How should I begin the fellowship process?
- Conduct research. Read the Fellowship Advising website carefully. Attend information sessions and conduct research on relevant websites. Applying for a fellowship demands a significant amount of independent work. Conducting research before you meet with an adviser will better prepare you for the discussion. Often, this research and your initiative will reflect the extent of your interest and the perception of yourself as a scholar.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for references. Applications require two to eight letters of recommendation. Deadlines for some of the major fellowships occur a few weeks into the fall semester. Ask recommenders as early as possible, preferably well before you (and they) leave for the summer.
- Look at sample applications from the previous year’s competition. Guidelines generally remain the same each year. Acquaint yourself with what is involved in applying and prepare as much as you can in advance. Application forms are generally available online.
- Read previous award recipients' essays. For sample Fulbright, Luce, Marshall, ReachOut56-81-06, and Rhodes essays, visit the Office of International Programs (36 University Place, Suite 350) or the Trustee Reading Room in Firestone Library. This research will give you an idea of how a successful proposal reads as you begin thinking about your own achievements and aspirations. However, do not let them intimidate you. You will bring your own special qualities to the task.
- Look into graduate degree programs and find out what institution(s) meet your criteria. Fulbright and Marshall applicants, especially, should research as much as possible about institutions and degree programs in foreign countries. Fellowship websites (e.g., the Marshall) provide some information about institutions abroad and both the Office of Career Services and Firestone Library can provide additional resources to help you find institution(s) that meet your criteria. Fulbright applicants: once the research proposal has been developed, correspond with faculty at the institution you wish to be affiliated with to obtain their support.