Royce Fellowship FAQ

What is involved in applying for the Royce Fellowship?

The Royce Fellowship process requires students to submit a proposal that includes a project narrative and a personal narrative, as well as responses to a series of questions regarding their proposed fellowship project. In addition to the short answer responses, students are asked to submit a letter of recommendation from a faculty sponsor. The faculty sponsor should have disciplinary expertise in the area of the proposed project and the letter should address the student's capacity to carry out the proposed research plan.

A committee of Brown faculty and staff review each proposal, selecting 15-20 fellows. There is no interview process. As the committee will never meet you in person, the quality of your writing is critical. Expect to revise your essays and proposals multiple times. For writing support, please visit the Writing Center Page.

Do I qualify for the Royce Fellowship?

To qualify for a Royce Fellowship you must be a full-time student in good standing at Brown. Applicants must agree to stay at Brown for one semester following the fellowship experience. Students do not need to be U.S. citizens to apply for the fellowship. For further details specifically regarding Royce eligibility requirements, please email [email protected]

When should I apply for research and fellowship opportunities, such as the Royce Fellowship?

The application cycle opens in the spring semester. We encourage you to begin the application process in the fall by attending information sessions or meeting with Swearer Center staff. The Curricular Resource Center's Fellowships, Internships and Research (CRC FIRe) coordinator can also advise students about the Royce as well as many other research and fellowship opportunities. For more information, please visit the CRC's FIRe Page.

What are my chances of becoming a Royce Fellow? How competitive is it?

Many external fellowships like the Marshall, Rhodes, and Fulbright are very competitive. The Royce is an internal fellowship, meaning it is only open to Brown undergraduate students. In any given year, the applicant pool can range from 70 to 125 applicants. To best position yourself as a competitive applicant, begin working on your proposal early. You may schedule an appointment to meet with Grace Argo, Assistant Director, Community-Engaged Research, to discuss your project idea.

Can I apply for more than one fellowship?

Yes, but in most cases, you can only accept one award. If you are currently a Mellon Mays Fellow or are receiving funding through an UTRA or Starr Fellowship you should schedule an appointment to meet with Grace Argo to discuss possible conflicts.

Can I hold another fellowship or paid summer position in conjunction with the Royce?

No. You cannot hold the Royce Fellowship in conjunction with another university summer opportunity (e.g. Hassenfeld, UTRA, SPRINT)*. While the Royce Fellowship is a year-long program, with responsibilities extending beyond just the summer, it is meant to fund a major research undertaking over the summer that involves a full-time or near full-time commitment. Part-time positions or unfunded opportunities that align with the Fellow's research project are acceptable on a case by case basis.

*In collaboration with the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society, the Swearer Center allows applicants conducting community-engaged research who receive both the Royce and Voss Fellowships to participate in the two programs (with only one stipend).

What kinds of projects does the Royce Fellowship fund?

Over the years the Royce Fellowship has funded students projects in a wide range of disciplines: from opera to physics, art criticism to game theory. We welcome your big ideas, but keep in mind you need to have the skill set to carry out the proposed research. To see abstracts from former fellows please visit our Meet the Royce Fellowship Cohorts section. To see where fellows have gone in the world, please visit the Royce Map.

Who should write my letter of recommendation?

Ideally your faculty mentor will provide your supporting letter as the letter writer is specifically asked to address their plan for mentorship and their support for your proposed project. You may submit up to 2 letters of recommendation. If your project mentor is not familiar with your full academic record, you may ask another faculty member to submit a second supporting letter. All letters of recommendation are due at the same deadline as applications. Some leeway can be given to letter writers, however the review process will not be delayed if a letter is not included. For full consideration we suggest submitting letters of recommendation by the application deadline. Note: applicants do not need to hold off requesting a letter of recommendation until their applications are submitted. Once contact information is entered into the application portal, UFunds automatically generates a letter request no matter the status of application.

A .pdf of the recommendation form is available to view here. Please note: this is only for illustration purposes. All recommendations must be submitted through UFunds.