Getting Started

It is never too late to apply for a fellowship. Funding is available for students of every level and interest. But keep in mind the sooner you get in touch with us, the better equipped we are to help.

Explore your interests and abilities

Many students ask us if their GPA is high enough to apply for a fellowship. Wrong question! You should instead ask if your strengths align to those advocated by a funding body. What are your interests? Have you held leadership positions in extracurricular activities? Are you an avid volunteer? Know a second language? A third? Consider other factors beyond your GPA.

The sooner we get to know you, the better position we will be in to advise you down the road. We encourage all scholars to contact our office -- from freshman still deciding on a major to recent PhD recipients looking for post-doctoral opportunities.

Strengthen your academic network

Never underestimate the power of networking. It can help you determine interests while building academic connections you may need in the future. Make it a continuous priority.

  • Socialize with faculty and others in your cohort. They are great sources of information and advice.
  • Attend guest lectures and performances. The guest may review your next application, article or audition.
  • Sit on committees. Learn how academic institutions work from the inside.
  • Take a professor, speaker or fellow student out for a cup of coffee. They need to get to know you in order to best help you.

Develop a plan

With thousands of funding opportunities available, it can be difficult to determine which is right for you. Here are a few suggestions to help you figure it out:

  • Determine long-term aspirations
    Ask yourself: What are my career goals? Where do I see myself in ten years?
  • Determine how to best prepare for achieving these goals
    Our office can help you determine what skills and experiences are necessary for later pursuits. For example, stronger language proficiency or mentored lab research may be essential. Fellowships are available to fund many of these activities.
  • Find fellowships that are right for you
    Start by searching the national databases listed on the Databases & Resources page. We can also use our knowledge and experience to help you find a funding match.
  • Start the application process early
    Applications are generally due about 10 to 12 months before the start of the fellowship. It also takes a few more months to prepare a strong application package. You will need the time to write several drafts of your essay or proposal, pass it along to others for review, and incorporate their feedback.