The most effective preparation for fellowship applications begins early in a student's academic career. Most fellowship applications require considerable time and effort — a successful application can't be completed in several weeks, but rather they require months or even more than a year to create.

  1. Knowing who you are and what you want is the first step in the fellowship application process.
    Reflect on your goals. Think about what motivates you, what you want to do next after Bucknell, and where you ultimately would like to end up professionally. If your goals have clarity, substance, and merit, fellowships can help make them a reality.
  2. Gather information and browse the opportunities listed here and elsewhere to find fellowships that might match with your interests and ambitions. 
    • Make sure to click through to the foundation’s official site for more information and full details about the award. 
    • Each national fellowship has unique criteria and requirements, so it is essential that you become deeply familiar with the websites and all associated information for any fellowship to which you plan to apply.
    • Many of these sites have profiles of past winners – look through some of them. Do they sound like they have similar goals or aspirations to you? This can be a good sign of whether you may be a good match for the award.
  3. Contact the Office of Undergraduate Fellowships & Research, your academic advisor, or the faculty fellowship advisor to discuss your goals and experiences and begin the process.

NOTE: Nomination/Endorsement or Direct Application?

Many of the national foundations which grant awards require students to be nominated by their university in order to apply. Our office coordinates the campus selection process. The campus application deadline is earlier than the final deadlines posted on many of the foundations’ websites. You must meet the campus deadline to be considered for these awards, so it is important to plan ahead! 

Some awards do not require a university nomination, and you may apply directly to the foundation granting the award. We encourage you to contact us anyway. We work with many students to craft and revise their applications for these types of awards as well.