For those applying for a British Scholarship (Churchill, Gates-Cambridge, Marshall, Mitchell, Rhodes) in the fall, read on for notes to help you structure your work on applications.
I am here during summer, but will be traveling too—so my ability to respond to you may be faster or slower depending on when you contact me. Available appointment hours are online at go/fellowships. Contact me at email@example.com or x3183 with questions.
Please note: The schedule below is organized around the competitions requiring nomination by Middlebury. Nomination interviews took place in late spring for the Fall 2016 application cycle. Instructions are the same for those are being nominated and for those whose materials require a review before a decision about nomination is reached. For all candidates, you nomination is dependent on your continued work on these applications and your responsiveness to deadlines and requests from the fellowships office.
For direct apply fellowships–the Gates Cambridge and others–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. See list of other UK ideas here. [add link]
Application Process and Recommended Timetable (note the deadlines!):
Spring/summer: 1. Identify your potential recommenders for the various competitions and discuss your interest and proposed plans with them. Recommenders will need to submit letters (if you are nominated!) in the online application system by Friday, Sept. 23. Make sure they are aware of this deadline. For those who are awaiting decisions about nomination, we will endeavor to have final decisions to you prior to Labor Day (Sept. 5) so that you can notify your recommenders. I recommend that you share with them a copy of your application, your resume and transcript, the selection criteria for the scholarships you are applying for. Please also talk with them about you would like them to focus on. You should also confirm with me who you will be asking for letters of recommendation for each application.
By July 1: 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 and Mitchell policy about feedback on the essay; you cannot solicit feedback on your drafts. I am happy to advise you about the policy.
August 15 deadline: 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. 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. Let your recommenders know and remind them that we need letters submitted by Friday, September 23.
September: Work on revising and polishing application and essays. For Marshall, I would like your work on applications fully completed by September 28. For Mitchell and Rhodes, you will manage the application process yourself. You will need to make sure everything is in and finished in advance of the deadline so that you can submit. I do not manage this for Rhodes or Mitchell. Please note that there is heavy submission volume close to the deadline, so I strongly recommend submitting your applicaiton a day in advance of the deadline.
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 in and out this summer—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. My appointment (phone, Skype or in person) availability is online at go/fellowships. You can also reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or x3183. And yes, you can still apply for a Fulbright this fall! Just make sure you adhere to the August/September deadlines below.
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.
Fulbright webinars and tutorials: are ongoing this summer. Check out http://us.fulbrightonline.org/about/videos-tutorials and http://us.fulbrightonline.org/applicants/information-sessions (click on webinars to see schedule).
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 full of good information! Also check out the Fulbright webinars and videos for applicants here http://us.fulbrightonline.org/about/videos-tutorials –these can be helpful. If you need an affiliation for your application (typical for study/research grants), you should be reaching out to appropriate organizations and individuals about this now. Depending on the country, this can be a slow process, so you do not want to leave this until later. Your faculty advisors may have helpful suggestions about academic contacts in country. You may also find the Fulbright scholar directory helpful http://www.cies.org/fulbright-scholars . This is a list of academics from other countries who have had grants to the US, so they are very knowledgeable about this program.
By July 1: Create an account for the Fulbright U.S. Student Application 2016-2017 online. Link available through the “Applicant” section of the Fulbright website http://us.fulbrightonline.org/applicants . 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 or Lisa Gates’ name(s)).
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!
By August 30: Have requested letters of recommendations to be submitted before noon on September 24. Request your language evaluation (if needed) now too.
August 18 Application Commitment Deadline: You must submit your Fulbright application in its current state in Embark for me to review. I realize this will not be a polished application and will be likely missing recommendations, transcripts, affiliation letters, etc–which is fine. I will send comments as needed, and unsubmit the draft for you to continue working on it. We will order Middlebury transcripts (no charge) for those who have an active application in the Fulbright Embark online system only. If you do not have an active application there, we will not order you a transcript and you will need to take care of this yourself. I also may be less able to provide you with substantive comments on your essays. If you are a transfer student, you will need to obtain a transcript from your former institution. We will send pdf copies of the transcript to you in time to upload for the Middlebury internal deadline below. If you discontinue your application after this point, that is ok–just let me know.
September 19 at noon: Submit 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 10: All must be done, proofed, in place, etc by end of day for me to send your application to Fulbright on October 11.
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 and campus interview are hard deadlines.
A few important notes:
- Faculty and contacts abroad may be less available when the 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, written in English and signed by recommender. If written in another language, you can provide and English translation and upload with the signed letter.
- When asking for letters of recommendation: for Middlebury faculty/staff, ask at least 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. 19 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/ .
For those working on Marshall applications for the Fall 2016 cycle, below are some points to review carefully. Yes, it’s detailed and dense, but that’s all part of working through the application process!
- The FAQ’s can be found http://www.marshallscholarship.org/applications/faqs
- The Commission emphasizes that in appointing Scholars the selectors will look for candidates who have the potential to excel as scholars, leaders and as contributors to improved UK-US understanding. Assessment will be based on academic merit, leadership potential and ambassadorial potential.
- Academic Proposal: the question has changed to: Candidates should describe below their proposed academic programme, giving reasons for their choice of course and preferred university. Those hoping to read for a research degree should give an outline proposal of the research they wish to undertake and with whom they would like to work. Candidates should also include a brief outline of why they have chosen their second choice courses and institutions. This means that candidates should include something about their second choice institutions and courses.
- Review the Commission’s criteria on leadership potential: http://www.marshallscholarship.org/applications/leadershippotential and think carefully about how you embody these criteria.
- Recommendations: after you have confirmed with me (first step) who your recommenders will be and have confirmed with your recommenders that they will provide letters for you (second step), please enter their information in the following order: Primary recommender first and then identify them as such. Two and three as normal and four should be the recommender who is going to talk about their leadership. It is still optional for applicants to have a leadership recommender, so if you don’t have one, the fourth recommender can be anyone, but the application pulls the letters of recommendation in the order the names were entered into the system so it will make it easier for Marshall readers if you do this.
- Please make sure you check the list of courses that the Marshall does not fund. The MSc International Health and Tropical Medicine (University of Oxford) and MSc Law and Finance (University of Oxford) have been added to the list this year.
- One year Marshall applicants: The rules state for the one year Scholarship that “One year candidates must be registered for degrees that are 12 months in duration. Courses that run for 10 months or less, ie where the course ends before August will not be funded on the one year Scholarship.”
- Degrees that are less than 10 months include the Part III in Mathematics at Cambridge, some of the MPhil’s at Cambridge and most of the MSt’s at Oxford. Please ensure you have checked the length of the courses they wish to undertake. These degrees are possible as part of a combination of degrees in the two year Scholarship.
- A reminder that the Marshall website includes videos of Marshall Scholars’ experiences and an updated Scholar experiences page. You can find these at http://www.marshallscholarship.org/scholars/my_marshall and http://www.marshallscholarship.org/scholars/scholars_experiences.
Kevin Murungi ’01 shares the following: The Curtis Scholarship award winner will be invited to join a five-day learning trip to Senegal in early August 2016 and will have the opportunity to meet with key partners working on development programs focused on child health and wellness. The trip will primarily be in Dakar, and the award winner will be accompanied by a Global Citizen staff member at all times. Included in the trip will be: round trip airfare, trip-related meals, lodging and transportation and other out-of-pocket expenses (at GPP’s discretion).
Additionally, the award will cover travel to and accommodation for the 2016 Global Citizen Festival, which will take place in Central Park in New York City on September 24th, 2016.
Any students interested in applying should visit https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/awards/curtis-scholarship/ for more information. Please note the deadline to apply is June 15!
About the Global Poverty Project and Global Citizen:
The Global Poverty Project is an advocacy and campaigning organization that is catalyzing a movement to end extreme poverty, as defined by the World Bank as people living on or under $1.25/day, by 2030. Our vision is a world without extreme poverty by 2030. In order to achieve this goal, we work to grow the number and effectiveness of our Global Citizens to achieve the necessary public, private and political commitments needed to address the causes of extreme poverty.
Three years ago the Global Poverty Project created Global Citizen (https://www.globalcitizen.org): a platform that incentivizes people to take meaningful action in exchange for rewards (tickets to concerts all over the world and Global Citizen events). Combining the power of music, technology, and culture, the successful and powerful platform taps into the millennial generation’s desire for change.
Global Citizen is GPP’s content and campaigning arm where people can learn about and take action on the world’s biggest issues. Global Citizen works in partnership with and supports some of the most effective organizations working to end extreme poverty. Committed to providing the most interesting stories, effective actions and powerful campaigns, Global Citizen aims to unlock the power of every individual to play his or her part in the movement to end extreme poverty in the next 15 years.
Check out this great video and article about Kristin’s senior research project and presentation of her work at the Council of Undergraduate Research’s annual Posters on the Hill at the Capitol in DC. This event shares impressive undergraduate research work from across the country with Congress and funding agencies. Congratulations, Kristin, on your research! To learn more about Posters on the Hill, see http://www.cur.org/conferences_and_events/student_events/posters_on_the_hill/ or contact email@example.com