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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Winning a spot in a fellowship program may entail a nomination, interview and/or presentation.
There are two primary sources of fellowship grants:
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:
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.
Check out our list of fellowships below. We have awards worth .
Deadline: January 22, 2021
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The sources for school statistics and data is the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The information on this site is for informational and research purposes only and is not an assurance of financial aid.