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Application and Checklist 2020
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2020-2021 GWIS National Fellowship Application Checklist

Graduate Women In Science (GWIS) uses an online website to conduct the annual National Fellowship Program selection process. Review our online application portal user instructions here.

Important Information and Revision Notes:  


This application checklist provides instructions for preparing applications for the 2020-2021 GWIS National Fellowship Program. This revision provides further detail related to the proposal and short essay formatting requirements, IRB and permit documentation, letters of recommendation submission process, and the time and date of the application deadline. Only one application may be submitted per applicant. Duplicate applications will lead to disqualification.  


The application must be received on or before the deadline date and time of January 10, 2020 at 5:00:00 pm Eastern Time. We are not responsible for issues associated with increased website traffic. Late applications will not be accepted.


Application Checklist: (Note: checklist should not be submitted with application)

1. Application Form - Found on the application portal. The form includes short essays described below.

    1. Relationship to Degree Program/Career Development. Describe how the proposed research relates to your degree program and/or career development. Be sure to note the role this award would play in your degree attainment/career development if  awarded. (Word Limit: 400)

    2. Collaborative and Mentoring Capacity. Describe initiatives you are participating in to promote the careers of scientists, particularly women, within your institution/program/peer group, etc. Note your role in all initiatives. Evidence of collaborative/mentoring capacity will be given special consideration by the Award Committee. (Word Limit: 400)

    3. Project Abstract. Give a brief abstract of the proposed research project written for non-specialists (Word Limit: 200). Abstracts that exceed the word limit will be disqualified

2. Applicants must upload narrative sections outlined below and all other attachments to their application as files in a read-only flattened Portable Document Format (PDF). Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, GWIS will be unable to review the application. This will likely result in your application not being considered for funding.



1. Project Description. The description must be sufficient to allow a reviewer familiar with the general area of the work to evaluate the underlying hypothesis and the methods to be used in the experimental approach. Descriptions should include (not in any particular order): a testable hypothesis, specific aims, significance of the project to the applicant's field of study, broad account of experimental techniques and methods to be used, including innovative approaches, a brief account of background and preliminary data, anticipated results, their interpretation, and potential problems.

The project description must not exceed four pages (a page is defined as 8.5” x 11”, on one side only with 1” margins at the top, bottom, and both sides), excluding references. Including figures within the four pages will count towards the page limit. Including figures as appendix (beginning on a separate page) will not count towards the four page limit. The applicant is limited to four additional appendix pages. The project description must be typed and use a font that is 12 point font or larger (such as Time New Roman, Courier, or Arial). The project description may be single or double spaced. Margins must be 1” inch all around. If the proposal does not adhere to the instructions, GWIS may not accept the application or may return it without review. Examples include going over the page or word limit, using less than a 12 point font, submitting photocopy reductions, or including cut-and-paste material to squeeze additional texts.


2. Detailed Budget and Budget Justification. Fellowship funds may be used for such things as:

      • expendable supplies

      • small equipment to be used by the recipient (not for general use)

      • publication of research findings

      • travel and subsistence while performing field studies

      • travel to another laboratory for collaborative research

      • payment for undergraduate assistants (NOT to exceed 1/3 of the total budget requested)

      • study subjects’ compensation

Fellowship funds cannot be used for:

      • salaries

      • tuition

      • child care

      • travel to professional meetings or to begin a new appointment

      • travel to another institution for coursework

      • training or workshops

      • administrative overhead or indirect costs

      • tablets, laptops, and personal computers

      • living allowances

      • equipment for general use

Award amounts will not exceed $10,000 or specified funds requested in the proposed budget. Any application that submits a budget request in excess of $10,000 (even $1.00 over) will be disqualified and returned without review.


3. Recommendations Letters. Two letters, one from an advisor or department head plus one other who is qualified to evaluate the applicant's ability to perform the proposed research are required. Each letter should be no more than two pages with an institutional letterhead and an electronic signature when possible. A form to input the letters can be found within the application portal, and is accessible once you have started the application.  All reference letters must be submitted electronically using the online application portal, and received by the deadline of 5:00 PM Eastern Time Friday, January 10, 2020. Letters will not be accepted by email. Late letters will not be accepted under any circumstances. Applications missing two reference letters will be disqualified and returned without review.


4. Contact Information for Institutional Official. Please contact your institution’s grants/sponsored research office to identify the administrator that will manage your grant expenses if awarded. If selected for a fellowship, you will be asked to submit an Annual Expense Report in May 2021. 


5. Supplemental Documentation: Animal/Human Subjects Approval or Collecting Permits. If human or animal subjects are used, an in-house animal subjects committee must evaluate the work, and an approval from the committee must be included in the application. If approval is pending at the time of application, documentation of approval must be provided to the Fellowships Committee before at the start of the funding period. Research involving field collections must show evidence of the proper collecting permits. If approval is pending at the time of application, documentation of approval must be provided to the Fellowships Committee at the start of the funding period.


6. Supplemental Documentation: Letter from Host Scientist or Institution. If you are requesting funds to travel to another institution or laboratory for collaborative research, please provide a letter(s) of invitation from the host. A letter of invitation should be written on institutional letterhead and should include information such as the activities for which you are being invited by the host and the description of the applicant’s project and how it will lead to a collaboration. If the letter is not in English, please include an English translation of it, along with the original. An application will not be considered eligible until a letter of invitation is submitted.  



NOTE: The application must be received on or before the deadline date and time. We are not responsible for issues associated with increased website traffic. Late applications will not be accepted.

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