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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a fellowship?
aim to provide work experience, training, and professional development to
recent graduates, which can act as a stepping stone for a career in a
particular field. Fellowships for recent graduates are most common, however, undergraduate
fellowship and scholarship opportunities are offered by some
organizations. They can range from two
to five years in support of obtaining a degree to independent study projects
that can last two to ten weeks in the summer. Fellowships are sponsored by a
wide range of public and private institutions and provide funds for various
ventures, such as research, travel, and professional and academic development.
Financial compensation and, occasionally, a housing stipend are offered.
Who typically applies for
candidates are generally in their junior or senior year of undergraduate study.
However, there are some fellowships opportunities available to sophomores. Most
successful candidates have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and have an
outstanding record of service, leadership, research, and relevant work in their
major/expected career. It is best to
research the eligibility criteria of each fellowship, as the requirements for
fellowships vary. Aspects to look for when researching eligibility are
citizenship status, class year, field of study, age, GPA, and knowledge of a
foreign language, if going abroad.
What is involved in
applying for fellowships?
majority of fellowships applications require a personal statement, project
proposal (if applicable), and letters of recommendation from your professors,
mentors, and/or research supervisors. Some fellowships may require you to be
nominated and endorsed by your university, while others may require a phone or
personal statement is crucial to the success of you application. A common theme should be present throughout
your personal statement and reflect who you are, detail the path you have
taken, and where this path will take you in the future. Revision is a critical
part of writing an exceptional personal statement, and you can expect it to be
revised multiple times before it is ready to be submitted.
letters of recommendation are also essential for a successful application. You
should choose a recommender that can confirm and evaluate your
achievements. The best recommender is
someone you have worked closely with, such as a faculty member, a research or
project advisor, your academic or professional mentor, or an immediate
When should I start
looking into and applying for research and fellowship opportunities?
never too early to begin researching fellowships and scholarships! Although
many of fellowships are only available to juniors and seniors, sophomores and
freshmen can prepare for possible fellowships.
As a freshmen and sophomore, taking courses that pertain to a fellowship
that you would like to apply for, holding leadership roles on campus,
participating in research projects, and building relationships with faculty
members and advisors is extremely important.
deadlines vary from award to award. Many fellowship applications are due during
the fall semester or early spring. However, a few fellowships require application
during the summer or a full year prior to the term of the award. It is best to
check the deadlines of each fellowship you would like to apply for.
What are my chances of
winning a fellowship?
are several factors that will determine the success of a fellowship
application, such as personal statement, quality of recommendation letters,
relevant experience, and ability to meet all of the eligibility criteria. With
that being said, fellowships and scholarships are highly competitive in nature.
For example, over 9,600 students apply for a Fulbright each year and 1,800
receive the award. With fellowships and scholarships being so competitive,
having a strong personal statement and letters of recommendation are essential
when submitting an application.
I talk to about applying for a fellowship or scholarship?
The RMU Honors Program staff and faculty is available to help you throught the application process. You can
set up an appointment with Lindsey Sobolosky (firstname.lastname@example.org) to
discuss the fellowship and scholarship opportunities you would like to pursue.