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Tip: Check out the Step-by-Step Guide to Fellowship Applications!

Preparing a Fellowship Application

To apply for fellowship funding to support a purposeful activity, you will need to prepare a fellowship application.

Your fellowship application will comprise all or some elements of the following:

  • Fellowship proposal
  • Budget
  • Resume
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Language evaluation
  • Yale transcript

Steps in Preparing a Fellowship Application

1. Search the Stud​ent Grants Database and Determine Your Eligibility

Most of the information you will need about the Yale fellowships available, their eligibility requirements, their application processes and deadlines, can be found on the Student Grants Database. This is your first, and most important step, in identifying opportunities for which you and your proposed project may be eligible. If you're thinking of applying for an external fellowship, in addition to checking the Yale Database, see the official website of that fellowship in order to determine your eligibility.

2. Attend an Information Session

Fellowship Programs offers a range of information sessions - some focused on general opportunities and others focused on specific opportunities. Attending these will help you ask yourself the right questions and familiarize yourself with the fellowship application process. We offer information sessions and workshops seasonally, to help you prepare for upcoming deadlines: since most summer fellowships have winter or early spring deadlines, most information sessions and workshops for these are in the fall term; while many postgraduate fellowships have deadlines in the summer and fall, so events in preparation for those generally take place in the spring term. See the Fellowships calendar.

3. Attend a Workshop

The offices within CIPE offer many workshops, including sessions on writing fellowship proposals, crafting résumés, and networking:

4. Start Making Contacts

Establishing contacts can be daunting but it is a vital step in preparing your application materials and establishing the details of your project. Try these resources to help you to get started:

5. Discuss your Plans

Whatever you are planning, there are people at Yale who can guide you in making decisions about your proposed project. Discussing your plans with a Yale faculty member or adviser is especially important if you are planning a research project or applying for a fellowship for graduate study.

6. Make an Appointment

If you have specific questions about an application for a fellowship on which we advise, you can make a one-to-one advising appointment with a Fellowships Adviser.

7. Seek Advice from Past Candidates

Talk to those who have already gone through the process of planning their summer project or applying to a postgraduate fellowship. Their inside advice will help you to prepare for your own experience. Aside from your own social network, here are some other resources:

After an Application is Submitted

Yale Fellowships

After you submit an application for a Yale-funded fellowship, it will be reviewed for eligibility for the competition and then forwarded to the committee. Fellowship committees are comprised of faculty, deans, and other members of the Yale community with relevant expertise and experience. Some committees interview short-listed applicants before making awards while other committees do not interview. Fellowship Programs notifies all applicants of the outcome of competitions administered by our office, as soon as we can.

External Fellowships

The process is pretty similar to what happens after you submit an application for a Yale-funded fellowship, although there may be additional rounds of competition and a longer wait for results.

For awards requiring a campus evaluation or nomination process

Because there is an evaluation process which needs to take place before the external deadline, campus application deadlines can be a month or more in advance of the external deadline (check the Yale Student Grants Database for campus application deadlines for these awards). After the campus deadline, eligible applications are reviewed by a fellowship committee comprised of faculty, deans, and other members of the Yale community with relevant expertise and experience. Some committees interview short-listed applicants before making decisions, while other committees do not interview.

Fellowship Programs notifies all applicants for competitions administered by our office and, whatever the outcome, feedback may be sought from the Fellowships office to help going forward. Should your application be forwarded by the campus committee to the next stage of competition, you'll usually have a chance to finalize your application with the benefit of advice from the committee (when permitted--this is another reason for campus deadlines to be earlier than external deadlines). Applications are finalized and submitted, along with any additional required materials, by the official application deadline and are then considered by the external committee.

External fellowship committees

Applications for external fellowships which do not require a campus evaluation or nomination process go straight to the external fellowship committee. These fellowship committees are, like campus committees, comprised of people with relevant experience and expertise, most often including former winners of the fellowship at hand. They evaluate and short-list applications, and sometimes conduct semi-finalist and/or finalist interviews before making decisions and notifying awardees. (Not all external awards have the ability to notify unsuccessful applicants of the outcome.)

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