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Fellowships and Funding FAQ

The Fellowships and Funding team are happy to help you plan fellowship experiences and identify awards to pursue. Please feel free to email, attend an information session, sign up for a 15-minute general advising appointment, or make a 30-minute appointment with an adviser.

Fellowships: An Overview

FAQ: What are fellowships?

Fellowships are amounts of money which are available to students for carrying out various kinds of projects, such as research, internships or public service projects. More information can be found in Getting Started on the Fellowships website.

FAQ: What kind of things do fellowships support?

Fellowships typically support purposeful activities that play into your academic or career goals such as:

  • internships 
  • research
  • public service projects
  • language learning

Visit the Fellowships and Funding Flyer Series to see examples of what some fellowships support.

FAQ: What fellowships are available?

Have a look on the Student Grants Database to find fellowship opportunities that match the project you are hoping to undertake.

FAQ: Are there fellowships for study abroad?

Study abroad is considered a highly structured experience and there are not many Yale fellowships available for structured experiences unless it is for language study abroad - Light, MacMillan, FLAS, Council on East Asian Studies, for example. For more information about funding for study abroad, please visit the Study Abroad website and review some of their Outside Scholarships. There are some additional External Funding Databases on the Fellowships website that may be helpful.

Many students have successfully funded immersive experiences abroad by undertaking independent research/projects or by participating in low or unpaid internships.The Planning Toolkits are useful resources for building a successful project and fellowship application.

FAQ: Can I apply for a fellowship to attend an interview, audition, or conference?

The vast majority of Yale fellowships support activities - research, independent projects, language study, low/unpaid internships - lasting at least 4 weeks. Many Yale fellowships have a longer duration requirement of 6 to 8 weeks.

The Professional Development Reimbursement for Yale College Seniors and Juniors is a program that was established to help offset costs associated with shorter term career related engagements and travel.

FAQ: How do I find out more about fellowships?

Visit our website and explore Getting Started.
Review our online information sessions and workshops.
Check the Fellowships Calendar for upcoming events and deadlines.


FAQ: Can anyone apply to fellowships?

Yes, but each fellowship has eligibility requirements which may be based on:

  • the type of activity the fellowship supports
  • your class year
  • the location you intend to carry out your project
  • other criteria

Eligibility requirements for specific fellowships can be found in the Student Grants Database.

FAQ: Why do the fellowships have eligibility requirements and why are they all different?

Yale College fellowships have eligibility requirements as they are funded through the generosity of donors who would like to provide Yale undergraduates with the opportunity to undertake a specific activity or have an experience in a specific region or country which would not be possible for that student without fellowship funding. The eligibility requirements of the fellowship competitions therefore reflect preferences expressed by the donor or support activities or experiences which hold some personal interest or meaning for the donor

FAQ: I'm a first semester senior and will be returning for one semester after the summer (fall OR spring). Can I apply for a summer fellowship?

Yes, you can apply for summer fellowships as long as you will be matriculated at Yale in either the fall or spring following the summer experience. You may not apply for Yale fellowships if you are withdrawn for any reason.

FAQ: I’m a senior, are there fellowships for after I graduate?

Yes, there are many fellowships available to support research, language learning or further study after graduation. More information can be found on the fellowships and funding website.


FAQ: What is the timeline for applying to fellowships?

The deadlines for Summer Fellowships for Yale College Students and Yale College Postgraduate Fellowships are usually in February but other fellowship deadlines vary. Please check the student grants database for fellowship-specific deadlines.

FAQ: Are the deadlines firm?

Yes, fellowship deadlines are firm.  In fairness to all applicants, we cannot accept any applications past the deadline.  Please see our fellowship policies for further information.

FAQ: When do I find out the results of fellowship competitions?

This varies from fellowship to fellowship. 

  • The results for the Spring Yale College fellowship competitions are typically announced in early April. 
  • The results for the Year-Long fellowships are typically announced in early March.
  • National competitions vary. Consult the individual fellowship instructions for further details.

FAQ: When are fellowship funds distributed?

Fellowship funds are usually dispersed during the month of May. Depending on the funded project, there will be additional material required prior to the distribution of any award(s). These include pre-departure forms, IRB review, and employer verification. Further information about requirements is communicated after fellowships have been awarded. Prompt submission of pre-departure material will expedite the payment process. The deadline for our office to process funds is June 30.

FAQ: Can I defer a fellowship award?

It is not possible to defer summer, term-time or post-graduate fellowships administered by the Office of Fellowships. If the student is eligble to apply in the next cycle, they may do so. It is typically not possible to defer nationally competitive awards - students should refer to the guidelines issued by the specific fellowship commission.

Recommendations and Language Evaluations

FAQ: What is the role of a Letter of Recommendation or Language Evaluation and whom should I ask?

Please refer to the Requesting Letters page on our website.

FAQ: Do I need a language evaluation?

If you are carrying out your project in a language other than your native language, you may need a language evaluation. In most cases, evidence of your proficiency in that language on your transcript will be sufficient. However, some fellowships require proof of your language level in order to be eligible to apply. In these cases, if the relevant language and your level of proficiency in that language is not evident on your transcript, you will need to request a language evaluation from your most recent language instructor. You will make this request via your fellowship application.


FAQ: If I am applying for an internship should I wait to hear from the internship before I apply for a fellowship?

You may apply for fellowship funding to support an internship before you have confirmation that you have been accepted onto the internship. You should make the situation clear in your fellowship proposal.

FAQ: I am applying for/have been accepted into a low-paid internship. Can I apply for a fellowship to supplement my income?

Yes, you may apply for fellowship funding to supplement a low/unpaid internship. However, to be eligible for Yale funding, your total compensation amount cannot exceed $2,000 (USD).

FAQ: Can my internship be part-time and still eligible for fellowship funding?

To be eligible for a summer fellowship, the position must be at least 30 hours/week, for at least 8 weeks over the summer months.

FAQ: I’m applying for multiple internships. Should I list them all in my fellowship application?

You should focus your fellowship application on one internship – either the internship you most want or the internship you think you are most likely to get.

FAQ: I am applying to carry out a project/internship with an organization but won’t know where I will be placed until the fellowship deadline has passed. What should I do?

If you are applying to carry out an internship or project with an organization that may place you in one of several locations, you should make this clear in your fellowship proposal. Be sure to outline the tasks you expect to be undertaking (these should be the same or similar for each location) and indicate the locations you may be assigned to. Create a budget which would be sensible, based on the location with the highest living costs and state that you have done this in the “budget details” of the budget section of your application. If you are awarded, the committee will determine the award amount accordingly, once the location of your project/internship has been revealed to you.

FAQ: What if I am awarded a fellowship but am then not accepted onto my internship?

If you were awarded a fellowship but find out that your internship application was not successful, be in touch with the fellowship administrator as soon as possible. If you have been accepted onto an alternate internship that is similar to the one you originally proposed and meets the eligibility requirements of the fellowship, the committee may allow the fellowship to be used towards the alternate internship. If that is not possible, you will decline the fellowship so that the funds can go to the next short-listed applicant.

FAQ: What if I have to accept my internship before I know whether I have fellowship funding?

If you hear that you have been accepted onto an internship or program and the deadline for accepting the internship or program comes before you will find out whether you have been successful in securing fellowship funding (for example, the deadline for accepting your internship is in March and you will not find out about fellowship funding until April), you may have to decline the internship or program. 

It is most important to talk to your employer about this situation first. Some employers are able to offer more flexibility than others in accepting offers


FAQ: Is there a cap on funding?

Some fellowships have an upper limit to how much funding is awarded per student. Other fellowships award a fixed amount to each awardee each year. Fellowships which do not have an upper limit or do not award a fixed amount expect applicants to submit a well-researched, sensible and feasible budget as part of the application process. Read more about creating a fellowship budget on our website.

FAQ: What are my chances of being awarded a fellowship?

Your chances of winning a fellowship competition vary from fellowship to fellowship. 

  • Some fellowship funds have very limited funds but a large application pool. 
  • Some fellowships are very niche and have fewer applicants.
  • Put together a very strong, well-researched and well thought-out fellowship application.
  • Match your project to a fellowship(s) which supports the activity you hope to undertake. 
  • Apply to as many fellowships as you and your project are eligible for, without spreading yourself too thinly. 
  • Keep track of which fellowships you applied to and your application materials.

FAQ: How much do people usually get?

  • Some fellowships have an upper limit to how much funding is awarded per student. 
  • Other fellowships award a fixed amount to each awardee each year. 
  • If there is no upper limit or fixed amount, applicants  are expected to submit a well-researched, sensible and feasible budget with their application.

Review guidelines for creating a fellowship budget on our website.

FAQ: What happens if I am awarded funds from more than one fellowship?

If you are awarded funding from more than one fellowship you must inform the Grant Administrator for each fellowship as soon as possible so that an equitable arrangement can be made between fellowships. You may be awarded funds from more than one fellowship but not beyond your submitted budget.

FAQ: What if I can’t afford to do my proposed project/internship without fellowship funding?

If you cannot afford to do an internship without fellowship funding, you will need to explore other funding options and be prepared to put these into action. Due to the competitive nature of fellowships, funding is not guaranteed. Fellowship competitions which support internships are scarce and very competitive and you are advised to take this into account when making your plans. A list of alternative funding sources is available here.

FAQ: Are fellowship awards considered taxable income?

Fellowship awards are taxable and on our website you will find information regarding fellowships and the IRS. Taxes may not be included in your budget.


FAQ: What happens if my plans change?

If your plans change completely before fellowship awards have been announced, and you no longer intend to carry out the project you outlined in your fellowship proposal, you can withdraw from fellowship competitions by letting the Fellowships Office know.

If you have been awarded a fellowship and you no longer intend to carry out the project for which you were awarded the fellowship, you must contact the Fellowships Office as soon as possible to decline or return the award so that the funds can be reallocated to another short-listed applicant.

FAQ: I am interested in doing several different projects – can I apply for fellowship funding for all of them?

  • You may only submit one application to each individual fellowship. 
  • You may only submit one application to each common application. 
  • However, you may apply to more than one fellowship and submit a different proposal to each fellowship 
  • It is not recommended that you submit applications for more than three different projects.
For example, you may apply to the Summer Research Common Application with a proposal to carry out research in Peru and submit a separate application to the Heinz Fellowship with a proposal to undertake an internship in Washington DC.

It is expected that you are applying for fellowship funding to support a single project or activity that you are committed to and passionate about. It is sensible and understandable that you would have a plan B and even a plan C in case your main project doesn’t work out. Submitting applications for your main project and also having a plan B through to a plan Z can make it appear to committees that you are not serious about or committed to any of the proposed projects.

FAQ: Can I do more than one activity in a summer?

It is up to you how you plan your summer! However, be aware that if you receive fellowship funding you are essentially entering into a contractual agreement to carry out your proposed project in the location and time frame presented to the committee. If you do not meet the minimum duration eligibility requirements you may be required to return some or all of the funding awarded to you. Pay attention to the minimum duration eligibility requirements for the fellowship(s) you are interested in and be realistic about what you can feasibly achieve in the time you have. There will be other summers and other opportunities – it is usually more valuable to thoroughly immerse yourself in one activity and do it well than to jump from one activity to another and not have the time to fully engage with and reflect upon your experience.

FAQ: Can I get funding for multiple activities happening at the same time?

It is possible to get funding for more than one experience over the summer (see Q above). However, if the experiences overlap, only one will be funded. Projects must satisfy the minimum duration requirements of the fellowship and be your sole, full-time activity, conducted without interruption, for the duration of the experience.

FAQ: Can summer fellowships be used during the term time?

Most summer fellowships only support experiences that are completed in the summer (between the last day of the spring semester and the first day of the fall semester). In these cases, if the minimum duration requirement of your fellowship is not reached by the start of the fall semester, you may be required to return a portion of your award.

FAQ: Is it possible to be awarded fellowship funding if my plans are not yet 100% fixed? (For example, I haven’t heard back from an internship I hope to do or I don’t know where the organization I plan to work with is going to place me)

By the time you complete a fellowship application, you should have as many aspects as possible of your project, internship or research already planned.  However, the fellowship committees recognize and understand that not all plans can be 100% certain before the fellowship competition cycle. If you find out more information once you have submitted your application, you should inform the Fellowships Office as soon as possible. If you are awarded fellowship funding for your project, you will not receive your funds until you have informed the Fellowships Office of your final plans.

FAQ: I am travelling abroad for my fellowship experience. Will I need a visa?

Visa requirements vary by host country and country of citizenship. It is your responsibility to determine if you will need a visa. Some helpful resources include:

If you would like to pay to use a third-party service, one option is to use CIBT Visas. As a student, you can log in with the Yale account number (40634) to get the Yale discount. Confirm with CIBT that, based on your immigration status, you are eligible to use a third-party service and do not need to apply for the visa in person. If you use CIBT, we recommend that you use their online (instead of paper) application and use your own shipping label to avoid unnecessary costs.

FAQ: How can I learn more about applying for a passport?

U.S. citizens should visit the U.S. Department of State's website for information about renewing a passport. International students should research passport renewal for their country of citizenship and be aware of how renewal may impact their U.S. student visa.