Fellowship FAQs


What is a fellowship?

We define a fellowship as a short-term, funded, merit-based opportunity to do something exceptional. 

What is the difference between a fellowship and a scholarship?

Scholarships generally provide funding to undergraduate students for university tuition and other study-related expenses. Scholarships can be either need-based or merit-based or both. Needs-based scholarships are rarely offered at the post-graduate level.

Fellowships are strictly merit-based. Professional fellowships provide funding for a unique work placement, professional training, and independent projects. Academic fellowships provide funding for research, or graduate and doctoral study. Fellowships are offered in virtually all disciplines, at all career levels.

Another type of funding for graduate study is called “full funding”, which comes from the university you are accepted to. Full funding is typically a Graduate Assistantship, which is a part-time employment opportunity with the university that offers a stipend plus the employment benefit of a partial or full tuition waiver.

In the ProFellow database, you can browse and bookmark:

  • Undergraduate Fellowships
  • Masters Fellowships
  • Doctoral Fellowships
  • Summer Fellowships
  • Postdoctoral Fellowships
  • Professional Fellowships
  • Fully Funded PhD Programs
  • Fully Funded Masters Program

Why should I apply for a fellowship?

Fellowships are competitive and provide an opportunity to do or create something with the financial support, resources and freedom that a typical job cannot offer. Fellowships enhance your resume and provide networking opportunities with leaders in your career field. A fellowship might be your best opportunity to travel abroad, be your own boss, attend graduate school or publish a piece of work.

How do I apply for fellowships?

Applying for a fellowship is similar to applying for graduate school. A fellowship application typically requires several components, including question responses, a personal essay, resume, transcripts and two or more recommendation letters. Many fellowships also require a project proposal, and some fellowships require you to secure a host institution during the application process. Fellowship finalists typically participate in an in-person interview with a selection committee.

Fellowship deadlines are typically 6 to 12 months in advance of the fellowship’s start date.

How can I find fellowships?

Sign-up to find fellowships in ProFellow’s free database that match your background, aspirations and interests.

How can I win a competitive fellowship or gain entrance to a fully funded graduate program?

Start with our Step-by-Step Guide For a Competitive Fellowship Application, read tips from fellowship winners and join our mailing list to receive our content and calls for applications. For more in-depth support, you can also join a live workshop or purchase one of our popular workshop replays. If you are a graduate school applicant seeking interested in applying to fully funded PhD and masters programs, learn more about Dr. Vicki Johnson’s Fully Funded Course and Mentorship Program. Register to join her free online Masterclass “The 5 Step Method to Achieve a Graduate Degree Debt-Free”.