The University of Pennsylvania is now accepting applications for its Academic Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. According to the press release, the program will award postdoctoral fellowships to scholars and educators from different backgrounds, races and ethnic groups and from other diverse groups whose life experience, research experience and employment background will contribute to Penn’s academic excellence. Fellowships are available for postdoctoral training in all areas of study at Penn. Successful candidates will receive highly mentored scholarly and research training as well as courses and workshops to enhance their research success skills and prepare them for a faculty position in a major university.
Fellows receive a stipend of $43,000 in year 1 with $2,000 increments in years 2 and 3, as well as annual allowances for travel ($2,000) and research ($5,000), and a one-time relocation expense of $5,000. The deadline for applications is August 1.
The Fund for Theological Education (FTE) offers Ministry and Doctoral Fellowships for students at the undergraduate, Master’s or doctoral level who are preparing for pastoral ministry or teaching. One of the larger fellowships, FTE’s Volunteers Exploring Vocation Fellowship, provides $10,000 to a Master’s student who volunteers for one year with one of Volunteer Exploring Vocation’s (VEV) partner organizations. FTE also offers a number of Doctoral and Dissertation Fellowships of $10 – $20K for African-American and minority students.
FTE offers some fantastic tips for preparing your fellowship application, including tips for writing the personal statement. They say:
Well-written and focused personal statements present that students case for admission into a Ph.D. program. They should clearly state the applicant’s educational and vocational goals, describe prior academic training and practical experience as the background for doctoral study, and articulate how they see their own plans fitting with the specific degree program.
What this means in a nutshell is don’t be wishy-washy about your goals. If you’re unsure what you want to do in your career long-term, that’s ok. But for the purpose of preparing a successful fellowship application, pick one potential path and speak about that path with confidence, and be sure to note how the fellowship will help you get there. Good luck!
The Woodson Institute’s Residential Fellowship Program at the University of Virginia is designed to provide pre-doctoral and post-doctoral researchers focussed on African-American and African studies the ideal environment for writing dissertations and manuscripts. Woodson Fellowships focus on applicants whose research is substantially completed in order to provide them with the maximum amount of time to complete their dissertations and manuscripts within the fellowship term. Woodson Fellows have access to one another, as well as the large intellectual community at the University of Virginia, to discuss and exchange works-in-progress.
The Woodson Fellowship has a track record for making an impact in diversifying the faculty ranks and academic topics related to the African diaspora at universities all across the United States. Many Woodson Fellows have gone on to gain academic positions at universities such as The University of California, Berkeley; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of Michigan; and Princeton University.
Quotes from recent Woodson Fellows:
“In many of my job interviews, my potential employers spoke highly about the national reputation of the fellowship program and often commended me on securing such a competitive fellowship.”
“I was also in a better position than a lot of these candidates, precisely because I had had that invaluable, uninterrupted time to deepen my argument and, consequently, grow more articulate about it and more confident as a scholar.” Read more
Woodson Fellowships are for two years, pay an annual stipend of $20,000, and include health insurance and many other benefits. The pre-doctoral fellowships and post-doctoral fellowships have different requirements and responsibilities. Please visit the website for full details.
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Our step-by-step guide for a competitive fellowship application
1. Create a plan
2. Project proposal ideas
3. Talk to current / former fellows
4. Prepare an effective resumé
5. Find a host institution
6. Write a compelling personal statement
7. Prepare a strong project proposal
8. Get great recommendation letters (P1)
9. Get great recommendation letters (P2)
10. Nail the individual and group interviews