Wilka Carvalho
Aspiring Cognitive Scientist

Structure of NSF Fellowship

Personal Statement

Paragraphs 1-2 (.5 page -> .75 page): introduce a research problem that is both important to the world and to your research community. Also introduce why one of your experiences, a class, a lab setting, a personal experience, led you to recognize the problem and become passionate about solving it.

1.5-2 pages on the research you’ve done and how it prepares you to tackle this big problem. Also known as intellectual merit. If you know who you will be working with, write about how they’ll help you accomplish your goals of understanding X.

Afterwards talk about the impact of your research. How will it innovate your research community? How will it help society? This is also known as broader impact.

Conclusion summarizing your interests and how you plan to pursue it.

Research Statement

This is a research statement where you outline a basic experiment. Give necessary background, talk about its limitations, and then talk about an experiment you want to do to address the limitations. NSF funds scientists so make a hypothesis. I believe X happens for reason Y and I will collect evidence to understand that in this way. When building AI, your best bet of getting NSF funding (I think) is of pitching it as advancing basic knowledge of intelligence. Fundamental component of intelligence is X. I will understand whether or not its true by building systems that do R. This or these experiments will teach me a,b,c.

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