Fellowships

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What is a Fellowship?

A fellowship is a short term work opportunity in college. It could help students conduct research or complete their graduate program in a few months or several years. The money you receive from a fellowship may help pay tuition, books, fees and other costs. But some fellowships may instead pay for trips, thesis projects or the cost of attending a conference.

In many ways a fellowship is like a prize. It is usually something that graduate students or postgraduate scholars compete for. They may earn their place because they plan to make a meaningful contribution to their field.

Most fellowship programs are thus like merit-based grants. Unlike a student loan you do not need to pay back the funds.

Beyond the funding, a fellowship provides a chance to grow as a professional. Most are short-term opportunities that last a few months or years. They are often sponsored by a specific organization. One that is seeking to expand leadership and knowledge in their field.

Different types of organizations award administer and fund such fellowships.

  • Universities and colleges
  • Corporations
  • Nonprofits
  • Foundations
  • Media groups
  • Governmental entities

What is the Difference between Fellowships and Scholarships?

There is a key difference between these two kinds of aid. Fellowship is a grant given to students who want to pursue research in a specific topic. Scholarship is an award to students who meet the criteria and usually given by the government or other organizations. Fellowships usually include a service commitment. This may last for a period of one or more years although time frames vary.

A fellowship is a kind of grant. People interchange the terms because they both reward your academic achievement. Also, as a fellow, you’ll usually receive funding while pursuing a specific interest. Most scholarships are based on financial need, merit or another qualifier.

What is the Difference between Fellowships and Internships?

In an internship, a student works in exchange for experience at the hiring company. Fellowships differ. They usually focus on helping a student develop as a professional. The company they intern for may only hire people with experience. So, for a college student, an internship may be a way to test drive a career choice in real time. With the experience working in a role under their belt an internship might turn into a job once the student graduates.

Also, some degree programs entail internships. In this way, they are a way to help students apply course material in real time. some may be “paid” or “unpaid”. But either way, students may receive college credit for the time they spend interning.

Also, on growing one’s knowledge base through quality research. In fact, to apply for one, you usually need to propose a project that you plan to complete during your fellowship.

Both internships and fellowships share one thing. They may help your career get underway. But other than that, the two differ in a few key ways. The application process, the target applicant, the experience itself, and the money. An internship after all, is not a grant.

Unlike internships, many fellowships are for students pursuing a master’s degree or PhD. Such students may look at a fellowship as a way to enhance their academic studies. Plus, one earns the title ‘fellow”. Something that may help your resume stand out given fellowships are competitive.

Are All Fellowships Paid?

Fellowships are short-term funding opportunities. Many are funding for a research project. The funds usually last 9- to 12 months. Students may receive the money in the form of tuition credits and/or stipends.

Most fellowships do come with a tuition stipend. A stipend is a living allowance. It often pays out in fixed amounts rather than an hourly wage. Fellows don’t usually have to clock hours, though they do need to complete their project on the date agreed.

The money from a fellowship may not equal the salary of a full-time job. In fact, the amounts paid vary quite a bit. Some schools (Berkeley is one) offer a range of from $10,000 to up to $25,000 (for a 9 to 12 month-program).

But there are unpaid fellowships too. One example is the Medical Missionaries Global Health Fellowship. This program is for recent college graduates, grad students, or professionals. It provides the opportunity to gain experience in health care delivery in Haiti. Rather than tuition, the fellowship pays living expenses and other costs.

How Long is a Fellowship?

The length of a fellowship varies. Some professional fellowships last 4 to 6 months, or up to a year. Terms may be flexible, full or part-time. For instance, a fellowship for a PhD student may last a few years. Doctoral students usually need about 4 years of study plus, one year for their dissertation writing.

What are the Benefits of a Fellowship?

Fellowships may be hard to secure but come with many potential benefits. Here are 7 benefits of the different fellowship programs available to students and professionals.

1. Financial Aid

Many people use a fellowship program to help them fund grad school. The allowance is often helpful for master’s, doctoral and post-doctoral students. However, there are opportunities for undergraduates too.

At last, check the NCES reports that 1.58% of full-time master’s students received institutional financial aid. Figures are higher for full-time doctoral students. This group includes PhD and professional doctorate students. About 2.12% and 2.25% of these student groups received institutional aid.

2. Incentives

There may be other incentives that tag along too. Fellows may receive healthcare coverage, student loan repayment help, and money for housing. Some also provide research support and cover travel to and from conferences.

3. Tax Benefits

A fellowship may or may not be tax-free. If you use the money you receive to pay tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment for courses, it may be tax-free. If you use the money to pay other expenses, it may count as income. Then it is taxable.

4. Quality research skills

If you are drawn to research, securing one may add credibility to it. Along with monetary support, you may be able to interest other organizations and/or foundations to fund you as well. In some programs you may work alongside a mentor. Mentoring is one way to pick up quality research methods from people with direct experience.

5. Practical experience

A fellowship entails project work that may help you develop a variety of skills and experience. Most require you to meet challenges and take on a lot of responsibility. This experiential learning may not be available to someone starting out in an entry-level job.

6. Training and professional growth

Many fellowships provide intensive training. For instance, fellows often take part in academic seminars. These may help them develop a framework and apply theory. Fellows often conduct in-depth research too. This may involve much time spent on analysis of their issue area. In other aspects of their curriculum, fellows are able to develop many skills:

  • Leadership
  • Community organizing
  • Public speaking
  • Grant writing
  • Media relations

7. Kickstart your career

A fellowship may kick-start or enhance a career. You can add it to an academic CV. While working as a fellow, you may work with other professionals too. These connections may expand your networks and opportunities.

How Do You Get a Fellowship?

Winning a spot in a fellowship program may entail a nomination, interview and/or presentation.

There are two primary sources of fellowship grants:

  1. School-based (internal). They come from a college, university or university department.
  2. Independent (external). Foundations, government agencies and other groups may provide a way to study in the U.S. or abroad.

Once you identify a program you want to pursue, you may have to apply. Each program comes with details of how to do this and what to include. You may, for example, need to submit:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Names and addresses of references
  • A detailed proposal

Different Types of Fellowships

1. Graduate. These programs help pay for some of the costs of grad school. Tuition, housing, cost of living, and expenses to attend academic conferences. For example, the American Association of University Women offers programs for minority women pursuing doctorates.

2. Medical. These programs are for doctors, out of medical school and after their residency. They often provide more training in a niche area. For example, the American Psychiatric Association has a programfor medical students who want to focus in HIV psychiatry.

3. Post-doctoral. These programs are for people who completed their PhD. But want to continue their research and thus seek extra funding. A popular source is the National Sciences Foundation.

List of Fellowships

Check out our list of fellowships below. We have 441 awards worth $17M.

Hennessy Fellows

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) in partnership with Hennessy offers the Hennessy Fellows Program for high achieving graduate students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs).

Total: $50000

Awards: 1

Deadline: December 06, 2020

GCA Fellowship in Ecological Restoration

This grant is available to support specialized graduate study in ecological restoration at an accredited university in the United States.

Total: $8000

Awards: 1

Deadline: December 31, 2020

Switzer Environmental Fellowship Program-California

This award is available for U.S. graduate students who are attending an accredited institution in California or New England. Students must have completed either one semester of coursework at the master’s level or two years of doctoral coursework and must be pursuing a career related to the environment.

Total: $20000

Awards: 20

Deadline: January 06, 2021

Ford Foundation Fellowships – Dissertation Fellowship

Through its Fellowship Programs, the Ford Foundation seeks to increase diversity of U.S. college and university faculties. Awards will be made for study in eligible research-based Ph.D. or Sc.D. programs. All students who are U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents are eligible to apply.

Total: $75000

Awards: 3

Deadline: January 07, 2021

Cornell Fellowship

The Cornell Fellowships provide one semester or one academic year of funding, including stipend, tuition, and individual health insurance. This award is taken in the first year, unless otherwise noted by your field. These fellowships may be awarded to U.S. students, permanent residents, or international students.

Total: $57536

Awards: 1

Deadline: January 15, 2021

AAGS Graduate Fellowship Award

This award is intended for graduate students enrolled in or accepted to a program in geodetic surveying or geodesy. Preference will be given to students with at least two years of prior experience in a surveying profession.

Total: $2000

Awards: 1

Deadline: January 22, 2021

ASA Minority Fellowship Program

This award is available for minority students who are currently enrolled in and have completed at least one year of a graduate program in sociology and are working toward a Ph.D. in the field.

Total: $90000

Awards: 5

Deadline: January 31, 2021

Deborah Partridge Wolfe International Fellowship

This fellowship is available for international students enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate program in the United States.

Total: $3000

Awards: 3

Deadline: February 01, 2021

Mildred Cater Bradham Social Work Fellowship

This fellowship is available to members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., who are pursuing a graduate or prefessional degree in social work. Applicants must be enrolled full time.

Total: $2000

Awards: 2

Deadline: February 01, 2021

Intercollegiate Studies Institute Graduate Fellowship

This fellowship is available for U.S. graduate students who plan to teach at the college/university level. Students must be enrolled full time in a non-professional program of study.

Total: $15000

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 01, 2021

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