Today I think I had a breakthrough in how to organize my previous research experience essay for the NSF GRFP (I'm applying one more time). Last year Herb commented that my statement didn't show direction. I knew he was kind of right, but I didn't see another way to present it.
Today, a ray of bright light shone upon my head and I suddenly see how to tie together all of my seemingly disparate research experience. Well, almost. The only one I haven't figured out yet is also the only one I have publications from. Gotta work on that.
Last week I came up with a theme to build my personal statement around, too. I'm trying give myself plenty of time to reflect on this application because it really needs to shine for me to have slightest chance at the fellowship. At the same time I'm trying not to get so emotionally invested in it this year. I try to think of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship like a lottery- but you do have to buy a ticket to have any chance of winning so here I go again.