Springing into New Scholarships

Bel Carden, Staff Writer

Spring is considered a season of change, growth and newness.  Spring at the University also brings a new set of spring scholarships and fellowship opportunities on campus for those studying the humanities. These prestigious scholarships are open to rising juniors, seniors and recent alums interested in studying and/or working within a wide range of subjects and fields. 

Post-baccalaureate Awards

These awarded programs and scholarships grant selected juniors, seniors and recent alums the opportunity to further their learning with full scholarships to graduate schools, doctoral training and/or research. They are: The Fulbright Program, The Davies-Jackson Scholarship, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, the Knight-Hennessy Scholars, the Marshall Scholarship, the George J. Mitchell scholarship, The National Institutes of Health Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program, the Rhodes Trust Scholarships, the Schwarzman Scholars and The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. 

Professional Fellowships

Similar to the post-baccalaureate awards, these fellowships offer selected juniors, seniors and recent alums the opportunity to further their professional careers as research assistants and/or social impact leaders at nonprofit organizations. They are: the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program and the FAO Schwarz Fellowship. 

Foreign Service Scholarships 

Lastly, the foreign service scholarships offer selected juniors, seniors and recent alums the opportunity to pursue endeavors related to foreign service. They are: the Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship Program, the Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship and the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship. 

Public Service Award for Juniors

There is also the Harry S. Truman scholarship, which is a public service award specifically for juniors, that grants selected individuals who are dedicated to careers in public service the opportunity to pursue graduate or professional school with a full scholarship. 

Supplemental Language Instruction 

This program consists of the Critical Language Scholarship, which provides intensive language and cultural immersion for American students whose intended career relies on one of the 15 languages included in the program. The following of these programs are also offered to international students: The Fulbright Program, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, the Knight-Hennessy scholars, the Rhodes Trust Scholarships, the Schwarzman Scholars, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program and the FAO Schwarz Fellowship. 

For all of these awards and scholarships, students must be nominated by fellow peers, professors, faculty and staff and alumni. Self-nominations are also permitted, though other nominations are preferred. Once nominated, individuals have the opportunity to express their interest in any of the awards and scholarships they qualify for by submitting their resume and/or cover letter along with an interest form. Then there is another selection process through the Fellowship and Research department of the University. Finally, nominated and selected individuals must complete lengthy applications throughout the summer that are due next fall. 

Further information on these scholarships and their criteria can be found on this document: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GHp51E1u9qoaCN7NJSidsd0trylXZ_iw/edit

Awarded Alums

Some recent programs that University students have been applicants for include the Gates Cambridge and NIH Oxford-Cambridge, which Will Snyder ’21 applied to; the Fulbright to teach English in Mexico and Pickering and Payne Foreign Service awards given to Maren Burling ’19; the Fulbright to earn a master’s degree in the UK that Brennan Yee ’21 applied to and Nicole Reddig ’22, who was also an applicant for a Truman award. 

When asked for advice or tips about approaching the application process, Burling encourages students to “find what motivates you and what you want to learn more about and try to stick with that. Sticking with it will not only bring up possible leadership opportunities which really stand out in any application but also mentors. I also got involved in research as an underground which solidified my interest in this field and also provided me with a wonderful faculty member who wrote my reference.” Burling expressed the importance of discovering a topic that you are truly interested in along with the additional bonus of pursuing one of these programs: improving professional relationships with your professors. 

Snyder, recipient of the Gates Cambridge scholarship, described his experience going through the application process as “sort of like a marathon.” He began the brainstorming ways to make his application stand out a year before it was due. He said the application process is a “way to learn a lot about yourself as you recall stories from long ago and how it relates.”

Through applying to such programs, one is forced to look inward and discover what broader impact they hope to have on their community and with their work. “There is much to gain from these scholarships because they will set you up to figure out what are those broader impacts that you want to have with your work,” Snyder said.  

Professional Advice

Director for Undergraduate Fellowships and Research Margaret Marr emphasizes that constructing the perfect scholarship applications can be a months long process. “I try to break the work [for students] up so it’s manageable. We get a first draft of one thing, then we polish that draft, then do another essay and again polish those so that it builds on itself over time,” Marr said.  

The application process begins in March with nominations, selections made in April and the applications drafted over the summer. Following the end of the summer, a review committee is put together to help the applicants get feedback on their application. 

The University’s opportunities are not limited to these spring scholarships; there are also a set of scholarships and fellowships that open in the fall for applications. For the Fall Scholarship process, nominations occur in October, selections in November and the application draft process is throughout winter break. They are: the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, the Beinecke Scholarship, the Boren Scholarship and Fellowship, the Udall scholarship, the Fulbright UK Summer Institute and the SMART Scholarship.

More information on these programs can be found on the university’s fellowship and research page as well as the following handouts: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/KtbxLthlvdjKPPQPxKwWHSMWWCGPmqcDmL?projector=1&messagePartId=0.1

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#search/nly003%40bucknell.edu/FMfcgxwLswKXxKZwKMTSfsxcpzfqXHJH?projector=1

For students who have been nominated this spring semester, good luck on your application process! For underclassmen who are interested in these outstanding opportunities, be sure to make your efforts stand out and form relationships with peers, professors, faculty and staff!

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