If you’re interested in applying for Watson Fellowship nomination in the fall and we haven’t yet talked, now is a great time to connect! I am around for much of the summer, but will be traveling too—so my ability to respond to you may be faster or slower depending on when you contact me. You can reach me at email@example.com and/or 802-443-3183.
For the fall deadlines, I may need to adjust slightly—will have everything set in August, but it won’t vary greatly from what I’ve outlined below. If you haven’t sent me a preliminary Watson application or spoken with me yet about your interest, summer is a great time to do so!
For the nomination process in September, you will need to submit the following:
- Watson Application Cover Sheet (available by through go/fellowships)
- A proposal explaining what you want to do, your background/experience, and the source of your interest in the topic. Please consult the Watson Foundation Web site; this statement should be a blend of the Personal Statement and the Project Proposal. Draft proposals must be no more than 5 pages long, double-spaced, double-sided, in 12-point font. (Yes, if nominated, you’ll be reworking this into two separate essays.)
- Academic transcript, printed from Banner Web (provide the chronological format, NOT the degree audit format. We do not need an official transcript for this.)
I will hold an info session again in early September (date TBA) and am looking at a September 22 campus deadline for nomination applications. We will invite a group of applicants to interview with Watson campus committee members; that group will select up to four nominees and one alternate.
Application Process and Timetable:
By June 30: Have read through carefully information on the Watson fellowship site—both at go/fellowships (click on Watson in list) and at http://watson.foundation/fellowships/tj .
By July 20: Draft of cover sheet and combined proposal/ personal essay for nomination application (see materials above) to me for feedback. Do also share with other relevant people for feedback.
Early August: Look for online info session–date TBA.
Early September: Talk with those you would want to write letters of recommendation for you, just giving them a heads up. Note: letters are only needed IF you are nominated! But you do want to start the conversation with those you would ask.
By September 15: Have some local contacts in countries in place.
September 17: Submit your application for Watson nomination. And yes, this is right after the start of classes.
Late September/early October: We will hold Watson interviews for a subset of applicants. Dates/times TBD.
Early November: Watson foundation application deadline
For the most part, deadlines above are not absolute, but guidelines intended to help you organize the different parts of the application and get everything done so that you are ready to go by the September deadline. Note: the campus submission and foundation deadlines really are hard deadlines.
A few important notes about the Watson:
- Really read through (and think through) the Watson website, especially the eligibility section. There are lots of good questions for you to ask yourself and your project idea to see if this is a good fit.
- Your application should really reflect YOU. This is not an academic fellowship. It’s about a deep, abiding personal interest you have and it’s also about you as a deeply curious, independent, courageous person. The Watson foundation is looking for fellows who are independent, imaginative, resourceful, responsible, bold, and self-motivated. Your project is just that—your project and should embody, reflect a passion you have. It does not have to be unique to you but definitely can be. It should grow organically from your life—things that you’ve done, explored, studied, wondered about, are inspired by—and should be personally significant to you. Watson priorities are person first, project second.
- Selecting countries for visiting: you should be choosing places that are new to you (the stretch factor). You may have been inspired by a period of study abroad or travel in a certain place, but depending on the amount of time you spent there (more than 4-6 weeks typically), you should not include that country/area on your project list. (And often there are ways to adapt a particular interest to a different set of countries/areas). Also, some countries are of such a broad and diverse scale, you may be able to justify a visit to a different part of that country. China or Russia might fall into the latter category. The Netherlands would not. For some of you, this is an area we may need to discuss further and think about how you might adapt your proposal. And any country on the US state department warning list (NOT travel advisory), you may not include that country on your list. And as you develop your proposed travel itinerary, keep in mind, this may be ideal and you should have back up plans. Sometimes things won’t work out, or the money won’t stretch that far—all possible. I don’t expect you have figured out everything with respect to the feasibility of all components for the nomination process, but I do expect you’ve given serious consideration to different ideas and are prepared for some shifts in your plan. The list of countries ultimately may change between application for nomination, application for Watson, Watson interview and departure, and actual fellowship year. Any country on the US state dept warning list may be listed provisionally in case it changes (and of course, countries may also shift in the other direction too).
- Contacts abroad may take some time to identify and connect with, so definitely allow for that. What you want from them may differ according to your project, but they should provide a resource and a kind of grounding for you in the community/country/project focus. You may also be contributing to them as well—but make sure that your mission, your project is still your own.
- When thinking about recommendations—if you are nominated, you will need 2-3. If two, both can be from Middlebury or one from Middlebury and one external. If three, one must be from Middlebury, one external. If you are nominated, I will talk with you further about what is most helpful in these letters for the Watson selection committee.
- Language ability: you will definitely propose going places where you do not speak the language—and you should. But do think about how you will conduct the work of the project in these spaces. Guides/interpreters may be essential in some cases.
- In thinking about your blended personal/project statement for the nomination application, you want to describe the following: Your plan for the 12-month fellowship year, including a description of your project and details about how you intend to carry it out. (In addition to focusing on a topic you are passionate about, the project should be personally challenging (yet feasible), independent, and sustainable over 12 months.) Discuss why you chose your topic, how it developed out of previous interests or experiences, and how it represents a new challenge. You may also want to describe your background, your college years, your professional goals and aspirations, and your reasons for seeking a Watson Fellowship.
For those applying for a British Scholarship (Churchill, Gates-Cambridge, Marshall, Mitchell, Rhodes, Keasbey) in the fall, read on for notes to help you structure your work on applications.
I am around for much of the summer, but will be traveling too—so my ability to respond to you may be faster or slower depending on when you contact me. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or x3183.
Please note: The schedule below is organized around the competitions requiring nomination by Middlebury–and the nomination interviews already took place in late spring for the Fall 2015 application cycle. The Gates Cambridge is a direct apply fellowship. You do not need to be nominated to apply, but I am glad to talk with you about the process and discuss essays with you. There are other fellowships supporting study in the UK not discussed here, either because you apply directly (without nomination) or there’s a much later nomination deadline (St. Andrews). See list of UK ideas in earlier post, and also look at the Fulbright as another option.
Application Process and Timetable:
By July 1: A. Confirm the program(s)/universities you propose to apply to and which faculty or program contacts are important for you to connect with. You will want to have conversations (typically done through email, sometimes phone) to discuss your research interests, how they align with faculty in the program, and be certain this is a program that will help you reach your educational objectives (and that you’re a good candidate for it). If you’re planning on pursuing research with a faculty member, you will need to talk with them about your interest and affirm their interest in having you join their lab/project. You will need to note this in your essays.
By July 15: Complete a functional draft research proposal and/or application essays. Share with me and relevant faculty/advisors for feedback. Don’t underestimate how much writing/revision is needed for these. They are short, but challenging. Note the Rhodes policy about feedback on the essay; you are much more restricted for the Rhodes. I am happy to advise you about the policy.
August 15: Turn in a solid, working application draft in PDF form for the fellowships you are seeking nomination for, as outlined in emails I sent to you following the nomination interview. If you are seeking nomination for the Keasbey ONLY, you will need to get a copy of the Keasbey application from the fellowship website; this will be made available within the next two weeks. If you are also applying for nomination for a Rhodes or Marshall, we will use those application determine our Keasbey nominees. Committee members will review this draft, provide feedback and make final determinations about nomination status where that is still needed.
Early September: You will be notified of final nomination decisions. At this point, you should ask for letters of recommendation if you haven’t already. If you have already been told you are being nominated, you can ask for letters earlier, after you have confirmed the recommendation choices with me.
September through September 30 or /November 11: Work on revising and polishing application and essays. Marshall, Mitchell final deadline is October 1; Rhodes expected to be October 7; Churchill is November 10. Gates Cambridge to be confirmed–last year it was October 15 (Round 1); December 3 (Round 2).
The schedule above is intended to help you organize the different parts of the application. If you are confused about any details, please ask.
For those thinking about applying for a Fulbright grant in the fall, here are some notes and suggestions to get you started:
If you haven’t yet sent me a preliminary application, we should talk! I am around for much of the summer, but will be traveling too—so my ability to respond to you may be faster or slower depending on when you contact me. So be patient if I am slow to respond. I will be away from the office June 12-28 and June 13-20. Contact me at email@example.com or x3183.
For alumni applicants: if you are not currently enrolled as a graduate student at another institution, you can choose to apply through Middlebury College or At-Large. The primary difference is that if you apply through Middlebury, you will have a campus interview (via Skype or phone) and the campus evaluation will be added to your application. You will also be counted as a Middlebury grantee, which we like! But statistically, Fulbright states that there is not advantage to either method of application.
Fall deadlines: I may need to adjust slightly—will know more in August, but it won’t vary greatly from what I’ve outlined below.
Application Process and Suggested Timetable:
By June 15: Have read through carefully the Applicants section of the Fulbright website, any/all country pages you are considering and have identified the place, grant type and rough project idea for your application. The country pages are chock full of good information!
By July 1: Create an account for the Fulbright U.S. Student Application 2015-2016 online. Link available through the “Applicant” section of the Fulbright website http://us.fulbrightonline.org/about . You may begin filling out the application, but DO NOT submit names of recommenders until you have talked with me about who you plan to select. Why? Because when you enter recommender names into the Embark system, an email link is sent to them, allowing them to upload a confidential letter. If you change your mind about who you want, that can create awkward situations! Also note that you will be applying through Middlebury College (you’ll see Prof. Jeff Cason’s or my name).
By July 15: Draft research proposal and/or application essays. This is particularly important for the study/research or digital storytelling grants. Send to me and (as possible) share with relevant faculty/advisors for feedback. Relevant faculty/advisors are people who know something about the academic project and/or geographic area. ETA applications are a little less complicated, but still require effective essays!
Early August: Look for info about workshop/info session, date/time TBA. Session will be online and recorded.
By August 30: Have requested letters of recommendations to be submitted before noon on September 24. Request your language evaluation (if needed) now too.
September 9: Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org confirming that you intend to apply and request a transcript. We will order this for you (no charge) and send you a pdf to upload to your application by end of day September 22. Because these take time to generate, you need to notify us early about your intent.
September 23 at noon: Have submitted all components of your application. Essays must be polished with no grammatical or spelling errors. There will be very limited opportunities for revision after this date, generally in cases where there are observations made during the campus interview process that need attention.
Late September/early October: You will sign up for a brief interview about your application. This interview is required for us to evaluate your strength as a candidate and we share that evaluation with Fulbright.
October 12: All must be done, proofed, in place, etc by end of day for me to send your application to Fulbright on October 13.
Most of these deadlines above are not absolutes, but guidelines intended to help you organize the different parts of the application and get everything done so that you are ready to go by the September deadline. Note: the campus submission deadline, that campus interview, and that October 12 final check—those are hard deadlines.
A few important notes:
- Faculty and contacts abroad may be less available when semester is not in session. Contacts abroad may also have a different response time to email than you are used to—so you need to allow several weeks in many cases to secure your letters of affiliation and/or research proposal feedback. Letters should be on university/organization letterhead and signed by recommender.
- When asking for letters of recommendation: for Middlebury faculty/staff, ask 3-4 weeks in advance of the deadline. For recommenders from elsewhere, depending on where, you may need to allow even more time. When asking for a letter, share your current draft of a research proposal or ETA statement of purpose and a current resume. Also share the recommender guidelines from Fulbright. You want your letters to address the selection criteria Fulbright is evaluating you on!
- For you ETA folks, you will need 3 letters of recommendation too. However, Fulbright requires them to fill out a form with short answers to questions that focus on ways in which you express yourself in English; whether you have any demonstrated experience with teaching/mentoring; how well you work in unstructured situations; and anything else that would have bearing on your ability to work successfully in the ETA position.
- Some research proposals will require IRB approval. What’s that? Why might you need it? Look at go/irb for guidance . Good news—you DO NOT need IRB approval to submit the Fulbright application in September. But if you’re selected as a finalist in January, we have you go through the approval process (as needed) so that when you do receive the grant, you will have a safe and vetted research proposal and methodology ready to go. Point being—be aware that your research proposal may fall into this category and know that conversation about this may come up during the campus interview in October.
- All letters of affiliation and recommendation must be in English. If your letter is written in another language, there must be a translation provided in addition to the original. For letters of affiliation, you can provide that translation, since this is not confidential and you upload that letter. For letters of recommendation, your recommender must obtain that translation (and not from you!) and upload both documents him/herself.
- Some countries require you to submit your essays in the host country language too–so read the country requirements carefully.
- Performing/creative arts candidates: You will need to submit your supplemental materials by the Sept. 23 deadline as well.
- Transcripts: if you transferred to Middlebury or have courses from other schools that are relevant, you are responsible for obtaining and uploading these transcripts.
- Foreign language evaluation form: required for non-English speaking countries. Some exceptions for ETA grants—but read the country/grant information carefully. In most cases, you will be able to take care of this in September with a Middlebury faculty member-though the schedule is tighter this year because of the late semester start date, so be in touch with the relevant faculty member well in advance. If you’re an alumnus or seeking evaluation in a language not taught at Middlebury, you would need to find an appropriate professional language teacher to complete the form.
- Critical Language Enhancement Supplement required ONLY if you’re applying for one! The Critical Language Scholarship grants may also be a good source of additional language support prior to the Fulbright grant beginning— see http://www.clscholarship.org/ .
In case you were missed the recent info session about the new Schwarzman Scholarship, here’s the video of the presentation! This is a new masters degree and leadership program, open to seniors and young alumni. See http://schwarzmanscholars.org/ for more information and to apply.
Rod Abhari, Zeke Caceres, Joe Flaherty, Forest Jarvis Priscilla Odinmah–all Class of 2015–and Molly O’Keefe ‘12.5 and Sarah Pollnow ’14 are Middlebury’s newest Fulbright recipients! Read about their plans next year at http://www.middlebury.edu/newsroom/node/494648 .
For those students and alumni interested in the Schwarzman Scholarship but not on campus for the info session on Thursday, April 23–we are trying out a videoconference option so that you can participate. To join in, here are the instructions:
This info session is now over. A video will be posted at go/fellowships shortly.
Following the info session, we will post the session video online for those who could not make this time. Any questions, email email@example.com .
Join us for an information session about the new Schwarzman Scholars Program on Thursday, April 23 from 4:30-5:30pm in Library 201. A representative from the program will lead the session.
Schwarzman Scholars, inspired by the Rhodes scholarship, is a program designed to help future leaders meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond by preparing them to better understand China’s culture, economy, governance and motivations. Up to 200 Scholars chosen annually from around the world for this highly selective, fully-funded program will have an unrivaled opportunity to live in Beijing for a year of study and cultural immersion, attending lectures, traveling and developing first-hand exposure to China and its people. Scholars will study for a one-year Masters degree in public policy, international relations, or economics and business at Tsinghua University, one of China’s most prestigious institutes of higher education. The program will focus on China as an economic and political force in the world through substantive, thematic study tours around the country. Their leadership and professional capacities will be further deepened by a mentoring program linking scholars to business, political and civil society leaders in the country, and through internships with global and national institutions and corporations based in Beijing. All classes will be taught in English and students will have opportunities throughout the year to study Mandarin.
A Schwarzman Scholar should demonstrate extraordinary leadership potential, the ability to anticipate paradigm changes, strong intellectual capacity and exemplary character. This scholarship is open to all citizenships. Students must have completed their undergraduate degree by before the program begins in July 2016. Young alumni eligible to apply.
The program will build a professionally diverse cohort each year and welcome applicants from any undergraduate major who can articulate how the experience in China will help develop their skills as leaders in their fields. We expect the largest number of applications from fields and topics that are heavily influenced by trends in China, including but certainly not limited to economics, political science, sociology, history, business, public policy, international studies, environmental studies, energy, health, climate, urban studies, trade and others. We do welcome and encourage applications from young leaders in any field relevant to issues influenced by or relevant to China. To learn more, visit http://schwarzmanscholars.org/
The Truman Foundation just posted the names of the 58 new 2015 Truman Scholars. Middlebury students Kate Hamilton ‘15.5 and Maddie Orcutt ’16 are among this impressive group of new Truman Scholars! The 2015 class was selected from among 688 candidates nominated by 297 colleges and universities—the most applications the foundation received in a decade. You can read about the new Truman Scholars here.
Also see the Middlebury Communications story on Kate and Maddie.
The deadline approaches! If you plan to apply for the Kellogg Fellowship–supporting senior work in the humanities and areas of humanistic study–send your application materials to firstname.lastname@example.org by end of day on Friday! Letters of recommendation can be emailed directly to email@example.com. The fellowship of $5,000 can support both summer and 2015-16 academic year research activities for independent senior work.
Eligible projects: Proposed projects must engage in philosophical inquiry in the humanities and areas of humanistic study, broadly defined, including but not limited to philosophy, religion, classics, history, history of art and architecture, film and media culture studies, languages, American studies, and English and American literatures.
Full application instructions and fellowship information are online at go/kellogg .
Questions? Please contact Dean Lisa Gates or Colleen Norden at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are thrilled for Linnea Burnham 14.5 and Katie Manduca 14.5, who received Watson Fellowships! Find out their projects and more about the Watson at http://watson.foundation/fellowships/tj/fellows . Congrats, Linnea and Katie!