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Villanova NSF/STEM Fellowships Summer Boot Camp

About the Opportunity

The Center for Research and Fellowships at Villanova University (CRF) is proud to announce a unique opportunity for Villanova students!

CRF is offering a Summer Boot Camp to support the professional development of Villanova students, increasing their competitiveness for such national fellowships such as the NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), Fulbright, Ford and others.

Students from all disciplines will benefit from these workshops, especially those who are:

1.    Pursuing an advanced degree in a STEM discipline

2.    Potentially pursuing a faculty career

And were, in Fall 2020: 

1.    Undergraduate first-years and Sophomores who plan to apply to graduate school in        STEM, 

2.    Undergraduate Juniors and Seniors applying to graduate school in STEM, 

3.    Master’s students applying for a PhD program in STEM, or

4.    PhD students in a STEM program who need additional funding. 

About the Boot Camp

The NSF/STEM Fellowships Boot Camp is an interactive workshop series delivered by a team of experts from Villanova University headed by Dr. Michael T. Westrate. For the last seven years, Dr. Westrate and his team have held similar Boot Camps to assist over 500 student applicants with major national awards. Of those applicants, more than 100 won the prestigious NSF GRFP award or received Honorable Mention, and over 200 others won similar awards (e.g. Fulbright).

Due to COVID-19, the sessions will be delivered online through a Blackboard site. Please see below for self-enrollment instructions.

The program consists of 20 hours of videos of workshop sessions, and covers everything from finding fellowship opportunities to leveraging fellowship wins with graduate school admissions. Topics include: 

·         Solid research plan design and description,

·         Personal statements and “hooks,” 

·         Writing to various selection audiences,

·         How to effectively ask for the best recommendation letters, and more.

To access the NSF/STEM Fellowships Summer Boot Camp Blackboard Portal:

·         Login to your Blackboard account.

·         Click on the “My Courses” tab.

·         Click “Available for Self Enrollment” from the Organization Catalog

·         Search for “NSF/STEM Fellowships Summer Support Series.”

·         Hover the cursor over the chevron icon, and click “Enroll.”

·         Click “Submit.”

If you have any questions or concerns about the Boot Camp, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Michael Westrate (

Contact Information

Center for Research and Fellowships
Garey Hall 200 (top floor) 
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: 610-519-8803
Fax: 610-519-6623

Catherine Stecyk
Director, Center for Research and Fellowships & Presidential Scholars Program

Chelsea Benincasa
Associate Director, Center for Research and Fellowships & Presidential Scholars Program

Kelsey Fenner
Assistant Director, Center for Research and Fellowships