Image courtesy of Tehreem Hai
Photo of Tehreem Hai

Tehreem Hai '23 was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to fund a PhD program in astronomy.

Why did you choose to apply for this award?

I wanted to go to graduate school and I applied for the NSF GRFP because it was a great way to fund my PhD. I also loved how it put equal weight on research and broader impacts, and cared about my ability to benefit society through both science and leadership.

Briefly describe the work you will be doing on your fellowship.

I will be doing my PhD in Astronomy at Rutgers University, researching dwarf galaxies using the new James Webb Space Telescope. As part of my broader impacts, I also plan to work on and expand my science communication page, Urdu Mein.

What are you most looking forward to during your time as a fellow?

I am super excited to be able to devote myself full-time to researching what I love, and take my first formal Astronomy classes!

How have your experiences at Oxy prepared you to apply for this award?

The reviewers of my NSF application emphasized my experience doing outreach and my sustained research activities as key strengths of my application, neither of which would have been possible without Oxy. Oxy taught me to write well and care about how I communicate my science to the world. Oxy's small, close-knit community and well-funded research opportunities allowed me to do incredible research for years with my amazing mentor, Dr. Stierwalt, as a Science Scholar supported by the Undergraduate Research Centre.

What advice would you give future applicants about the application process?

Write about what you love, be as specific as possible, and reach out to previous applicants for guidance (including me)! And even if you think it is a long shot, apply. I never thought I would get it, but I did!

Contact National & International Fellowships
Hameetman Career Center

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