Make an Appointment
with a Nationally Competitive Awards Writing Consultant

The NCA Writing consultants operate within three dimensions, helping graduate and undergraduate award applicants in the following ways:

National award focused expectations
  • Understand funding agency expectations and requirements
  • Highlight students' qualities and abilities to parallel the needs of NCA organization
  • Frame students' research, professional, and/or career interests to align with the program mission
  • Present a compelling case for their proposed research or project
  • Integrate relevant details about students' lives and experiences to develop an application that stands out and gets noticed
  • Address the specific requirements of applications, such as targeted (short-answer) questions and length limits
  • Emphasize their strengths as a candidate; re-frame their limitations and weaknesses in a positive light
  • Communicate with mentors and others in their network to arrange for letters of recommendation and other support materials

Cross-disciplinary genre expectations

    • Understand how competitive applicants develop content or subject matter in ways that meet the expectations of the funding review committee
    • Outline, organize, and coordinate their application materials
    • Articulate the significance of research topics to the field
    • Describe research methods in a clear and credible way
    • Frame, position, and weigh propositions in a coherent discussion
    • Articulate the value and contribution of their education, research, and career goals to the field
    • Critically evaluate and refine their application writing according to academic expectations
    • Understand the organization, communicative goals, and writing strategies of funding application genres (e.g., scholarships, fellowships, and grants)

    Scholarly communication conventions

    • Differentiate between writing for scholarship and fellowship applications and research or project grant applications (e.g., scholarship and fellowship applications focus on the applicant and their interests, academic/professional development, and short- and long-term goals)
    • Understand the scope, aims, audience, and quality of awards and identify appropriate funding opportunities
    • Understand ethical issues in scholarly writing
    • Understand application requirements and the selection process

    Academic and professional development

      • Identify academic writing conventions using scholarly resources
      • Locate literature relevant to students’ research focus using library search engines and resources
      • Effectively use writing technologies (e.g., electronic collections of texts, search engines for linguistic data)


      Are you seeking funding for research or field study? Get one-on-one advice from Gene Newgaard ( or contact Anne Grevstad-Nordbrock ( and seek individual feedback on your application documents from Kristin Terrill (

      Fulbright Information Session

      Students interested in applying for nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships can now access the recording of Nationally Competitive Scholarships and Fellowships Webinar here:
      Information on selecting which awards are best suited to your individual abilities and goals as well as how to prepare applications was discussed. In addition, assistance available from the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards and the Center for Communication Excellence was highlighted.  Gene Newgaard, coordinator of nationally competitive awards, and Kristin Terrill, the CCE's Nationally Competitive Awards Writing Consultant, presented and answered questions. Contact Gene Newgaard at with any questions about this webinar.