Application Timeline

July 2015: Deal with Fastlane, LORs and Transcripts

  • Attend orientation on July 2
  • Attend Brainstorming Sesh on July 30
  • Read NSF GRFP program solicitation and determine the life science deadline
  • Login to Fastlane, put your login info in a safe place where you can find it, and fill out anything that you can do now (name, addresses, places you went school, etc.)
  • Decide who you would like to have write your letters of recommendation (LOR) and ask them if they feel comfortable writing you a strong, positive recommendation
  • If your references are up to the challenge of writing your letters, send them the link for LORs from Fastlane
  • Track down your transcripts and upload them

August 2015: Go from outlines to rough drafts

  • Attend personal statement (August 7) and research proposal (August 30) writing workshops
  • Give drafts to family, friends and peers, and ask for feedback
  • Meet with your mentor to get perspective and advice on your research question and approach
  • Add information to Fastlane if needed

September 2015: Go from rough drafts to polished pieces

  • Attend personal statement (September 15) and research proposal (September 30) writing workshops
  • Give polished drafts to family, friends, peers and mentor to ask for feedback.
  • Check on the status of your LORs, don’t be afraid to remind your references if need be
  • Add information to Fastlane if needed

October 2015: Mock review panel and proof Fastlane information

  • By October 5, submit personal statement and research proposal to student coordinators who will get them to a mock review panel
  • By October 15, get feedback, and polish statements by revisiting the review criteria and the checklist/rubric to make sure you hit all the points
  • Check on status of your LORs and prod if necessary
  • Add information to Fastlane if needed

November 1: Submit ahead of time to avoid crashes on Fastlane due to heavy traffic

  • Upload your personal statement
  • Upload your research proposal
  • Double check that you have accurately completed all information on the Fastlane application
  • Check that your transcripts and LORs are uploaded
  • Save a copy of your application as a PDF
  • Submit and save confirmation of submission