Students Find “Nuts and Bolts” Webinar Advantageous and Practical - 08.22.2012

As the 3rd installment of its ongoing webinar series, the Institute for Broadening Participation (IBP) and COSEE-OS presented a “nuts and bolts” session with interactive Q&A on Wed, July 25, 2012, targeting undergraduate students who were interested in learning more about STEM graduate programs, and finding funding for this next crucial step in their scientific careers. The webinar was titled, “Paying for Graduate School: Funding and Application Strategies“.

IBP staff Chris Cash and Liv Detrick, along with special guest Dr. Adrian Ponce (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Manager of Higher Education) provided guidelines, advice and tips for students striving to understand the often non-intuitive and complex application process for graduate school, find a scientist to work with, and apply for fellowships – tasks usually tackled simultaneously during their senior year of college. Chris and Liv also presented a one-year timeline to help students stay on track and organized amidst the plethora of deadlines, which can quickly become overwhelming especially when applying to multiple programs. They also walked the audience through IBP’s innovative web portal, Pathways to Science to find programs such as undergraduate summer research opportunities, graduate fellowships, postdoctoral positions, as well as resources and materials pertaining to recruitment, retention, and mentoring.

IBP utilized a set of integrated polls during the webinar and found that, after the webinar, 70% of those responding stated that their awareness of NSF and NASA funding opportunities increased. 68% of respondents (n=94) stated that they would be “more likely to pursue funding opportunities” for graduate school, and 71% plan to use the “Pathways To Science” search tool to investigate funding opportunities.

This highly-attended (over 120 in the audience) and well-received webinar can be viewed online along with a resource-rich, hyperlinked concept map.

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