However I think they just did something really
NSF Publication 11-031, the replacement guide for the NSF graduate research fellowship program, came out a few weeks ago. Down a ways under "Fellowship Responsibilities" (page 5) is the following text:
Fellows on Tenure are considered to be 1.0 FTE (full-time equivalent). Consequently, when on tenure, GRFP Institutions may not request that Fellows provide service, irrespective of whether payment is received (see Stipend Supplementation for additional details). The intent of this policy is to assure that Fellows are able to apply 100% of time and effort to their graduate studies and research. Fellows should use their Reserve or Forfeit Statuses for activities that require service (e.g., teaching or research assistantships or internships)....So now you can't teach or do internships while on a fellowship. Maybe I could understand this... you shoudn't get "double-paid", of course. Though you used to be able to teach while on a fellowship and get a bit extra pay as a graduate student, and in my mind that's a good thing. Graduate students should learn to teach (or at least practice teaching, and hopefully they'll get better). Indeed many programs make it an explicit requirement! And learning how to juggle teaching and research is actually a skill graduate students should learn, at least if they're entertaining some notion of being a faculty member someday. (And even if not, both teaching and juggling teaching and research remain useful skills for a PhD.) I can understand NSF doesn't want universities abusing their fellowship winners by making them teach constantly (is this an actual problem, anywhere?), but there are other better solutions to the problem (like requiring someone at the NSF to approve the teaching, which some other fellowships do).
So this is
No, that's where they get REALLY
Look under Tenure Status (page 8):
Fellowship Tenure Status is granted in 12-month increments corresponding to a Fellowship Year (Summer or Fall Start) and may not be broken into smaller units spread across more than one year, except in cases of NSF-approved Medical or Military Deferral (see below). During Tenure Status, a Fellow will generally be required to Forfeit (lose) the Stipend Payments for the months the Fellow is engaged in activities that require service (time), such as internships, teaching and research assistantships, irrespective of whether the service provides payment.So now, if you do get an internship and decide to take it -- oops, you'll have to forfeit your fellowship for that time. Same for teaching. (Not sure if they'll hold to that if teaching is a degree requirement, we'll have to see.) So they're actually creating a major disincentive to do things that I would like to tell my graduate students are useful -- like teaching, or doing an internship in a lab somewhere. Very nice.
I'm going to find out who to send a letter to at the NSF to explain my opinion. I hope many of you will send a letter on as well. (If I get an address, I'll post it.)
Or perhaps I'm just misinterpreting, and someone will explain it to me.
And hopefully, by the time I next submit a proposal, the very nice people at the NSF will have forgotten about this posting. (If anyone asks, Lance wrote this. Or Richard.)
On a happier note, just wanted to point out that Claire's April Fools post was the funniest (theoryCS) post I've seen in a while. (It's funny because it's true.)