I am grateful to have been funded by the NSF GRFP, Hertz Foundation graduate fellowship, and James S. McDonnell Foundation postdoctoral fellowship.
I learned a lot by reading applications from previous fellows, but not everyone has access to the same network and materials. To follow the example of Emma Pierson and try to level the playing field, I am providing my application essays and some perspectives on the Hertz and JSMF fellowships. I am not including materials for the NSF GRFP because the fellowship format has changed substantially since I applied.
Hertz Foundation graduate fellowship
See also advice on graduate fellowships (including but not limited to the Hertz fellowship) from Emma Pierson and DJ Strouse.
Note: If you’re on the fence about whether to apply for the Hertz fellowship, please consider applying. In my experience, many qualified candidates, especially women and minorities, talk themselves out of applying because of the fellowship’s reputation. I didn’t apply the first two years that I was eligible because I thought I had no shot.
JSMF postdoctoral fellowship
Note: Unlike for many postdoctoral fellowships, you are only eligible for this fellowship before you finish your PhD and identify a postdoctoral advisor.