Expect the completely unexpected – Part 2 !!

Hi there blog followers. Remember 1 year ago when I came on here ecstatic because I just found out I was the lucky, fortunate, blessed recipient of an NSF-GRFP fellowship to do my doctorate in whatever field of engineering I chose? This is why I am in France, this is why I can study musical acoustics and live comfortably and happily throughout this past  year and the remaining 2.5 years of my fellowship. Thank you NSF for making things like this possible! Well, this year I applied for a few more fellowships. Ones specifically targeted to PhD students who wanted to travel abroad for international collaboration. NSF-GROW, one that is given to NSF fellows such as myself and another, the STEM Chateaubriand which is given to qualified PhD students in the sciences who want to spend time in France. Each would offer funding to cover travel (I will do a lot of this next year because I must return to the USA around 3 times within about 10 months!) and there is possibility of French health insurance and coverage of my Visa fees!!! I applied in February and I have waited for the results. Over the past few days I got two emails saying the following:

Dear Whitney,

Congratulations. We are pleased to let you know that the NSF and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research of France have selected you for a GROW travel allowance to conduct your research at the Laboratoire de Mecanique et D’Acoustique, in Marseille…..[etc]…


Dear Whitney.

Thank you for having applied to the CHateaubriand program, for a stay in France next academic year. We are finishing the selection and you are in a very good position, also for your GROW application about which NSF will write to you very soon (both fellowships can be combined, we work closely with NSF on these applications)…..[etc]….



I mean really?!?!?!? I feel so fortunate. I feel sappy happy thankful. I want to make a speech and make sure everyone in my past who has been a part of the reason I am successful knows that they can share in this victory and pride and happiness! I am not sure how all of this will work out. I have a GREAT problem to figure out and that is….with the NSF fellowship I am pretty sure I am only allowed to accept a certain amount of outside funding. Since I am receiving the GROW fellowship I don’t know how this would affect the receipt of the Chateaubriand. The benefit of the Chateaubriand is that it would automatically pay my travel to get to France, visa fees and French health insurance while I am here…but I want to make sure I can get the benefit of the NSF GROW as well. I think that more than the money I am just so proud and happy I can be associated with these two programs for the rest of my career. This is a major CV boost for me! Especially if in the future I want to work in France. I now have the absolute, documented connection to the country and to the science community here!


Again, I am so happy, thankful, lucky for everything I have received so far. I know that this will work out in the best way and I will absolutely keep everyone updated on the progress and news surrounding this. Woo!


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