Application Essays

Your essays are the most important parts of your fellowship application. It is where you get to tell your own story, control how people see your accomplishments, express your passions, show the obstacles you’ve overcome, demonstrate the scope of your ambitions, and in many cases get to explain your project or research idea. If you do it right, this is where you get to wow your readers.

Fellowship applications typically require a personal statement and in many cases an academic or project proposal.

Begin working on these essays as soon as you think you might be interested in applying for a fellowship, often at least 2-3 months in advance. You can expect to continue working on them until the day you submit your application. Every good essay goes through a process of drafting, reworking, rethinking, evaluating your thesis, getting outside readers to review your draft, rethinking again, revising again. Getting outside readers again. Revising. Again.

In this section, you'll find tips for writing the two kinds of essays you will most likely be asked to write for a fellowship application: personal essays and academic or project proposals. These essays should be different from one another, and you should use each to reveal different sides of yourself. You'll also find advice here on Essay Writing more broadly, giving you concrete ideas for pre-writing strategies , for evaluating and revising your thesis, and for revision.

We also have a database with sample fellowships essays. Login with your Drexel abc123 and password.