Expect the completely unexpected!

I received news today that completely changes the thoughts in my wandering mind…

I am a PhD student…one that was looking for more funding to finish the degree, at least 3 more years of funding and it was becoming a little scary. I mean I am a female in an engineering field, everyone told me that some body out there would pay for it. I worked crazy hard in undergrad to make this come true, spending summers doing research instead of going to the beach and until now it was going okay but come August I was outta monies and in search of another project.

Well, when you are desperate for dollaz, you can’t be super choosie (choosy?) so I was about to get a few projects proposed to me that would not be my cup of tea but hey, I wasn’t exactly in a position to barter or say no…

In order to try to pull myself out of such a bleak situation, I applied for several fellowships, very competitive ones (NSF GRFP, NASA, Fulbright, etc.) and it isn’t that I expected to get them, really I didn’t, it was more that I was trying to show my advisor that I was trying, searching for money on my own and maybe that way, he would have mercy and find a nice project for me….I was about to give up hope, I mean, you’ve read my recent mind-wandering posts…right?

Until this morning when I got an email from NSF…I woke up and saw the subject of the email on my phone and thought to myself…well, let’s get the rejection over with. BUT NO! I opened it and the first word was CONGRATULATIONS! and not the … thank you for applying, we’re sorry to inform you that… I am in total shock! The National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship is one of the most prestigious fellowships a scientific researcher can get! It is one that I can put on my CV and people will read that and automatically give me more respect. It changes EVERYTHING about my future. It gives me validation in my hard work to this point. It puts me into a league with people who I respect and I should, therefore, begin respecting my own abilities more.

This also means that I am free to choose my own topic, within engineering, to work towards a PhD. this means that I have the funds and the bargaining room to tell my current advisor that I want to spend at least 6 months out of the year in France for the entirety of my PhD working with researchers in labs there. This opens up SO many doors! I am so proud!

Again, I am in shock and had to share this somewhere. Sorry for the missing French Film Friday but this is definitely bigger news for now!!!!


2 thoughts on “Expect the completely unexpected!

  1. Congratulations, that’s great! I always remembered the NSF from watching my PBS shows as a kid, haha. AND it means you get to go to France? Amazing!

  2. Pingback: Expect the completely unexpected – Part 2 !! | dailyfrancofile

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