Q: What are fellowships?
National fellowships are highly selective, merit-based competitions that offer post-baccalaureate financial support for a variety of activities; each award offers its own distinctive opportunity. Some allow you to submit a proposal for a research project of your own design. Others offer the opportunity to be a research assistant. Still others offer the opportunity to teach English abroad.
Q: Why should I apply for a fellowship?
If you receive a fellowship, you will gain a credential that will follow you for the rest of your career. But more importantly, you will have the rare opportunity to pursue your interests fully supported — both financially and intellectually — by the award-granting agency. You will also develop professional networking connections with other high-achievers in your field that will last a lifetime.
Q: How can I know if I am a viable candidate for a fellowship?
You will, of course, want to evaluate your specific qualifications for each specific award. This is best done with an adviser who knows the ropes; Dean Deborah Dreher can help you sort through your options. Do not hesitate to make an appointment to talk about fellowship options early. To make an appointment with Dean Dreher, go to CamelLink in CamelWeb. Include a brief note explaining what you would like to discuss.
Q: How do I begin applying for fellowships?
Many of these awards require that you secure nomination from Connecticut College. Review the Fellowships List to find those that seem directed to you and your interests. (All on this list require College nomination.) If you think you might be interested in exploring one or more of these opportunities further, contact Dean Deborah Dreher, Dean of Fellowships and Scholarships (firstname.lastname@example.org). Dean Dreher will help you assess your candidacy, focus your study/research interest and may also point you in the direction of other possibilities. Dreher will also help you with applications for awards that do not require college nomination.
Q: When should I start the application process?
Since some of the most popular fellowships have mid-September campus deadlines, beginning in the senior year is simply not feasible. The ideal is to begin thinking about the process as early as sophomore year — no later than your junior year. It is especially important to begin in the sophomore year if you are planning to study abroad both semesters of the junior year. More commonly, however, students begin the work in their junior year — preferably when they are actually on campus. Much of the proposal and personal statement writing takes place in the summer following your junior year, so it is important to work with Dean Dreher before leaving for the summer to set up a plan and advising schedule.
Q: Must I apply for all fellowships through the College?
No. First, view the Fellowships List requiring the College's nomination. You may come across other fellowships that do not ask for institutional nomination through Web sites and books. Even if you are applying for fellowships that do not require that you go through the College, you are strongly encouraged to seek advising from Dean Dreher and your faculty advisers.
Q: What is meant when a fellowship requires "institutional endorsement" or "nomination"?
For many scholarships, applicants will only be considered if their application is submitted through the Connecticut College fellowship committee or liaison.
Endorsement means that a fellowship applicant is submitting their application with the official approval of the College based on an internal review and approval process.
An institutional nomination means that Connecticut College has selected the candidate(s) from an applicant pool.
Q: What are the deadlines for the various scholarships?
Deadlines vary by date from year to year (see the fellowship websites for exact dates). View the Fellowships List for campus and organization deadlines.