Applicants for the Division of Organic Chemistry Graduate Fellowship must submit a short, original essay prepared along the following guidelines:
- The essay should be a concise introduction to a topical research area in the form of a mini-review. The target audience is your peers (intelligent third and fourth year graduate students). You should provide them with the background information that they need to read hot papers in the area of your essay and point out a few of these papers.
- The essay should be critical rather than comprehensive. The page limitations are strict so the topic should not be too broad. (You will not want to review the Diels-Alder reaction, but you might want to review some recent advances providing your audience with the background information that they need to know to appreciate these advances.) The topic should also not have been reviewed in the last two years (that is, you cannot take your essay from a prior review).
- The essay can be, but is not required to be, in your general area of thesis research. However, the essay should NOT be a review or summary of your thesis research; it should be a more general introduction to an area.
- The essay should be prepared in Organic Letters format (4 page limit) and submitted with the application.
- Reference only those key papers and reviews that someone entering the area needs to know about to get up to speed.
- The essay (including topic selection) should be entirely prepared by you. However, solicitation of comments and advice from peers and mentors during the writing process is encouraged.
- In short, ask yourself the following questions about your essay topic: What topic are you going to present and why is it important? What background information did you need to know before you could understand and appreciate the key recent papers on that topic? What excites you about the key recent papers? Answering those questions clearly and succinctly will make a nice essay.
Web Publication of the essays: The Organic Division wants students (of all ages) to benefit from your expertise, insights and hard work. Chosen fellows will have their essays posted here on the Organic Division web site.
Guidelines for submission of the essay and required supporting information can be found on the Division of Organic Chemistry's Fellowship web page.