How to Apply for Fellowships

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The Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowships serves all students and alumni of GVSU, including all majors or areas of study. Many awards that we support specifically target underrepresented students in higher education. Opportunities encompass (inter)nationally competitive award competitions, supporting a wide range of enriching experiences, including study abroad, graduate study, research, language study, teaching, service learning, internship, community and service opportunities. 

As you get started, explore our List of Opportunities and our website to see what's available. 

Many scholarship or fellowship applications are due 6-18 months before your program begins. Therefore, we recommend planning ahead and contacting the Meijer Office of Fellowships as soon as you are ready to begin discussing your options... the earlier, the better! 

How Do I Begin if I want to Apply for a Fellowship Opportunity?

1. Explore Opportunities

  • Use our List of Opportunities to explore what’s out there and might be right for you
  • Read websites carefully - what is the opportunity all about? What is its purpose? When is the application due? Are you eligible for that opportunity?
  • Some inter/nationally competitive fellowship opportunities have internal GVSU deadlines. Contact us for more information

2. Meet with the Fellowships Advisor

  • Don’t feel like you need to have one opportunity already selected - we can brainstorm together!
  • Come prepared to look at websites together and to take some notes so that you can explore further and/or do a deeper dive into specific opportunities
  • Email [email protected] for more suggestions about how to get ready for a productive first meeting about fellowship possibilities

3. Brainstorm, Journal, Start Writing

  • Spend some time reflecting on your passions, goals and dreams
  • Create a google folder titled “My Application Drafts and Brief Bios” - and then noodle away! Write about your background, values, academic career and future plans… get some stuff on paper (or on a google doc)
  • Take time to explore the webinars and webpages about creating strong applications 
  • Respond carefully to each essay prompt as you develop your essays and short-answer responses
  • Copy the Fellowships Advisor on your google doc drafts when you are ready

4. Check Out Resources On Campus

There are many resources across campus to support students. 

5. Share Your Drafts, Revise, Revise Again, and Submit!

  • Email [email protected] for help submitting semi-finalist materials or for assistance in formally accepting an award
  • If your fellowship requires institutional endorsement, submit your work by the internal deadline and get ready to take notes and act on the feedback you receive
  • SUBMIT your work! (It’s best to do so BEFORE the deadline, as web portals may crash at the last minute with all of the activity)
  • Save email submission-received notifications, and prepare for a possible follow-up interview (for fellowships with fall deadlines, these usually occur in March and April)
  • BEST WISHES TO YOU! Take a big breath and a day just for yourself! No matter what happens with the external review process, a completed fellowship application is a major achievement! Save your application essays in that Google folder - your drafts are great preparation for other fellowship applications and for graduate-school application essays

Helpful Application Tips

  • Plan ahead.   Most competitive award applications require weeks, if not months, of preparation.
  • Carefully review eligibility criteria and make a check-list of application components.
  • Fully answer all essay prompts.
  • Visit Tips for Personal Statements.
  • Connect with the Fred Meijer Writing Center.
  • Proofread your application.

Page last modified September 11, 2023