I've been awarded an Alabama EPSCoR Graduate Research Scholars Program (GRSP) fellowship worth $25,000 for the coming year! It's a big honor, a huge opportunity, and a great boost to my curriculum vita (CV). I'm well on my way to an academic career now - I've written a successfully funded proposal for external funding. Now I just need a publication or two, and I'll be headed in the right direction for getting into PhD programs and eventually actually getting a job in my field. Not that we're close to all that yet, of course. :-) Still have quite a ways to go on the Masters project before I can even start thinking seriously about all that stuff.
I can't even really think about what I'm going to do with this grant...it's more money than anyone's ever even joked about giving me before! I still can't quite believe that it's true. I'm sure it'll sink in, though. :-) Technically, I've been conditionally awarded the grant contingent upon their receipt of state funding for the next fiscal year beginning in October. I'm not worried, though. This is the 6th round of this funding, so it's not like it's a new thing that might get scrapped. Regardless though, I won't be "rich" until at least October, so no foisting the beer tab off on me yet!
Bottom line: I'm overwhelmingly excited about this! Also, I'm incredibly indebted and grateful to my professors, Dr. Jones and Dr. Cormier, not only for taking me to Fiji in the first place (which made me eligible for this grant), but also for their instrumental help in preparing my proposal. I quite literally could not have received this award without them. :-) Vinaka!