Summer, Structure and the Road to Success

“I know I should apply for a research fellowship but I just don’t have time…”  This is something we frequently hear at GradFund. Indeed, finding time to fit in working on a funding application while taking classes, developing a research project, teaching and the myriad of other activities that graduate students engage in semester to semester does make it difficult to find the right time to apply for funding. Making time to apply for funding and integrating the process into your scholarly activities is key to applying for funding successfully and GradFund Summer Mentoring Programs are designed to do just that. The GradFund Summer Mentoring Programs provide you with a structured environment in which one can learn the craft of proposal writing, cultivate a community of graduate students and post doctoral scholars engaged in similar activities and develop competitive funding applications.

The summer months are an ideal time to work on funding applications. Oftentimes, summer is the season in which one can take a break from the semester demands of teaching and coursework. It is an opportutiy to focus on one’s own research and to plan for the next academic year. Most funders have their application deadlines during the fall semester or early in the spring semester. Therefore,  summer is an ideal time to start work on your funding applications. You will most likely use the summer to initiate, develop or  make great strides on your research. It is useful to integrate into this work, proposal development for your next round of applications. You will find that the work is complementary. Indeed, many students find that developing a funding proposals helps to push forward their dissertation work.

A real benefit of the GradFund Summer Mentoring Program is that it provides you with structure. We often hear from students how they struggel to stay on track with their writing. Our Mentoring Programs are designed to give you a structured environment in which your writing will thrive. Integrated into the structure are exercises and activites designed to help you learn best practices in grantsmanship hand in hand with developing your project ideas. If you participate in a Mentoring Program, you also become part of a larger community of graduate students who are engaged in the proposal development process. It is an opportunity to interact and share with students across all graduate programs here at Rutgers.

Most exciting, students who participate in the Mentoring Program are successful! Our data shows that 20% of Mentoring Program participants go on to win fellowships and grants to support graduate or post doctoral study. This is an impressive result given the highly competitive nature of grants and fellowships. Mentoring Program participants have won fellowship and grant support for a number of prestigious funders including the Ford Foundation, the American Association of University Women, the US Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and DAAD, just to name a few.

If you plan to apply for funding during the 2012-2013 academic year, apply to participate in our Mentoring Program today. You can find full details on the Mentoring Program, how to apply, and the summer schedule at GradFund Central.

About Teresa M. Delcorso-Ellmann

Assistant Dean for Graduate Student External Support and Director of GradFund, Graduate School-New Brunswick, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
This entry was posted in Planning When to Apply and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.