We thought that title would catch your attention! Here is some advice for making your application as strong as possible.
Strong candidates are those whose background and experiences match the selection criteria and mission of an award. This means that strong candidates will have thought carefully about how their experiences and ambitions align with the purpose and values of an award. You can learn more about specific awards on this website and by attending workshops offered by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.
Carefully consider award criteria and how you may be able to build on your past experiences in order to align with them. It is also helpful to:
- Become engaged in your community and demonstrate effective leadership
- Maintain a high GPA in a challenging course curriculum
- Cultivate relationships with tenured or tenure-track faculty who can write strong letters of recommendation that speak to your individual strengths
Begin gathering information about possible scholarship/fellowship opportunities early in your undergraduate career. A great way to get started is to attend a fellowship information session hosted by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.
Scholarship and fellowship applications are often due well in advance of the actual award term, so it is necessary to plan ahead—these applications require a great deal of preparation and several revisions.
Whom you ask for reference letters depends somewhat on the selection criteria for the particular award. In general, you want to ask tenured or tenure-track faculty with whom you have worked closely and who can speak to your specific strengths and likelihood to succeed.
If this is an academic award…
In terms of co-op employers, selection committees typically look for people who are in positions of authority who know you well and can speak to the specific strengths outlined within the fellowship criteria.