How to Write a Winning Fellowship Proposal: Defining your Contribution to the Field
Today’s post was contributed by Amy Barr. Barr, a Senior Research Scientist at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), is currently the Principal Investigator (PI) on three NASA grants and a Co-Investigator (Co-I) on another four. She was also awarded a NASA Graduate Student Research Program (GSRP) grant in 2001 and a NASA Early Career Fellowship in 2007.
Successful research proposals in general fall into one of three types.1. A research project that has never been done before.2. A project that studies well-known material but reassesses the material in a new way.3. The project exposes new material that calls for a reassessment of what has already done.
“Recent results from the Galileo magnetometer strongly suggest that Europa and Ganymede have layers of liquid water within their icy mantles. Therefore, these moons are prime targets for the search for life in our solar system. Microbial communities in these oceans would be cut off from the sun, and hence, most traditional sources of nutrients. The work I propose will, for the first time, investigate whether solid-state convection could allow nutrients to be transported to the subsurface oceans of Europa and Ganymede to feed microbial communities. The astrobiological significance of solid-state convection in icy moons remains unexamined.”