Fellowships and Awards
The Fellowships and Awards office works with Oberlin College students and alumni interested in applying for nationally competitive programs in a broad range of fields. From physical science to music performance, we provide information about programs of interest to most. Some fellowships are only available to first- and second-year students. Many are available to alumni—three, five, or more years postgraduation.
A national fellowship recognizes exceptional achievement in one or more areas. A few focus exclusively on academic excellence. Others reward leadership and community service. Most consider all three of these in some degree. Winning a fellowship can be life-changing. They can open the doors to funding for education and research and provide an introduction to a community of like-minded scholars and leaders who are making a difference. Perhaps most importantly, the process of applying for a fellowship can be tremendously rewarding.
Fellowships applicants know themselves and their goals much better by the time their applications are submitted, whether or not they win the fellowship. They have had valuable, repeated conversations with professors and advisors, at least three of whom have written them letters of recommendation. They have a personal statement, a project proposal, and or a research plan to be proud of. In some cases they have had the chance to interview with recognized experts in their field, and they have done much of the work for applying to graduate schools, jobs, or other opportunities for service or funding. They are much better prepared.
The major undergraduate and postgraduate awards this office supports are listed in the drop-down navigation by year. But fellowship advising is not limited to these awards. If you identify an opportunity that is not listed, tell us about it and let us help you apply.
Watch for announcements and information meetings throughout the year, and do visit the fellowships office just to get acquainted and to let us know about your plans and goals. E-mail Nick Petzak for an appointment: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In all of its efforts to advise students and promote fellowships opportunities, the Fellowships and Awards office at Oberlin is committed to the broad statement of ethics and values as articulated by the National Association of Fellowships Advisors: http://www.nafadvisors.org/ethics.php. Including all of the commitments established as national best practices, fellowships advisors will:
• Support a campus culture around fellowships that emphasizes consistent and fair promotion of fellowships, as well as awareness of the connections between campus strengths and specific fellowships;
• Understand and effectively represent the specific selection criteria and goals of each fellowship as described in foundation materials, and convey them with fidelity to candidates;
• Announce and promote scholarship and fellowship opportunities broadly, with adherence to the foundations’ stated criteria;
• Avoid the appearance or an actual conflict of interest;
• Ensure fairness and non-bias in interactions with candidates in fellowship processes.
Each fellowship opportunity supported by the office is advertised broadly to all students who meet the minimum requirements as stated by the foundation or program. In addition, the office generates and maintains lists of students based on specific eligibility requirements and reaches out to students on that list as appropriate to ensure that information about opportunities is available. For instance, awards that consider financial need as a primary selection criterion, or those which specifically aim to support diversity in any of several ways, are promoted both broadly and more directly, mostly through email.
Among the programs the office currently supports, several list diversity as a major selection criterion:
- The Gilman Scholarship, which supports study abroad for students receiving Pell Grants
- The HHMI EXROP Fellowship, which “advances the goal of increasing the diversity of the science professoriate.”
- The NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program, which offers competitive scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
- The Udall Scholarship, which supports both environmental studies and Native American health care and tribal public policy initiatives.
- The Beinecke Scholarship, which provides substantial support for graduate studies in the humanities.
- The Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Arts Award, which covers most expenses for graduate studies in the arts, including music.
- The Pickering Fellowships, which aim to support diversity in the U.S. Foreign Service