When describing my research experience in fellowship applications, I will write something to the extent of "I began pursuing 'item X' under 'Professor Y'." Of course, I follow up with why I found the experience meaningful, and what my role was.
However, I have received feedback from at least two different sources saying that this name dropping is frowned upon, and that if I have a panelist who hates this, that it will torpedo my application.
In my mind, the person I am working with may be relevant if a panelist knows of their work. However, at the same time, a fellowship is about me. Is there a good reason to include the names of the PI's, and if so how can that be written? Or is it truly safer to just remove the names of PI's, especially if they are someone famous (e.g. an NAE/NAS member)?