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Grad students win NSF Fellowships

Workshop on preparing grant applications provides support

Three Arts and Sciences graduate students have been awarded prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships and six have received honorable mentions. Gideon Caplovitz and Anne Krendl, both in Psychological and Brain Sciences and Brandon Smith in Chemistry  will receive the three-year awards offered by the NSF to support the nation's most promising young scholars in the early stages of their graduate study. The program is also designed to ensure the  growth of mathematics, the sciences and engineering research in the U.S. and to encourage  women and underrepresented minorities to continue their studies.

Honorable mentions went to Craig Bennett in  Psychological and Brain Sciences, Laura Burkle,  Erik Stange and Elizabeth Wolkovich in Biological Sciences and Jean Dixon and Samantha Saalfied in Earth Sciences.

"This is excellent news and a wonderful  reflection of the high caliber of our graduate student community," said Charles Barlowe, Dean of  Graduate Studies at Dartmouth and Professor of  Biochemistry. Barlowe also acknowledged all of  the graduate students who put their efforts into the NSF fellowship applications and thanked faculty mentors for their support.

Dartmouth graduate students are highly competitive for these awards and in an effort to encourage more students to apply for fellowships, the Graduate Studies office holds workshops designed to help students specifically with the NSF application. The workshops were initiated in  2003 by Carol Folt, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Biological  Sciences, who was then serving as Dean of  Graduate Studies.  Since then, participation has  steadily increased as students learn more about  the process and faculty provide feedback on their application essays.

Barlowe and Kerry Landers, Assistant Dean of  Graduate Student Affairs, presented the workshop last fall. "It's a two-part process," Landers  said. "In the first part, we present an overview  of the NSF application. Then, in the second session, students bring their own application essays and get feedback from faculty and from  previous Dartmouth NSF fellowship recipients."

Barlowe and Landers were joined by faculty  reviewers Joe Belbruno, Professor of Chemistry,  Kathryn Cottingham, Associate Professor of  Biological Sciences and Russell Hughes, the Frank  R. Mori Professor of Chemistry. Three previous Dartmouth graduate student NSF winners, William  O'Neal, LeeAnn Tzeng and Leah Somerville were also on hand to share their experiences in the  application process.

Caplovitz, one of this year's NSF Fellows, participated in the 2003 workshop. "As an  incoming student who knew very little about the  grant process in general and nothing at all about  this specific and specially-formatted grant, the insights provided by the workshop were essential to my application process," he said.

"This year's NSF Fellows and honorable mention  recipients represent some of the nation's most  promising young scientists," said Barlowe. "With  a strong incoming class for September 2005, the Graduate Studies office looks forward to offering the workshops again next fall and to even greater  success in competition for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship awards."

By KERRY LANDERS

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Last Updated: 12/17/08