GradSuccess: Supporting You This Summer

By Hillary Jenks |

It’s been a historically unusual and unpredictable Spring. As we stagger into the final weeks of the quarter and look ahead to Summer, we’re greeted with new questions: when will my lab reopen? Is it humanly possible to TA 5 days a week on Zoom? When I wear my mask to the beach, will the resulting tan line make me look like Homer Simpson?


[Image Description: Homer Simpson, from The Simpsons, in swim trunks, kneels down to place his hand on Lisa's shoulder while he says: "Lisa, the world is a very complicated place."]

Pictured: Words of wisdom 


While the folks at GradSuccess can’t answer most of these questions, we CAN tell you about the programs we’ll be offering online this summer to help you prepare fellowship applications, brush up on your stats and programming skills, and stay in touch with your grad student pals. So read on for a little bit of planning certainty in our uncertain world…


Fellowship Writing Support 

[Image Description: A calico cat laying on its side as multiple five and twenty dollar bills dropped on it.]

AKA: how to get free money



Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program offers opportunities for master’s and Ph.D. students to conduct research or teach English abroad; the application is currently open for the 2021-22 academic year. The GradSuccess Fulbright support program consists of five Zoom workshops offered between June 2nd and July 22nd. These workshops provide an overview of the Fulbright program itself, access to applications from prior award cycles, detailed guidance on writing your statement of purpose and personal statement, and feedback from the UCR Graduate Fulbright Program Advisor.

Ford Predoctoral Program

The Ford Predoctoral Program consists of six Zoom workshops offered between July 6th and August 28th. These workshops will give an overview of Ford programs, a discussion of successful applications from previous cycles, and guidance on writing the previous research statement, proposed plan, and personal statement. Participants are also guaranteed access to trained Graduate Writing Center consultants in the form of three one-on-one Skype feedback sessions. This program has an excellent track record for students going on to win or take honorable mentions for UCR.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Like the Ford Predoctoral Program, the GradSuccess NSF GRFP Program consists of six Zoom workshops offered between July 6th and August 28th. This will provide you with an overview of the NSF Fellowships, in-depth guidance on writing your personal and research statements, peer review, and discussion of successful applications from previous cycles. Like the Ford program, participants are guaranteed access to trained Graduate Writing Center consultants in the form of three one-on-one Skype feedback sessions. Also like the Ford program, this program has an excellent track record for students going on to receive NSF GRFP awards!

If you’d like to participate in any of these fellowship preparation programs, fill out our interest form by June 1st.


Statistics and Programming Bootcamp

[Image Description: Kate McKinnon, dressed as Hillary Clinton for a Saturday Night Live skit, sits at a bar. She raised a glass to Kenan Thompson, dressed as the barman, and cheers, "To math!"]

Pictured: the level of enthusiasm you're about to develop


GradQuant’s Statistics and Programming Bootcamp will teach you the basics of descriptive and inferential statistics, demonstrate some of their applications, and get you introduced to R, Python, and SQL. This workshop series will help prepare you to take graduate-level statistical methods courses and to excel in your own research. There are absolutely NO prerequisites for this bootcamp – it is designed to take you from wherever you are now to a place where you feel confident in your ability to apply statistics and programming concepts.

The bootcamp will run between July 6th and August 28th and will consist of a two-hour Zoom workshop once a week. Each workshop will apply to a range of scientific fields, so there will always be something for you. This is a small class environment with no homework and no exams, so you can learn a lot without stress! You will have ample access to the instructor and to GradQuant resources and will develop tools to help you throughout your research career, both during and after graduate school.

If you’d like to participate in the Statistics and Programming Bootcamp, fill out our interest form by June 1st.  

*Note: The bootcamp has reached registration capacity 

Staying In Touch

[Image Description: A split-screen showing twelve different people waving at the camera.]

Pictured: Togetherness in the age of COVID-19

While we can’t gather in large numbers yet – meaning those Stress Relief Fair tacos will have to wait a little longer – we can still meet up online to say hello, commiserate, and blow off steam. GradSuccess will be continuing its weekly virtual coffee socials (with gift card giveaways!) this summer on Wednesdays 3-4pm from July 8th through August 26th, and will also sponsor a few online game nights and a physically-distant-but-socially-connected movie viewing party too (dates TBD – follow us on social media to stay up to date!). And Writing Center consultations and GradQuant drop-in hours will be available July through September, too.

It’s been a tough 2020, no doubt. You’ve faced a range of incredible challenges with remarkable professionalism, resilience, and compassion for your fellow grad students. I can’t wait to see you again in person but, until that’s possible, I look forward to meeting you for some virtual coffee on July 8th. Till then, stay safe, healthy, and sane, and take care of yourselves and of each other.