Tips for Grad Students from the Fellowships Office: Start Early
In March, the Drexel Fellowships Office introduced top tips for students interested in exploring graduate fellowships. Starting this month, we delve into these tips one by one.
Yes, we know. We all have great intentions to start earlier and be more organized. Sometimes that works out and sometimes not. But if you want to apply for competitive fellowships, starting early is critical. Here is why:
You’re busy. Really busy. But applying for fellowships takes time; think of it as taking an extra one-credit class. Starting early lets you fit this in without sacrificing too much, making it less stressful for you and increasing your odds for success.
Most graduate fellowships have deadlines a year before their funding starts. So while it’s far too late for this coming fall, now is the right time to get going for Fall 2013 funding.
The world of fellowships is complicated. There are federal grants and private foundations, pre-doctoral awards, dissertation fellowships, and so much more. You need time to understand what’s out there.
You want to assemble a team of enthusiastic supporters, from your faculty advisor to the Fellowships Office to other mentors you might have. We’re more likely to take your interest seriously if you come to us well in advance of a deadline.
You need time for revision, and lots of it. A recent survey by our office showed that more than half of Drexel graduate students who completed national fellowships applications started 2-5 months in advance of the deadline. In addition, more than half wrote five or more drafts of their application essays!
Get started by visiting the Fellowships Office website,
where you can look at student profiles, read advice and search our database. Make an appointment to talk in more depth and get support through the process. And don’t forget to talk to faculty mentors early!