ProFellow’s 2023 Year in Review

Dec 28, 2023
A white card the says "ProFellow 2023 Year in Review." Surrounding it are paper plates, party cups, gold and multi color confetti, and part streamers.
ProFellow 2023 Year in Review

What a whirlwind of a year it has been! In 2023, ProFellow marked numerous milestones, made possible by the support of our extensive readership and esteemed partners. As a woman-owned social enterprise launched in 2011, we operate with a small, committed team. Our core objective is to enhance the accessibility of funding opportunities for a broad audience while providing valuable insights into the competitive application process. Our content is a collaborative effort, crafted voluntarily by present and past fellows dedicated to paying it forward, aiming to motivate the upcoming generation of aspiring fellows.

ProFellow’s founder, Dr. Vicki Johnson, a four-time fellowship winner, created ProFellow in 2011 to address the barrier many students and professionals face with the inaccessibility of information on fellowships and funding awards. Previously, this knowledge was only shared within privileged circles. To contend with the norm, ProFellow has helped thousands of diverse fellowship seekers and graduate applicants discover and win funding opportunities to enhance their careers, avoid student debt, and do something exceptional!

Here are some of ProFellow’s biggest accomplishments in 2023…

More than 1 million individuals discovered funding opportunities and learned valuable application tips at ProFellow

In 2023, more than a million fellowship seekers, prospective graduate students, and university advisors globally visited More than 44,000 people signed up to access our free fellowships database, bringing the total number of our members to nearly 265,000. Database subscribers are able to bookmark fellowship and fully funded graduate programs to apply to in the future, as well as discover related application tips articles and interviews with current and former fellows of these programs that describe the fellowship experience, benefits, and application tips.

We published over 200 articles about fellowships and fully funded graduate programs.

Thanks to our incredible community, esteemed partners, and energetic team, we produced over 200 pieces of content in 2023! These include our weekly list of upcoming fellowship deadlines that are 8 weeks away. We also had many open calls for applications from our distinguished partners for numerous disciplines: medical research, international affairs, leadership, and more! Thanks to our vibrant community, we interviewed many successful and inspirational fellowship winners who are pursuing their passions with funded fellowships. They have also given back and provided advice and tips for prospective applicants!

We continued to create curated lists of fully funded PhD and fully funded Master’s programs, where regardless of your pursuits, you’re sure to find an opportunity sans tuition fees. We closed out the year by rounding up community favorites with the Top 10 Summer Fellowships, Top 10 Most Popular Fellowships, and The 10 Trendiest Fellowships. We also debuted two additional lists, Top 10 Most Popular Fully Funded PhD Programs and the Top 10 Most Popular Fully Funded Master’s Programs of 2023.

Here are some of our favorite articles from 2023:

We supported an incredible Intern team.

This year, we had the pleasure of working with 10 incredible interns who supported our content program and re-launched our International Fellows Network (IFN). During their internships, our Editorial Interns participated in content planning and production, interviewed fellowship winners, curated lists of programs, and wrote tips articles, and our IFN interns interviewed current IFN members to learn what they want from their membership, incorporated their feedback, and launched a new IFN website! We want to thank all of our 2023 interns, for all of their dedication and hard work to further our mission.

The 2023 ProFellow Interns

  • Juanita Gordon (Fall ‘22 – Spring ‘23)
  • Sydney Sanders (Fall ‘22 – Summer ‘23)
  • Harmain Rafi (Summer ‘23 – current)
  • Joanna Bascom (Summer ‘23)
  • Karly McChesney (Summer ‘23)
  • Leah Whang (Summer ‘23)
  • Anusha Natarajan (Fall ’23)
  • Chichi Tsai (Fall ‘23)
  • Max Sano (Fall ’23)
  • Rowan Glass (Fall ‘23 – current)

We re-launched ProFellow’s International Fellows Network for current and former Fellows.

In addition to our content team, we brought on interns to help re-launch the International Fellows Network (IFN). The IFN is a professional network of more than 2,000 international members representing current fellows and alumni from over 100 different fellowship programs globally. We aim to connect people working on social impact projects, research, and enterprises. The network promotes professional networking and shares opportunities for members interested in graduate school or other fellowships.

Since the pandemic, we had our first in-person dinner in New York City, where many Fellows local to the city shared a meal and stories of their notable accomplishments. The IFN teams also launched the new and improved IFN website! If you’ve won a fellowship, join the IFN by registering for free on the website.

Thank you to the IFN Interns Max Sano and Anusha Natarajan for their support with the relaunch!

We launched ProFellow’s new Write for Us initiative.

In the Fall of 2023, we also launched a Write for Us page where fellowship winners can share their expertise and journey by contributing an article or participating in a feature interview with our content team. This initiative propels our pay-it-forward mission, recognizing that your narrative might be the catalyst for someone to pursue a program they thought was out of reach. For example, check out this recent Write for Us interview with Anesce Dremen on how she leveraged multiple fellowships to immerse herself in Chinese culture and language!

Don’t miss out—subscribe to our newsletter, ProFellow Insider, and stay tuned for exclusive Write for Us announcements, where we extend special invitations to specific groups, such as women in STEM, to share their knowledge with our audience through engaging interview articles.

We hosted dozens of workshops and free webinars for fellowship and graduate school applicants.

In 2023, ProFellow founder Dr. Vicki Johnson hosted more than 50 talks, podcasts, webinars, workshops, and mastermind classes for prospective graduate students. These sessions included Dr. Johnson’s Personal Statement Bootcamp, Interview Secrets Workshop, Research Proposal Workshop, Resume & CV Workshop, How to Find and Apply for Mid-Career Fellowships, Fulbright Applicant Mastermind, and How to Publish Your First Academic Journal Article.

Dr. Johnson also had a bustling year with her Spring 2023 University Tour, where she visited 14 college campuses and institutions to give her signature How to Launch Your Social Impact Career Through Professional Fellowships seminar. In addition to the listed universities, Dr. Johnson also visited the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Grad Fair, Texas Christian University, North Carolina Central University, and West Texas A&M University, where she gave talks regarding the McNair Scholar’s Program on How to Negotiate Funding and Finding Fully Funded PhD and Master’s programs.

In addition to these events, Dr. Johnson was also invited to the Compass Check Podcast, sponsored by AmeriVet Securities and hosted by James Fitzgerald. She shared fellowships for military veterans and their families as they transition out of active duty and into corporate careers.

Stay tuned for announcements on more live events like these in 2024! And if you want to have Dr. Vicki Johnson lead a workshop at your university, head over to to book her for your next event!

Fully Funded Course students earned a cumulative $30 million in graduate school funding awards.

Thanks to Dr. Vicki Johnson’s award-winning Fully Funded Course and Mentorship Program, students from the 2023 cohort earned more than $10 million in funding offers. This brings the total since the course was launched in 2019 to over $30 million! The program led to incredible success stories, such as Clarice Robinson, who was awarded a fully funded PhD student in Social Work at the University of Chicago, a $350,000 package. See more success stories from our diverse students here. Congratulations to the Fully Funded Course students who began their PhD and Master’s programs this past year!

If you want to secure your fully funded graduate program, sign up for 2024’s cohort and see how ProFellow can help you win graduate funding.

Thank you for another awe-inspiring year!

A big thank you to the organizations, fellowship alumni, universities, and ProFellow readers who shared new fellowships for our database. Each addition enhances ProFellow, providing opportunities that inspire others to do something exceptional.

We’re excited to see what 2024 has in store for ProFellow. Thank you for your continued support!


Dr. Vicki Johnson, founder of ProFellow™, smiling and wearing a green blouse with her arms folded and leaning up against a wall at a university.Dr. Vicki Johnson is the Founder and CEO of ProFellow™, the world’s leading online resource for professional and academic fellowships. She is a four-time fellow, a top Ph.D. scholar, a Fulbright recipient, and an award-winning social entrepreneur. She is the Creator and Director of Fully Funded, an award-winning online course and mentorship program for graduate school applicants seeking to find and win full funding.

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