Fellowships – Enrich Knowledge and Skills while Learning New Experiences
Graduate students who seek extra funds to pay for their school tuition and bolster their resume at the same time with valuable experience might want to apply for fellowships.
A fellowship is a short term learning opportunity which usually spans for several months up to 2 years. Most associations sponsor fellowships to render financial support to the budding young professionals in exchange for fieldwork. By tradition, fellowships are merit-based awards being granted to full time doctoral or master’s students with career promise and high GPAs. If you want to kick start your future plans, there are some important things you have to know about fellowships.
Different Types of Fellowships
Most of the time, fellowships are monetary gifts associated to working in a certain field although what consist them can vary significantly. For example, a doctoral fellowship is awarded to Ph.D. students for funding proposed research which will further their area of specialty.
Medical fellowships, on the other hand, are given to M.D. students who must complete in-depth training in advanced specialty like pediatrics, women’s health, or cardiac care. There are also instances when humanitarian organizations provide fellowships for the graduate students who study abroad or pioneer community-based initiatives. Some of the most prestigious programs of the nation include Woodrow Wilson National Fellowships, Smithsonian Fellowships, Guggenheim Fellowships, and Fulbright Fellowships.
Benefits of Fellowships
Among the most obvious advantages of fellowships is none other than compensation. Depending on the length of the program, fellows can get anywhere around $5,000 to as much as $50,000 a year with sizable living stipend for covering travel costs. Some fellowships also offer student loan forgiveness, health insurance, or even free housing. But, the primary benefit of becoming a fellow is experiential learning. The fellowships are being structured for delivering important responsibility in a certain specialty, way beyond entry-level jobs. Fellows can also learn from mentors and publish their research. Most fellows eventually get hired for a full-time employment through their supporting agency as well.
Finding Opportunities for Fellowships
Networking with your existing academic contacts is the secret to find fellowships which suit their specific niche. You can talk with your professors and faculty advisor regarding opportunities which might not be advertised. Schedule an appointment with the financial aid office of your university and attend informational sessions particularly about fellowships. In this digital world of today, internet research can also help you in finding fellowships which might be related to your major. Search the websites for any professional associations related to your field. You can also find online fellowships databases you can sort according to your minimum eligibility criteria.
How to Apply for Fellowships
Fellowships tend to be very competitive so you need to prepare a truly impressive application which will not end up shoved under the pile. Usually, organizations look for fellows who are also high academic achievers, dedicated honor students, community service leaders, and experienced researchers. Make sure that your self-direction and motivation shine through. It might take you 2 or more months to complete your application and prepare all supporting materials. You will need your curriculum vitae or resume, letters of recommendation, official transcript, and research proposal.