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2024 Pathfinder Fellowship Application  logo

2024 Pathfinder Fellowship Application

Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI)

Applications (including Commitment Letters) are due by Wednesday, January 24, 2024 by 11:59 PM EST.

The Pathfinder Fellowship application consists of:

  1. A CV of the Applicant (2 pages)
  2. A research statement (recommended 3 – 5 pages) describing the proposed research*
  3. One page proposed budget, including justification
  4. Letter of Endorsement/Commitment from the Applicant’s Advisor
  5. Letter of Collaboration/Commitment from the Proposed Host

Critical Zone Collaborative Network (CZNet): We welcome proposals to support collaboration with the CZNet community. Check the critical zone website for more information about their research and activities

The RESEARCH STATEMENT is the most heavily weighted of the application materials. A successful application will clearly describe the proposed research, and explicitly state the benefits of second site activities to the Applicant’s overall research program and goals of their degree. This statement should be on the order of three to five pages. Please provide:


  • Your current research and major research questions
  • How the proposed second site is different from your home institution or research site
  • How these differences will enhance your research. Be specific in the benefits and/or opportunities the second site will provide
  • How the experience will be integrated into your overall research plan
  • A description and timeline of activities at the second site
  • A description of the broader impact of the proposed work
  • A brief Data Management Plan, which describes how the applicant plans to obtain, store, and disseminate data products resulting from the Pathfinder Fellowship. The Data management plan should be sufficiently detailed and compliant with FAIR guidelines

The BUDGET should be no more than one page and indicate the total estimated cost of the travel. A one-paragraph description of the budget items should be included. If the cost exceeds $5,000, or if there are items necessary that cannot be supported by Pathfinder (e.g., equipment), the description should indicate how these costs will be covered. Indirect costs are not covered by CUAHSI and can't be included in the proposed budget.

A LETTER OF ENDORSEMENT/COMMITMENT from the Applicant’s Advisor should indicate that they support the proposed research plan. The letter should be uploaded into the online application.

A LETTER OF COLLABORATION/COMMITMENT from the proposed Host/Mentor should indicate they agree to host the Applicant and can support the proposed research. The letter should be uploaded into the online application.

BROADER IMPACT from the proposed work should be included within the research statement. Does the applicant's work (both for the activities proposed for these funds and overall as part of their research work) articulates a benefit beyond the basic science advancement? 

The Research Statement, Data Management Plan, Budget, and Applicant's CV should be assembled into a single PDF document and uploaded into the online application. The two letters should be uploaded as separate PDF documents as indicated on the submission page. 

Application Review Criteria

1. The degree to which the proposed activities at the second site are required to address the research question being posed. Could this research be carried out “closer to home” or without the travel?

2. Are the proposed activities at the second site sufficient to address the research question? 

3. Does the student have the necessary background knowledge/training/experience to take full advantage of this activity?

4. Is the level of effort appropriate for the proposed timeline? 

5. Will additional resources be required to fully integrate this experience?  If so, is there evidence that the student and mentors are aware of and have planned for this? 

6. Does the relationship with the mentor at the second site appear to be sufficiently robust to provide the opportunity for a meaningful and successful interaction? 

7. Will the Data Management Plan be effective in preserving and disseminating resulting data products?

8. Are the broader impacts of the applicant's work clearly outlined and explained? Is it compliant with FAIR guidelines?


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