Newsletter Article

Graduate Student in Social Psychology and Personality Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowhip

Linda Zou, a second year student in Social Psychology and Personality, was recently awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF). Linda works with Social/Personality faculty member, Sapna Cheryan. A brief introduction of this NSF fellowship can be found in a previous newsletter article. 


Let's start with the basics, where are you from and where did you complete undergrad/masters?

I'm originally Oklahoma, but most recently from Washington DC's white-washed suburban backyard. I got my BA in psychology from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.  


How did you wind up at UW/why did you apply here? What do you think about living in Seattle?

I really connected with the UW social faculty's research interests, and getting to live in Seattle was a major bonus. 


What is your research interest and how did you get into it (what inspires/motivates you)?

Speaking broadly, my work addresses race relations in the U.S. Recently my work has been looking at the two major dimensions of subordination (inferiority and foreignness) that define the stereotypes, prejudice, and threats that different racial minority groups face. 


How did you learn about your funding opportunity and tell us about the application/waiting process?

The process was awesome! j/k it was not, it was mega stressful. But applying for the NSF GRF is pretty much built into the social/personality training program.  The fact that most students apply for this fellowship means that people know you're doing it, they give multiple rounds of generous and invaluable feedback, and they're understanding when it's all you can talk about for 3 months.


How did you feel when you learned that your application was accepted and that you will receive funding?



Do you have any advice/tips/suggestions for others who may apply to this opportunity? About graduate study in general?

Be shameless about asking for help.  Prepare to do many many, many rounds of revisions.  Set concrete deadlines for yourself. And if you can find a research question that really excites you, that'll help you sell its merit and contribution convincingly to reviewers. 


The last book and/or movie you saw and enjoyed?

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD!! Charlize Theron is a dream.


What you plan to do once you complete your PhD?



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