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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
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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.


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Entries in fellowships (29)


2016-17 Capital Fellows Programs Applications Due Feb. 8

The Capital Fellows Programs, administered through Sacramento State University, are accepting applications for the 2016-17 cohort until Monday, Feb. 8. The Capital Fellows Programs comprise four fellowships in public policy and leadership. Starting in Fall 2016, Fellows will work for 10-11 months in Sacramento within a judicial, executive, or legislative office, as employees of Sacramento State. Additionally, the Fellows will attend weekly graduate seminars conducted by their program’s academic advisors. Capital Fellows Programs

Application Deadline: Feb. 8 at 5 p.m.

Benefits: Employees of Sacramento State; monthly stipend of $2,627; health benefits

Eligibility: Anyone with a bachelor’s degree (no preferred major); non-US citizens must provide proof of appropriate immigration status

For more information and to apply, please visit their website


2016-18 Posen Society of Fellows

Posen Foundation logoThe Posen Foundation announces its fourth Posen Society of Fellows, the 2016-18 cohort of six international emerging scholars working on modernization processes in Jewish history, society, and culture. The Fellows are awarded two annual stipends of $20,000 and will convene for two summer seminars in the US together with the preceding or subsequent cohort (for a total of 12 Fellows) to share their work, participate in professionalization workshops and attend lectures by leading Jewish Studies scholars. Fellows will be expected to maintain ongoing contact to support each other’s work, and to submit an annual report on their progress to the foundation.

Deadline: Jan. 15

Eligibility: All Ph.D. candidates (dissertation topics approved by Apr. 1), regardless of nationality or religion. Applicants may not hold concurrent awards/fellowships in excess of $10,000/year.

Award: $40,000 (paid over two years), and two summer seminars led by Jewish Studies scholars

For more information, visit the Posen Foundation website


Call for Applications: AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellowship

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is now accepting applications for the 2016 Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellowship. This fellowship program places STEM students at media organizations across the US for 10 weeks over the summer. Fellows have worked as reporters, editors, researchers, and production assistants at such media outlets as the Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, Philadelphia Inquirer, WIREDand Scientific American. Fellows will hone their public communication skills as they research, write, and report stories on complex scientific issues. AAAS logo

Eligibility: Undergrads, grads, and postdocs; US citizenship is not a requirement, but international students must have visas which allow them to receive payment

Deadline: Jan. 15, 2016

Compensation: $500 weekly stipend, plus travel costs

For more information and to apply, visit the AAAS website


Funding Opportunities: December 2015 Deadlines

While you’re getting holiday gifts for your family and friends, don’t forget to help yourself this month as well! The following scholarships and fellowships were found on the Pivot database. Be sure to check the award websites for specific application information and up-to-date deadlines. credit: pinterest.comCredit:

Social Sciences/Education

Jennings Randolph Peace Scholarship Dissertation Program (from US Institute of Peace): Open to all Ph.D. students who have completed all coursework. Peace Scholar awards of $20,000 are offered to doctoral students whose dissertation topics relate to peacebuilding and conflict management. Deadline is Dec. 11. For more information, visit the U.S. Institute of Peace’s website

International Peace Scholarship (from P.E.O. International): Only open to female students who are NOT citizens of the U.S. or Canada. An award of $10,000 is offered to in-need female graduate students with at least one year of coursework remaining (thus, ABD students are not eligible). Deadline is Dec. 15. For more information, visit P.E.O. International’s website

Applegate-Jackson-Parks Future Teacher Scholarship (from the National Institute for Labor Relations Research): Open to any education student. An award of $1,000 is offered to future educators. Deadline is Dec. 31. For more information, visit the NILRR website


SMART (Science, Math, and Research for Transformation) Scholarship for Service (part of National Defense Education Program/DoD); Open to U.S. citizens only. SMART scholars receive full tuition, stipend, summer internships, and employment placement after graduation. For each academic year of the fellowship, the recipient agrees to commit 12 months of civilian work with the DoD. Deadline is Dec. 1. For more information, visit the SMART website

Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Scholarship (from the National Space Club and Foundation): Open to U.S. citizens only. An award of $10,000 for the following academic year is available to students interested in space research and exploration. Deadline is Dec. 2. For more information, visit the National Space Club’s website.

Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship (from NOAA): Open to U.S. citizens studying oceanography, marine biology, or other science, engineering, or resource management of the ocean/coastal areas. This is award provides up to $42,000 annually in scholarship, plus reimbursement for attending a four- to six-week summer program collaboration with NOAA. Doctoral fellows are required to complete at least one program collaboration. Deadline is Dec. 10. For more information, visit the Foster Scholars’ website.

Novus Biologicals Scholarship Program: Open to all students. An award of $1,500 is offered to a student interested in a career in the life sciences. Deadline is Dec. 11 for the Spring 2016 scholarship. Application form and written statement topics are available on the Novus Biologicals website.  

Fine Arts/Humanities

Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship (from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign): Open to all students in art, architecture, dance, theater, urban/regional planning, and music. The award ranges from $9,000-$20,000 (depending on field) for promising graduate students. Deadline is Dec. 1. For more information, visit the Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship website

Sally Kress Tompkins Fellowship (from Society of Architectural Historians): Open to all graduate students in architectural history or related fields. SAH provides a $10,000 stipend and an opportunity to work on a summer project with the Historic American Buildings Survey. Deadline is Dec. 31. For more information, visit SAH’s website.  

All Fields

Career Development Grants (from the American Association of University Women): Only open to female master’s students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Grants of $2,000-$12,000 are available to female students returning to school since receiving their bachelor’s degree on or before June 2011 (doctoral work does not qualify). Funds provide support for tuition, fees, books, local transportation, and childcare. Deadline is Dec. 15. For more information, visit AAUW’s website


Finding Funding Workshop on Oct. 26

Credit: wolfescape.comThere's another Finding Funding Workshop, open to all graduate students! Are you worried about finding campus and extramural funds for your research or tuition this year? Would you like to enjoy free snacks while learning about campus financial resources for graduate students?

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

Finding Funding Workshop

When: Monday, Oct. 26, 10:30 a.m.

Where: SRB 2154 (second floor conference room)

Please RSVP to Steph Griffin at


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.

Finding Funding Workshop on Tuesday, Feb. 10

Find FundingCredit: Funding PeerNeed funding? Want to learn where to find it and what's available on campus? Then sign up now for the Finding Funding Workshop on Tuesday, Feb.10.

When: Tuesday, Feb. 10, from noon-1 p.m.

Where: Student Resource Building in Room 2154

Who: Presented by Funding Peer, Kyle Crocco

What: The Finding Funding workshop covers all the graduate funding basics:

  • UCSB resources (fellowships, TAships, and more)
  • External resources (government, foundations, and more)
  • Funding databases (Pivot, Grapes, and more)

Attendees should bring their laptop computers to practice navigating funding databases.

Food: You betcha. Light refreshments will be provided.

RSVP: Kyle Crocco at


Fellowships and Estimated Taxes: Should You Be Making Payments?

Man counting moneyFree money isn't free. Estimate your taxes. Credit: openclipart.comIf you are a graduate student who gets most of your money from fellowships, you may have to pay estimated taxes to avoid an underpayment penalty. This is because for most fellowships no federal taxes are taken out (also known as "withholding" in tax talk) and the IRS wants its money sooner rather than later.

What are estimated taxes?

Estimated taxes are those quarterly payments people make to the IRS to avoid playing a penalty for underpayment of taxes at the end of the tax year.

The key figure you should know is $1,000. If you believe you might owe more than $1,000 in taxes at the end of the tax year, you should be be paying estimated taxes.

How do you figure this out?

Unfortunately, this requires math and doing your taxes.

You have to figure your expected adjusted gross income (AGI), taxable income, taxes, deductions, and credits for the year.

To do this, the IRS suggests you use your income, deductions, and credits for prior year as a starting point and your prior year's federal tax return as a guide.


You can also use the worksheet on Form 1040 ES: Estimated Tax for Individuals to help estimate taxes.

Or you can use tax software or fill out tax forms to estimate what you may owe.


What You Need to Know to Complete Your FAFSA 

FAFSA logoEvery U.S. graduate student needs to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 2 if he or she wants to qualify for fellowships, scholarships, block grants, or student loans at UCSB. If you are not interested in getting free money or loans, then you can stop reading this and go back to counting your pile of cash.

What You Need to Know

Campus Deadline: March 2, 2015

Information needed:

  • Social Security number (enter it correctly on the FAFSA or someone else will qualify for your cash). If you are still a dependent student, you will need your parents’ Social Security numbers.
  • Driver’s license number (if you have one).
  • Alien Registration number (if you are not a U.S. citizen).
  • Adjusted Gross Income (AGI): Do your taxes first. You will need your tax returns including IRS W-2 information, for you (and your spouse, if you are married), and for your parents if you are a dependent student.
    •  IRS Form 1040 (use line 37), 1040A (use line 21), 1040EZ (use line 4)
    • Foreign tax return and/or
    • Tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federal States of Micronesia, or Palau
  • Records of your untaxed income (such as child support received, interest income, and veteran's noneducation benefits, for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student)
  • Information on cash (e.g., savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks and bonds and real estate, but not including the home in which you live; and business and farm assets for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student)

Fellowship and Grant Money: What's Taxable?

Disclaimer: Neither the Graduate Post nor this funding peer is qualified to advise you on your taxes. For professional help, we suggest you consult a paid or free volunteer tax preparer.


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