Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Q:  Today is the deadline and one of my letter writers just told me he cannot upload his letter today.  What do I do?

A: Deliver what documents you have. Candidates who deliver their nomination letter, CV/publication list, research statement, and two representative articles before the September 15 deadline will be considered to have met the deadline. Candidates should use Interfolio to submit delinquent letters of support as soon as possible.

Q: I submitted my materials through Interfolio, but have not received a confirmation email from Sloan.
A: Once you submit your materials, you should receive an email from Interfolio confirming that your materials have been successfully submitted.  (Make sure to check your spam or junkmail folder if you don't get a confirmation.)  You will not receive a separate email confirmation from Sloan.  Don't worry.  If Interfolio confirms your nomination was submitted, it was submitted.  We have it.    

Q: I am an administrator who is processing a nomination on behalf of one of the faculty in my department.  Should the Interfolio account created be in my name or in the name of the nominee?

A: The account should be in the nominee's name.

Q:  Can more than one email address be associated with an Interfolio.com account?

A:  No.

Q: My appointment is in an engineering department, but my work is in basic chemistry, am I eligible?

A: Yes. Fellowships are awarded for scholars whose research is in one of the eight SRF fields. If you’re in an engineering department, but doing chemistry, you are eligible for a fellowship in chemistry. If you’re in a business school, but doing economics, you are eligible for a fellowship in economics.

Q: I am more than six years from my Ph.D., but I stopped my tenure clock for a year to have a child. Am I eligible?
A: Yes. There are four exceptions to the requirement that eligible candidates must be no more than six years from their most recent Ph.D. They are:

  1. Military service
  2. Change in field
  3. Child-rearing responsibilities
  4. You are currently serving in your first faculty appointment and the appointment began on or after September 1, 2012

If any of these apply to you, you are eligible. In your nomination letter, your nominator should include a paragraph indicating which of the above exceptions apply in your case and explaining your circumstances.

Q: I requested a letter of support through Interfolio, but the letter writer never received the request email.  What do I do?
A: Tell the letter writer to check his or her junk mail folder.  Aggressive junk mail filters occasionally flag emails from Interfolio.com as spam.

Q:  I nominated someone last year who did not receive an award.  Can I re-nominate that same person this year?
A:  Yes. 

Q: When are the winners announced?
A: February, 2015

Q: Do the “representative articles” I submit have to be published?

A: No, but it is rare for successful candidates to submit papers that have not at least been accepted for publication.

Q: Does my nominator have to be my department chair?

A: No. Any senior researcher who can speak to the quality of your work may nominate you.

Q: Does my nominator have to be someone from my department?

A: No, any senior researcher who can speak to the quality of your work may nominate you.

Q: Can my former advisor write a letter in support for my nomination?
A: Yes.

Q: What are the Selection Committees looking for in a support-letter writer?
A:  Unfortunately, the Foundation does not advise on whom a nominee should or should not select as a letter writer. 

Q: If I applied for a Sloan Research Fellowship last year and am re-applying this year, can I re-use my nomination letter and letters of support from last year?
A.  No.  Though the same persons may nominate you or write letters of support on your behalf, they must submit new letters.  This ensures that your nominator and letter-writers continue to support your candidacy for a Sloan Research Fellowship. 

Q: Is there a limit to the number of nominations per department?

A: Yes. No more than three candidates may be nominated from any one department. There is no limit to the number of nominations per university.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of people I may nominate?

A: No, though no more than three individuals may be nominated from any one department. NOTE: Anyone nominating more than one candidate may be asked to rank these candidates at a later stage in the selection process.

Q: What’s included in the field of Ocean Sciences?

A: There’s no complete list. Marine biology; chemical, physical, and biological oceanography; and marine geology all qualify as ocean sciences, but other fields could qualify depending on the nature of the work being done. A mathematician working on how to model changes in ocean temperature or phytoplankton populations would qualify, as would a technologist working on developing better tools to study methane processing in seawater samples. In general, natural scientists working to advance our understanding of the oceans are eligible for a fellowship in ocean sciences.

Q: Are there any font-size, margin-size, or other formatting restrictions on the one-page research statement?

A: No, but selection committees do not tend to look kindly on applications that try to skirt the one-page length limit through creative font and margin sizing.

Q: Can the one-page research statement be over a page?

A: We will not disqualify a nominee because the research statement exceeds one page. Selection committees are reasonable, but the committees ask for a one-page summary. Give them a one-page summary.

Q: Does the one-page limit on research statements include a list of references or can references be put on a second page?  
A:  Try to fit them in the footnotes of page 1, but if you can't do it, putting references on a second page is acceptable.  

Q: Are there any specific content requirements for the one-page research statement?
A: No. The point of the research statement is to permit candidates to briefly describe their current and future research, since publications lags can sometimes make a CV a less than perfect guide to a candidate's work.  There are no specific content requirements.

Q: Can I see an example of a research statement submitted by a successful candidate?  
A: Unfortunately, no.  Research statements submitted by nominees are confidential. 

Q: If I receive a fellowship, when is the official start date of the award?

A: Awards are announced mid-February, 2015. The $50,000 fellowship begins September 15, 2015 and is for a two-year period.

Q: If I receive a fellowship, can I use my fellowship for research expenses incurred before the September 15th beginning of the grant?

A: Yes. Though the fellowship officially starts on September 15th, fellowship funds may be used for research expenses incurred during the summer immediately prior to the fellowship start date.

Q: Can I use fellowship monies to supplement my summer salary?

A: Yes, but salary support for Fellows during the summer is limited to a maximum of two-ninths of established academic salary. This summer research period is to be regarded as two full months.

Program Director:
Daniel Goroff Bio

Direct inquiries to: 
Gayle K. Myerson
myerson@sloan.org
212-649-1632