How to Apply for Fellowships through Wesleyan

Though every fellowship is different, generally you will follow these steps:

  1. Get to know the basics by reading our overviews of featured fellowships (click on the Featured Fellowships menu at left or visit the Fellowships at a Glance page). Look into opportunities early! Ideally, you are first reading about a fellowship 6 months or more before the national deadline (use the overview of deadlines to get a sense of the best timing). It is never too early to express interest in a particular fellowship; write to to be added to email communications about specific fellowships.

  2. Request an appointment to meet with a fellowships advisor. We'll help you think through whether or not that particular fellowship is a good fit for you, given your qualifications and interests, and give you some next steps to prepare your application for the campus deadline.

  3. Begin preparing your application materials and planning who you might ask for letters of recommendation. Many fellowships, especially those that require applicants to arrange an affiliation or contacts abroad (e.g. Fulbright for independent research and the Watson Fellowship) require substantial research before writing your application essays. You will want to read the information about the fellowship closely, attend information sessions, and talk with fellowship alumni to get a good sense of how to design a compelling proposal.

  4. Draft and revise your application essays. Fellowship essays need to be ultra-polished; generating a draft and seeking feedback on it will increase your chances of success. Make sure to build in time to step away and reflect on your writing. You can get feedback on your writing from fellowships staff (book an appointment and submit your draft through the form at least 24 hours in advance), from the Writing Workshop, and friends, mentors, and faculty members who know you well. Be strategic about who you utilize at what stage in your writing process, starting with low stakes readers and moving up to those with expertise that can benefit your application.

  5. Submit your application by the campus deadline. Once you complete the initial application and submit it, a faculty committee will review your application and decide which candidates to nominate or endorse. You may also be interviewed at this stage. Not all candidates are endorsed. Sometimes there is a limit on the number each campus can send to the national competition or an applicant's materials do not meet the criteria.

  6. After the campus process, look for a notification about whether your application has been endorsed or nominated at the campus level. Each candidate who has submitted for the campus deadline will be notified via email of the committee's decision.

  7. Revise your application between the campus process and the national deadline. After the campus deadline, you'll have a chance to revise and polish your application essays using the feedback you received during the campus process.

  8. Submit your application before the national deadline. National deadlines are very strict, so do not wait until the last moment to submit!