Fellowship Mentors Consultation Program

About the Program

The Graduate and Postdoctoral Scholars Resource Center (GPSRC) offers fellowship mentorship support to graduate students applying to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). All Fellowship Mentors have received awards and/or honorable mentions for at least one of these fellowships, and are trained to mentor you through the process of creating your own stellar application in a supportive environment. We also present a Roadmap for crafting high-stakes applications that takes you from pre-writing to polished statements, which we encourage you to use and adapt as you chart your path towards success.

Services Offered

Crafting a competitive application will be a team effort between you and your mentors. We offer two services to support you (and your mentors) – a Fellowship Application Roadmap and one-on-one Consultations.
The roadmap will help you develop a game plan to navigate your pre-writing and writing milestones that will lead to a benchmark application! We also offer one-on-one consultations with trained Fellowship Mentors so you can get individualized support on your pre-writing and writing process. Book your first consultation with a Fellowship Mentor early for the most effective and enjoyable application experience.

Use this roadmap to chart your route to a successful fellowship application! This roadmap is developed by the Mentorship Alliance and based on the NSF GRFP Primer written by Dr. William Head, who has served as a reviewer for the NSF GRFP Fellowship program and has mentored many students through a successful fellowship application process. The goal of this roadmap is to empower you to find your own way through the application process by offering you engaging modules for each milestone along the way.

Below is an example roadmap schematic that includes many of the pre-writing milestones we encourage you to work through. All of the milestones and strategies in this example roadmap are explained in detail as you work through the “Roadmap for Crafting High-Stakes Fellowship Applications.”

Fellowship Mentors are trained to help you at any stage of your application! There are two general stages of the application process: the pre-writing stage, and the statement draft stage. 

Pre-writing Support:

Not sure how to start? Struggling to put your ideas on paper? Fellowship Mentors are trained to guide you through a variety of pre-writing methods to get the ball rolling and your ideas flowing. With our pre-writing framework you’ll develop a writing ritual and, working with your CV, mindmaps, and storyboards you’ll construct the framework of your statements that meet the merit review criteria at a benchmark level and that wow the fellowship reviewers!

Statement Draft Support:

Work with the Fellowship Mentors to design your statement structure, develop your key statements, hone your narrative, and polish your statements. Bring an early draft or a more polished version of your personal statement or your research statement to the consultation. Mentors are trained to work with you regardless of your research discipline. 

Is This Process Worth It?

If your goal is to create a benchmark fellowship application, working through the Fellowship Application Modules while meeting consistently with Fellowship Mentors will get you there! 

The Fellowship Application Modules introduce you to concepts and techniques important for fellowship writing so that you have the power to develop, revise, and polish your application statements. As you work through the Modules, you’ll draw your fellowship application roadmap, set application milestones, and establish a game plan. You’ll learn about fellowship review criteria, develop a routine for a successful application process, utilize the 4 Pillars framework as you craft mindmaps, storyboards, and statement drafts, and put on the reviewer’s lens as you revise and edit your statements to a benchmark level. This is a challenging process but it can guide you to a successful application and will prepare you for future fellowship, scholarship, and grant applications. 

To support you along your application journey, Fellowship Mentors will help you get to know the fellowship through the lens of the reviewer and will hold you accountable to your application roadmap. Through one-on-one consultations, they’ll help you understand how reviewers use the merit review criteria to appraise applications. Mentors will guide you through the different writing stages that include pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, polishing, and submitting! Working with Fellowship Mentors, you’ll set up your writing ritual and create a cadence of commitment and accountability.

Prepare For Your Consultations

Prepare for your consultation to maximize your time with the mentors!

  1. Expect to meet one-on-one with a Fellowship Mentor for 50 minutes on Zoom.
  2. Be specific about your needs. When booking your consultation, indicate if you are seeking Pre-Writing Support or Statement Draft Support and whether you want to focus on the personal statement, the research plan, or another aspect of the application.
  3. If this is your first pre-writing consultation, bring an updated CV. 
  4. After booking send your mentor the materials you will be reviewing a minimum of 24 hours in advance. (You will receive a CampusGroup email after booking with your mentors email address as well as a calendar invite and zoom link)
  5. Write down your questions ahead of time and include specific questions when you book your consultation.
  6. Review the eligibility criteria for the fellowship that you are applying for to make sure you are eligible. If you have specific questions about eligibility that you can’t find the answer to, ask a Fellowship Mentor during your consultation.
  7. Review the Roadmap and identify where you are in the process. Are there any steps you can take before your consultation?
  8. Be prepared to screen share your materials. Test your camera and audio prior to your appointment. 
  9. Be prepared to read your writing out loud. This will feel strange. However, it is an effective method that helps writers hear the problems they can’t see and will significantly improve your writing. 
  10. Be receptive to feedback. Fellowship Mentors are trained to listen, ask questions, and provide feedback to help you strengthen your application materials in a supportive setting.
  11. Please provide a 24 hour notice to the fellowship mentor if you must reschedule the consultation.

Fellowship Mentors are available to work with you wherever you are in the process. Don’t wait to start the application process – book your consultation today

Book with any mentor!

All mentors are trained to assist in all fields! Mentoring spots are limited. If one mentor is fully booked or their times do not work with you, please select another mentor even if they are not in your field.


*Katherine is no longer taking appointments. All mentors are trained to work with students in different fields, please book with a different one.*

After booking you will receive an email with the mentor’s email. Please send them your materials a minimum of 24 hours in advance.

I am a second-year Ph.D. student, NSF Fellow under Professor Sunny Jiang in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UCI. Before joining UCI, I was an undergraduate student at UCLA, involved with the COVID-19 wastewater project, Natural & Working Lands California Air Resource Board Health Scenario Tool, and the Mahendra environmental engineering lab. My research interests are currently focused on water reuse and researching how microorganisms can be used to create bioremediation techniques to improve water quality. I am specifically interested in utilizing my public health background to address environmental health inequity and improve health outcomes. Besides research, I enjoy playing soccer and going on walks with my golden retriever Thor!



After booking you will receive an email with the mentor’s email. Please send them your materials a minimum of 24 hours in advance.

Hello! My name is Kallie and I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychological Science. I am a 2019 recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. My research focuses on racial identity development in the Black diaspora. Specifically, I am interested in understanding the ways in which a positive racial/ethnic identity can be protective against the negative effects of discrimination on health and well-being for African-Americans and Afro-Latinos living in the US. In my free time, I enjoy spending time at the beach, rollerblading, and discovering new restaurants.



After booking you will receive an email with the mentor’s email. Please send them your materials a minimum of 24 hours in advance.

Hello! My name is Gabriella and I am a recent recipient of the NSF GRFP. Though I’m a doctoral student in the department of Political Science (with specializations in International Relations and theory), I consider my work to be quite transdisciplinary. My research is grounded in decolonial, queer, and pluriversal approaches to the study of power and oppression in global politics. Right now my focus is on the ways in which international institutions, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, exclude Indigenous and relational ways of knowing and being in the world. I’m most familiar with post-positivist/critical methodologies and qualitative methods. Outside of school, I spend my days obsessing over my wiener dog, Mr. Pickles, baking, and chatting with my family back home in Connecticut.



After booking you will receive an email with the mentor’s email. Please send them your materials a minimum of 24 hours in advance.

My name is Max Fieg. I am a doctoral student studying theoretical particle physics and received the NSF-GRFP. I am interested in understanding the nature of dark matter, and where it might be seen at experiments like the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland. I also work on the FASER experiment, which was developed at UCI. Aside from dark matter, I also study how FASER can constrain particle production at the Large Hadron Collider, and how it can measure the structure of heavy nuclei through neutrino scattering. Outside of the office, I am an avid snorkeler, scuba diver, and movie watcher!



After booking you will receive an email with the mentor’s email. Please send them your materials a minimum of 24 hours in advance.

My name is Rick Gardner and I’m a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology with a specialty in Social Network Analysis. I’m a member of the Networks, Computation, and Social Dynamics lab, and my research primarily focuses on social influence bot networks as well as disinformation campaigns. My NSF-GRF has jumpstarted my research since the beginning of my grad career and I hope to help others reach this same opportunity to the best of my ability.



After booking you will receive an email with the mentor’s email. Please send them your materials a minimum of 24 hours in advance.

¡Hola! (Hi) My name is Alexandra, but I go by Alex. I am an NSF-GRP recipient in Psycholinguistics and a Ph.D. student at the School of Education working with Dr. Judith Kroll and Dr. Julio Torres. My work focuses on examining the cognitive and social factors Spanish-English bilinguals recruit when processing non-binary forms in Spanish. I am originally from Puerto Rico where I grew up and studied all the way through my bachelor’s degree (University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras). In my free time I like to practice strong lifting, roller skate, cuddle with my cats, and listen to Bad Bunny and other Caribbean trap artists.

*Marie is no longer taking appointments. All mentors are trained to work with students in different fields, please book with a different one.*

*Marie’s consultations are 80 minutes long not the regular 50 minutes*

After booking you will receive an email with the mentor’s email. Please send them your materials a minimum of 24 hours in advance.

Hi my name is Marie, I am a doctoral student in the department of neurobiology in Dr. Leslie Thompson’s lab. I have a background in molecular biology and cognitive psychology, as well as an interest in statistics and bioinformatics; I also have extensive mentoring experience and a minor in English. I am originally from Germany and in my free time I love traveling, cooking and horseback riding. I was awarded the NSF-GRFP in 2021/22 and look forward to helping you with your application!

Meet The Mentorship Alliance

Fellowship Mentors are trained by the Mentorship Alliance. The Mentorship Alliance works within and among partnering institutions to build sustainable, equitable, evidence-based, and high-impact mentorship capacity to serve graduate and undergraduate students. The Mentorship Alliance is composed of graduate and undergraduate students across various disciplines at nine universities: UC Irvine, UC Santa Cruz, Oregon State University, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Yale University, Stanford University, University of Southern California, San Jose State University, and Cal State University at Monterey Bay. If you’d like to learn more about the Mentorship Alliance, please email our UCI Representative, Maya Silverman, at msilver2@uci.edu

Fellowship Application Roadmap 

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