Compatibility with the mission and goals of a particular fellowship opportunity is key; you don't want to waste your time pursuing a fellowship to ckean up lead mines in Colorado if you really want to study at the Sorbonne.
Examine your interests, your strengths, and your goals. Consider how you want to enhance your educational and life experience. What you would like to get from a research or fellowship opportunity and what do you have to bring to one?
What are your interests?
- Are you interested in an international experience or a domestic one?
- Are you looking for something short term (for example the summer) or long term (for a year or two after graduation)?
- Do you want to participate in a formal program or pursue something more independent?
- What kind of school/program, independent project, or internship opportunity interests you?
- What special interests and/or activities might you like to pursue?
- Are you interested in graduate or professional school?
- Do you have a particular commitment you want to foster—the environment, the sciences, public service?
What are your strengths?
- Some, but by no means all, fellowships require academic excellence. What story does your academic transcript tell?
- What field(s) of study or inquiry most interests you?
- Look at your extra-curricular activities, particularly if you assumed a leadership role or engaged in public service or mentoring. What do these activities say about your ability to work effectively with others, to manage complex projects, or to serve others?
- What personal challenges have you overcome? How does your experience illustrate your abilities to persevere in the face of significant obstacles?
- What do you really care about? What are your values? How will a particular fellowship enable you to make a significant contribution?
What are your goals?
- What knowledge, abilities, or skills do you want to use and develop while on fellowship?
- How will these qualities enhance your education and life after the fellowship is completed?
- Once the fellowship is completed, what will you be able to contribute to an issue, an enterprise, or a cause that is larger than yourself?
Second: Identify Appropriate Research and Fellowship Opportunities
After you've reflected on your interests, strengths, and goals, peruse the List of Fellowships page on this site to find research and fellowship opportunities that meet your goals and match your strengths. Attend fellowship fairs and related events sponsored by the Dean of the College Office. Make sure that your aims are compatible with the goals and mission of the award(s).
Once you identify the fellowship most appropriate for your interests, learn as much as possible about the award and the details of the place and program in which you hope to study or research. Consult with faculty who have research or teaching interests relevant to the fellowship. Contact recent alums who have won the fellowship in which you're interested. Talk with Dean Dunleavy about the application process, and read this website for suggestions on how to apply for the fellowship of your choice.