Fellowships Primer and Referral Process

Please let us know as you work with promising students who are (or may be in future) outstanding candidates for competitive fellowships. We will follow up! Our referral system is easy to use:  simply complete the short CUSE Referral Form and we will connect with the student whom you refer.

Quick note:  the 'fellowships' umbrella includes inter/nationally competitive opportunities within three buckets: 

1) nationally competitive funding for university-administered study abroad;

2) undergraduate opportunities for students *while they are undergraduates* (including summer research experiences, summer institutes such as the US-UK Fulbright Summer Institute, immersive and intensive summer international experiences not administered by the university such as the Critical Languages Scholarship program, and prestigious awards that assist with the student's college costs such as the Goldwater, Udall, NOAA Hollings and SMART programs); and

3) opportunities for students who are *soon to graduate* or who *have graduated* from Grand Valley, including post-commencement opportunities for significant international service (Peace Corps and more), teaching English abroad (Fulbright, JET and more), internships in DC and elsewhere (Coro Fellowship, Scoville Peace, FAO Schwarz, Gaither and more) and funding for graduate school abroad or in connection with particular fields of endeavor (Marshall, Mitchell, Rhodes, Gates, USAID Payne, State Department Pickering and Rangel, NSF-Graduate Research Fellowship, the DoD SMART program and many more).

Below are a few general thoughts on the characteristics of students who may be good candidates to explore inter/nationally competitive award opportunities.

In general, please let us know when you encounter a student who:

  • Goes beyond coursework through leadership inside and beyond the classroom
  • Has sought out and developed a noteworthy advisor-mentee relationship with you
  • Is among the top students you have encountered, with over a 3.5 or 3.7 GPA (depending on the award - not all are focused on GPA)
  • Demonstrates great potential within and outside the classroom
  • Exhibits a passionate interest in a complex, multifaceted problem or issue of national or global significance, with accompanying evidence of work on the issue in a local, community, state, national or international context

Please watch for students with significant leadership abilities or potential (especially those with international interests and/or intercultural skills). Students who display the following qualities may well be outstanding candidates for fellowship awards such as the Fulbright, Truman, Payne, Rangel or Pickering, Peace Corps and more). Please let us know when you encounter a student who:

  • Displays leadership and/or participates in service, and aspires to a career in public service within a variety of fields (state, national, international)
  • Has lived abroad and/or has a demonstrated interest in intercultural communication, foreign service (and at the undergraduate level in studying abroad) and learning other languages
  • Is bilingual or trilingual, with a commitment to advanced study and public service in state, national and international contexts
  • Has or is planning to complete a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA certificate, with demonstrated interest in /experience with intercultural communication (which may take many forms - student teaching, peer mentoring, writing center involvement, international-center involvement, volunteer work with a refugee-resettlement agency and more)

Please let us know when you encounter students with abilities and/or future potential in scientific inquiry, and especially a student who demonstrates:

  • An ability to pursue independent study or research or who has a record as a significant, contributing member of a research team
  • A well-grounded interest in (or record of) presenting in poster sessions or authoring/co-authoring research papers
  • Clear and well-grounded plans to pursue graduate study in a STEM field

And, finally, please let us know when you encounter students aspiring to graduate study who:

  • Are among the top students you have encountered, in any number of possible ways (academic achievement, substantial undergraduate research, clear disciplinary focus matching the academic record and co-curricular accomplishments) 
  • Would likely be eligible for admission into and would take full advantage of graduate work at a world-class institution
  • Express a sincere, knowledgeable commitment to a particular field of endeavor (STEM research, foreign service) and seeks a pathway program into the field

CUSE Referral Form

The Center for Undergraduate Scholar Engagement (CUSE) serves students interested in pursuing academic and creative experiences and projects outside the classroom. CUSE houses the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS) and the Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowships. Together we have a mission to provide students with the opportunity to conduct research, apply for competitive inter/national fellowship/scholarships, and more!

If you've met a student that might benefit from connecting with us and talking about opportunities beyond the classroom, please fill out the form below and we will be in touch with them. 


Page last modified November 17, 2023