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Astronomy in Color

An annual note to all the (NSF) haters

20 Mar 2017, 17:21 UTC
An annual note to all the (NSF) haters
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

This piece was originally posted on my personal blog, and was written in response to the annual conversations I have with students of color facing a remarkably common variety of microaggression following major accomplishments like winning awards or earning fellowships. It's that time of year again: students have recently been notified about whether they received the prestigious NSF Graduate Student Research Fellowship. Known in the STEM community as "The NSF," the fellowship provides a student with three years of graduate school tuition and stipend, with the latter typically 5-10% above the standard institutional support for first- and second-year students. It's a sweet deal, and a real accellerant for young students to get their research career humming along smoothly because they don't need to restrict themselves to only advisors who have funding: the students fund themselves!This is also the time of year that many a white dude executes what I call the "academic soccer flop." It looks kinda like this:It typically sounds like this: "Congrats! Of course it's easier for you to win the NSF because you're, you know, the right demographic." Or worse: "She only won because she's Hispanic." This is also the time of year for me to reiterate ...

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