The GradFund Mentoring Programs: What they offer and why you want to participate

Are there times when you wish you could join a writing boot camp in order to get on track with your writing projects?  The GradFund Mentoring Programs are our version of a proposal writing boot camp.

First offered in 2005, the GradFund Mentoring Programs offer Rutgers graduate students a structured environment in which to develop competitive fellowship and grant applications.   The summer is an ideal time to develop a fellowship or grant application for the upcoming fall deadline season.  Through the mentoring programs we seek to build a community of graduate students who through their prolonged engagement with proposal writing will learn the best practices of grantsmaship and proposal writing while preparing their grant and fellowship applications while serving as peer readers during the writing process.

We currently offer two different tracks in our mentoring program for Rutgers graduate students.  The self-paced mentoring program series is housed on our Sakai site and offers students the opportunity to work with a structured mentoring program at their own pace. Currently, we have three self-paced mentoring programs on Sakai: a generic program, an NSF DDIRG program and a Fulbright Hays program. We plan to release additional tailored self-paced mentoring programs in the coming months. The self-paced programs are great resource if your schedule does not afford you the opportunity to work with us over the summer through a structured program. As you work through the self-paced mentoring program, be sure to schedule individual appointments so you can receive fellowship advisor feedback on your drafts.

This summer, we are offering three structured mentoring programs: the Early Graduate Study Fellowship Mentoring Program, the Graduate Funding Mentoring Program and the Predissertation Research in India Mentoring Program.

The Early Graduate Study Fellowship Mentoring Program which runs from June 23rd -August 15th is specifically designed for graduate students eligible to apply for the NSF GRF or the Ford Predoctoral Fellowship. Both of these are important early career fellowships that many first and second year graduate students can be eligible to apply for.  If you are eligible to apply for either or both of these fellowships, we encourage you to do so and to take advantage of the mentoring program to help you craft a competitive application.

The Graduate Funding Mentoring Program which will run from June 2nd-July 25th is open to all graduate students, working on a funding application.

Both the Early Graduate Study Fellowship Mentoring Program and Graduate Funding Mentoring Program will be on-line so there is no need to be on campus to participate.  Program activities will include on-line workshops, weekly writing assignments, individual appointments and forum posts with your mentoring program community.

The Mentoring Program for Predissertation Research in India provides funding for a predissertation research trip to India in addition to a proposal writing workshop. The program is offered in partnership with the South Asian Studies Program and with financial support from the Obama Singh Knowledge Initiative grant.

You can read more about each program and how to apply on the GradFund website.

As you return from spring break, take a moment to visit our website, learn more about the mentoring program and begin to plan for your summer writing project.

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
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