<p>What's good advice for going after a 3+ years fellowship? Should the proposal be extremely focused or pie-in-the-sky? Do they tend to like interdisciplinary work? What academic stats are usually necessary? Do they interview candidates? I'm guessing they're hard to get, but how hard? </p>

<p>I'm in engineering (new PhD student w/ physics undergrad). Any comments would be appreciated.

<p>Your proposal should be extremely focused. You want to reference prior work and explain what's been done and why what you are planning to do needs to be done and is filling a void in the current research. If you are doing some work towards your dissertation already you should include these preliminary studies in your application. Applications for graduate fellowships are usually due between November and January for funding that begins in June. So, you've missed most funding opportunities for next year but can apply in the next cycle of aps.</p>

<p>If you are going for a national fellowship such as the NSF GRFP you must have extremely high grades 3.7+ and good GRE scores (90th percentile). More importantly for these types of fellowships you must go to a top tier school or a highly rated engineering program. Your chances are also vastly improved if your advisor is well-known in your field.</p>

<p>Other fellowships, such as those offered by your school or local community associations are usually not as competitive. For this type of fellowship you'll still need high grades and a focused proposal but you may want to write it a little more generalized since the reviewers may have little or no science background. You want to be sure your proposal is geared toward the audience who will be reading it.</p>

<p>Does this help?</p>

<p>Helps a lot, thanks.</p>