in the Graduate Student Resource Center. For a list of applications on file, click here. You can also ask other people in your department or look on the funding agency's website for sample applications.

Remember: A funding application is a work of fiction. It’s your job to convince the reader that what you’re proposing is feasible. You may not end up doing exactly what you lay out in your application, but you need to convey that you are a researcher who is worth investing in.

Note: these components reflect the structure of the NSF application, but can be useful for other funding application types as well.

Personal Statement

  • Credit: Additive TheoryIt’s not personal. It sounds counterintuitive, but don’t write about your personal life in your personal statement. Instead, write about how your professional preparation makes you the ideal person to carry out your research plan. You can mention some personal hardships or disadvantages that you’ve experienced, but only if they are (1) significant and (2) relevant to your research. If you do decide to include these details, do it quickly and matter-of-factly and then immediately point out why it is important for your research.
  • Show your network. Point out the resources of your department and campus network (courses, scholars, program milestones, your advisor, other faculty, campus infrastructure, etc.) that will help you complete your research in a timely fashion.
  • Don't make a laundry list. Don’t structure your statement like a chronological account of every experience and accomplishment you’ve had. Convey that you understand your field and your research by talking about the research problems you’ve encountered, and what you did to solve them.

Research Plan

  • Map it out. Tie your research plan to degree milestones, if possible. This gives a tangible (and realistic) structure to your timeline.
  • Talk the talk. Show that you can write and think like a scholar in your field. Don’t just list what research you’ve done and are going to do; talk about why your research is important and how it will be impactful.

Broader Impacts

  • Credit: AndreaPropose something innovative but realistic. You can conceivably recommend curriculum changes to one school district based on your research, but not nationwide. It’s okay to be a little idealistic, but what counts as a “broader impact” will depend on your field (e.g. public science, share findings with the public, education initiative, etc.).
  • Propose something specific. Don’t just say, “I’ll tutor underprivileged kids.” Be specific about which people will be impacted and in what ways. Think about questions such as: “Why should the government fund this?” “Why is your research good for society?” “How will you speak to the wider world and make the world a better place?”
  • Draw on your previous experience in outreach. If you don't yet have outreach experience, look for on-campus or extramural opportunities to get involved in projects that you care about and that are related to your research.
  • Don't make it just about passion. It’s not enough to just say you want to be a good university teacher some time in the future. Find an angle to distinguish yourself (such as CCUT certification) and point to evidence of your commitment rather than talking about how much you love something.


  • If at first you don't succeed. As long as you meet the eligibility criteria, you can reapply. Typically, the reviews you get will provide helpful feedback for your next application. When you reapply, focus on what significant things you’ve done since you last applied.
  • Pick the right field. If you are an interdisciplinary scholar, think about which field you want to apply to. On the NSF application, you can list up to two disciplines, and you should think about the disciplinary biases of the reviewers from each field.
  • Don't go radical. The NSF is a conservative organization that is funded by the government and overseen by Congress. Your NSF application is therefore not the time to get radical and crazy. You should be modest and realistic in your goals. Scientists understand that incremental progress toward something innovative is better than trying to sell pie-in-the-sky ideas.
  • Name-dropping is okay. If you are applying as an undergraduate, you may not know where you will be for grad school yet. Find out where important research is coming from in your field and talk about how your research could be done in collaboration with other specific research groups, labs, and departments. Name-drop departments that you are applying to because it shows that you know where the most appropriate places are for your research.

Coastal Fund Major Grant Deadline on Oct. 5

Coastal Fund logoIf you are looking for funding for your environmental project or campaign for the UCSB campus, check out the Coastal Fund. Their major grant deadline is Oct. 5.

The Coastal Fund (CF) was created by UCSB students to preserve and enhance the ecological integrity of the coastal habitats at the University. Therefore, funded projects should either seek to preserve, restore, or research the coastal environment.

Coastal Fund: Major Grants

Deadline: Monday, Oct. 5

Eligibility: Applications are welcomed from public and private entities seeking to carry out the proposed project within the shoreline of the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Support: Major Grant is for $1,000 or more, based on the budget.

To Apply: You will need a budget, timeline, project proposal, and a support letter (if you are a graduate student). See their application page for more information.


CCST Science and Technology Policy Fellows Webinar on Sept. 30

CCST logo

If you are pursuing a Ph.D. in STEM or a STEM-related field and are interested in working in public policy, you may be interested in the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) fellowship. The CCST program is designed to enable fellows to work hands-on with policymakers in addressing complex scientific issues.

The Legislature benefits from having the expertise of a trained Ph.D.-level scientist, who brings significant analytical, problem solving, and research skills applied through the lens of the scientific method. The Fellows gain invaluable experience about the intersection of science, technology, and policy.

CCST Science and Technology Policy Fellowship

Eligibility: U.S. citizen with a Ph.D. or equivalent in a STEM field (see list).

Stipend: $45,000 for the one-year appointment with up to $4,000 for relocation costs.

More Info: Read the Fellowship Description.

Register here to watch the webinar on the CCST Science and Technology Policy Fellowship.

Webinar date: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Sept. 30.


UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The postdoctoral program offers research fellowships and faculty mentoring to outstanding scholars in all fields whose research, teaching, and service will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity for the University of California system.

The contributions to diversity may include public service towards increasing equitable access in fields where women and minorities are underrepresented. In some fields, the contributions may include research focusing on underserved populations or understanding inequalities related to race, gender, disability or LGBT issues. 

Research will take place at one of the UC campuses.

UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (PPFP)

Deadline: Sunday, Nov. 1

Eligibility: Postdocs in all fields

Award: Salary starting at $44,500 depending on field and experience; benefits include health insurance and paid vacation/sick leave, and up to $5,000 for research-related and program travel expenses. Each award is for a minimum of 12 months and may be renewable for an additional term upon demonstration of academic/research productivity.

More info: Read call for applications or check out the website.


DuPont Hiring UCSB Science and Engineering Ph.D. Students; Deadline Sept. 22

DuPont has a number of open Science and Engineering Ph.D. positions that it will seek to fill during a visit by company representatives to UC Santa Barbara this October 5-7. There will be an information session on Monday, October 5, at 6 p.m. and interviews held all day Tuesday, October 6.

DuPont offers exciting opportunities for Polymer and Organic Chemists, Chemical Engineers, and Materials Scientists. Stop by the information session to learn about DuPont and discuss career opportunities and your interests.

DuPont Hiring Details

Resume submission deadline: Sept. 22; Email resume to with an indication of your school and desired position. All candidates must also apply at

Information session: Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. in Engineering Science Building (ESB) 1001

On-campus interviews: Oct. 6 (Send resumes by Sept. 22 to be considered for interviews on Oct. 6)

For more information: Read the UCSB flier, email Ashley at, or visit Dupont's site.

Enter the Big Ideas Student Innovation Contest 

Credit: Elena ZhukovaFunding to make your big idea a reality? What could be better? The Big Ideas@Berkeley student innovation contest launches this month, and will provide up to $300,000 in awards. This year's contest features nine categories, and is open to undergraduate and graduate students from all 10 University of California campuses and six other universities.

This year’s contest categories include:

This year’s contest will build on a well-honed tradition of coaching teams through eight months of proposals, mentorship, and final submissions.

From September to March, when the final proposals are due, teams have the opportunity to attend idea generation and networking events, writing workshops, and editing blitzes. In addition, finalist teams will be matched with mentors with expertise relevant to their project.

Unlike many business competitions, Big Ideas is multidisciplinary and is focused on supporting a variety of social ventures including for-profit enterprises, nonprofit organizations, and community-based initiatives. The contest challenges students to step outside of their traditional university-based academic work, take a risk, and use their skills to work on problems important to them.

2015-16 Big Ideas Contest

Deadline: Nov. 12

Eligibility: All UC students

To Apply: Include a three-page proposal. See individual category links above for more details.

For more information about rules, funding, and contact information, visit the Big Ideas website.


UC MEXUS Dissertation Research Grant Deadline Sept. 14

UC MEXUS logoApply now for the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC MEXUS) Dissertation Research Grant. The program offers grants for dissertation or final MFA projects in Mexico, about Mexico, or in collaboration with the Mexican academic and research community.

Areas of interest include research or activities in:

  • Mexico-Related Studies-All Disciplines
  • Latino Studies
  • United States-Mexican Relations
  • Critical U.S.-Mexico Issues
  • Mexican and Latino Topics in the Arts and Humanities
  • UC-Mexico Collaboration

UC MEXUS Dissertation Research Grant

Deadline: Monday, Sept. 14

Eligibility: Open to UC graduate students in all disciplines who will have advanced to candidacy by the end of this year (Dec. 31, 2015).

Support: Grants provide up to $12,000 during a two-year project period.

For more information: Consult the UC MEXUS website.

Established in 1980, UC MEXUS is an academic research institute dedicated to encouraging, securing, and contributing to binational and Latino research and collaborative academic programs and exchanges. Its main focus is to contribute substantially to improving binational scholarly understanding and providing positive contributions to society in both Mexico and the United States, particularly in the graduate and professional areas.

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