When you meet with a fellowship advisor, you will be working with someone dedicated to helping you discover who you are, where you’re going and which nationally competitive fellowships, grants, and scholarships can help you get there. We are guided by a professional code of ethics.
- Advice on programs and activities to strengthen your educational experience;
- Information on fellowships and other opportunities to help you achieve your goals;
- Support and assistance leading to and throughout the fellowship application process, including how to strengthen essays and interview skills;
- Guidance for securing strong letters of recommendation.
Whether or not you are awarded a fellowship, the process will give you experience in articulating your goals and advocating for your intellectual interests — valuable skills when you apply for an internship, a job or to further education.
Read through the menus below to learn more about each step of the fellowship advising and application process.
Before your appointment, think about what you want to get out of a fellowship program, the duration of the program, and whether or not you want to travel outside of the United States. With this in mind, browse the opportunities available in our Fellowships Database. That will help you make the most of your time with your advisor.
The core of every fellowship journey is the reflection applicants do about who they are, what they want and what’s worth wanting. Think about what excites you and where you would like to be in five years or so.
Answering those questions is a lifelong process, so be ready to revise and refine your answers over the course of your time at Mizzou.
Identifying your goals is the beginning of the process, and fellowships are just one of the ways you’ll need to raise your skills to achieve those dreams. Fellowships applications, whether for graduate school, research internships, or study abroad scholarships, often ask for evidence of your leadership and service activities as well as your academic achievement.
These are general tips for raising your skill level at Mizzou:
- Strive for academic excellence in challenging courses.
- Pursue activities that develop your leadership and communication skills.
- Seek campus and community service experiences, including Service Learning courses.
- Explore undergraduate research.
- Get to know your instructors each semester and develop mentors, and make sure your instructors get to know you!
- Consider studying abroad and learning a foreign language.
The programs listed below offer great opportunities for students to gain skills and tools needed to apply and compete for national and international fellowships.
To submit the most complete application that accurately represents you, your interests, and your goals, it is important to start the application early.
Every fellowship is different, but nearly all of them require a version of a personal statement. This short piece of writing is your chance to convey your passion and personality in the application: who you are as a person, why you want to the fellowship and how it will prepare you for a future career path, what distinguishes you from the other applicants, and how you will contribute to the program itself. If you dedicate significant effort and thought into this portion of the application and meet regularly with your fellowships advisor for critiques and suggestions, you will stand out to review committees that read through hundreds of applications.
- The Quest of Composing the Personal Statement (PDF) – Advice for writing a personal statement from the former MU Fellowships Office Director
- The Do’s and Don’ts of Personal Essay Writing (PDF) (by A. Scott Henderson, Furman University)
Fellowship advisors recommend working through at least four drafts for all essays that comprise a fellowship application to help you submit your most polished writing. Submit your work to Fellowship Writing Support— our online essay submission portal — to receive personalized feedback from the advising team. This is the quickest and most preferred way to receive feedback on your essays.
Many fellowship programs require that you obtain at least two letters of recommendation, usually from faculty members. Before even beginning an application, think about who you might ask. What professors have you visited during office hours and engaged with regularly in class? Who conducts research that interests you? Once you decide on a faculty member to write a letter of recommendation, bring that person your unofficial transcript, a clean draft of your personal statement, resume, and descriptions of the papers and presentations that you completed in their class.
If you’re writing a letter of recommendation, this short document is a helpful resource:
- Writing Strong Letters of Recommendation (PDF) – The step-by-step process to formulating and writing a good letter, along with lists of terms that demonstrate performance.
Some fellowships, such as Fulbright and Truman, require an interview for finalists. This is a helpful resource to prepare for one-on-one or committee interviews:
- Interviewing for National Fellowships (PDF) (by Yale University Office of Fellowship Programs)
The fellowships process helps you explore your interests, build skills, articulate goals and develop mentor relationships. Going through the process might open your eyes to growth opportunities on campus and the community which will make you an even stronger candidate for the next fellowship you apply for. And even if you never receive a fellowship, these are important competencies for your continued studies and your future career.