Already applied for the NSF and the EPA Star? Interested in applying for some other fellowships, maybe ones that no one else in your school has heard of before? In this third installment of an occasional series I’ll share some of the more unique fellowships to come across my desk.
My interest was recently caught by the announcement of a four-year research fellowship in Old and Middle English.The successful applicant will not only get a salary for four years (£27,006 annually), but Merton College provides food and board.
This career development post will allow a promising academic at an early stage in his or her career to combine substantial support for research with the opportunity to develop skills in teaching and academic administration.
This year I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the 2010-11 Presidential Management Fellowship semi-finalists, and yesterday I went to a testing site in San Francisco for the in-person assessment. I will post in greater detail about the program and the process at some point in the future, but I just wanted to write a quick post to encourage other semi-finalists getting ready for their assessments! While we are not allowed to discuss the specific details of the assessment, here’s a couple of things to keep in mind when preparing for your big day:
Get to the testing site early. You’ll notice the first email you received suggested you arrive 30 minutes or more before the day is to begin; this is wise advice! You will likely have to go through a thorough security screening, particularly if your testing site is a federal building, like San Francisco.
You’re allowed to bring a soft-cover pocket dictionary. Bring it! It isn’t mandatory, but whenever you’re given a chance to use a tool, it is wise to come prepared. And you can get them for $1.99 online (or a bit more if you have to run to the corner bookstore tonight before your assessment tomorrow). If you know you have hang-ups with spelling, don’t let anything keep you from coming with your dictionary in hand.
Make sure you’re ready for the assessment. This means bringing the required materials: a gov’t issued photo ID, two #2 pencils, and a print-out of the first email you got with the assessment location on it to get you in the front door.
What else? Bring food and a water bottle. You’ll likely be there most of the day (or even longer, from what I’ve heard, if you’re at the D.C. assessment center). Plan on being at the testing center at least 8-9 hours, and possibly longer. I brought a small bag with little bags of nuts (good brain food!), some jerky, fruit bars, and enough gum and mints to share. I also brought a water bottle. The San Francisco assessment center has a nice cafe in the same building, with well-priced fruit, coffee and juices, and light snacks as well.
Equally importantly: bring something to do. You’re going to be sitting around for most of the day. I brought my laptop, two journals I wanted to review, and a notebook, and I kept myself entertained throughout the down-time.
And relax! Everyone you’ll meet at the testing site is friendly and helpful. Our testing site even had a greeter stationed just past the security checkpoint to welcome us and point the way to the check-in area. All of the other semi-finalists I was lucky enough to meet were people with interesting backgrounds, engaged in unique and novel research or studies. I felt lucky to be spending the day with such a great, friendly group of people. Give yourself permission to have fun during your day there, it is the best way to make sure you perform well and enjoy the process.
Already applied for the NSF and the EPA Star? Interested in applying for some other fellowships, maybe ones that no one else in your school has heard of before? In thhis second installment of an occasional series I’ll share some of the more unique fellowships to come across my desk.
This month: PhD Fellowships in Genomics and Molecular Physiology of Fruits
Just finished your master’s degree and aren’t sure where to go next? Consider applying for a fellowship in Genomics and Molecular Physiology of Fruits (GMPF), which annually distributes twelve three-year PhD fellowships on behalf of 17 institutions in 11 countries. Note: the fellowship is conditional upon registering with one of the partner universities, and applicants must take care of that within a year of being awarded the fellowship or the funding will end.
The fellowship program provides a stipend of 20,000 Euros per year for three years, with the possibility of extensions. You’ll have to get cracking on this one, because the application is due by February 18th! Learn more here.
In a recent article published in the journal Science, Science 101: Building the Foundations for Real Understanding, Anastasia Thanukos and her co-authors from the University of California, Berkeley, describe the success of the multi-dimensional Understanding Evolution project which provides resources in four languages to educators “from kindergarten to college” in order to help engage students with science. Improving scientific literacy in our schools and population is incredibly important, and it is exciting to see scientists finding ways to participate in the effort.
Last fall’s Fourmile Canyon wildfire resulted in thousands of evacuations, more than 150 structures destroyed and more than six thousand acres of land burned. One of the buildings lost was the Salina Firehouse, with an estimated rebuilding cost of $160,000 to $185,000. A new book will help raise funds to assist in the rebuilding process. “Four Mile On Fire” costs $15, with all profits going to the Four Mile Fire Protection District.