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Upcoming Webinar: Early Preparation for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

The Office of Undergraduate Research and the Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships will be hosting the upcoming webinar: Early Preparation for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP): Key Strategies for Students and Mentors. The webinar will be Wednesday, September 24, 2014 from 2-3 PM.  Interested UTK Students, faculty and staff are invited to participate in the webinar in Hodges Library room 150 and on the Ag campus in the Plant Biotechnology Building rooms 156/7.

According to GRFP panelists, the competition is getting tighter: Each year, 10,000+ high achieving students submit competitive applications for this prestigious national fellowship. Approximately 2,000 will succeed. What sets GRFP awardees apart in the eyes of panelists? This webinar will target key strategies on two fronts: (a) what faculty and staff can do to help prospective applicants and (b) what students can do to strengthen their record of intellectual merit and broader impacts.  We’ll have about 20 minutes for Q&A at the end of the session.

This webinar is presented in collaboration with Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Events and Institutes and the featured speaker Robin G. Walker, PhD. Walker is the director of professional development and external relations for the Office of Graduate Studies at the University of Missouri (“Mizzou”).  While a University grant writer, Walker became interested in the NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program and developed several GRFP writing guides for Mizzou students.  By 2005, she joined forces with the Office of Undergraduate Research and the Fellowships Office to promote the GRFP on campus, a successful collaborative effort that continues today. With a goal of reaching students beyond Missouri, in 2012, Walker launched GRFP Essay Insights ( In just 14 weeks, the website recorded 6,172 unique visitors from 100+ college towns across the US. She also co-manages the LinkedIn Group, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, where GRFP applicants are encouraged to post questions about the competition. Walker has twice served on GRFP review panels, which helps to inform her perspective. She earned a BS degree from the University of Illinois and her MEd and PhD degrees from the University of Missouri.