What is a Fellowship and Why You Should Pursue One

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Are you studying hard for the grades to go to college? Or perhaps you are an anxious parent watching nervously as your child studies for the grades they need.

While getting the grades can be one part of the challenge of going to college, the other is raising the funds to go there. In the age of crippling student loans and rising student debt, this is not easy.

However, if you are wondering what sources of funding are available you should consider if a fellowship is a viable option. 

Here’s the answer to the question: “What is a fellowship?” and tips about how to get a fellowship.

Fellowships Are About Academic Merit

There are many different sources of funding available for students attending college. Many of them are based on the household income of the students’ parents, favoring students from low-income backgrounds.

Some students need aid, even if their parents aren’t considered “low income.” This is where a fellowship can come into play. 

Other programs are for specific courses to encourage students to study a particular discipline. There is a lot more funding for science and engineering courses than there is for arts courses.

The level of funding also often depends on the college itself. Although the top colleges like Harvard are expensive, often their alumni are wealthy and are able to contribute.

Fellowships are unlike other types of financial assistance because they are based on academic merit rather than other factors.

Fellowships also don’t just fund tuition fees or living expenses, some fellowships fund extra-curricular activities. They could, for instance, fund someone with an outstanding academic record in history to fly to a different state and attend an academic conference or to oversee a historical project of their choosing.

There are even fellowships for content writers in Africa.

There is often a lot of competition for fellowships among students as there are a limited number available. 

Fellowships Are About Giving Back and Inspiring The Future Generation

Fellowships are about giving back to the community as they allow alumni and colleges to give a helping hand to the brightest students in the hope they will get good jobs and contribute in future years.

This is the community ethos behind the Parkway Fellowship.

It is hoped that those who are recipients of the fellowships are able to feel a closer relationship with their college and their local community. They might, therefore, work harder and achieve better grades so that it reflects better on the college.

Different Types of Fellowships

There are different types of fellowships for different circumstances. Not all of them relate to undergraduate or first-degree studies.

Fellowships for Postdocs

If you have finished your doctorate in a subject then you might soon realize that you have devoted your life to academia without any real source of income.

One thing you can do to improve your job prospects and secure that important role as a college professor is to apply for a postdoctoral fellowship so that you can conduct further study in your area of expertise.

Postdocs are usually expected to do a limited amount of teaching as many doctoral students do during their programs.

The fellowship can usually take the form of a stipend. This allows the student to have enough money to afford accommodation and cover other living expenses while studying.

The fellowship can also cover the costs of academic research if it is going to involve travel or extensive use of equipment with significant costs. 

Fellowships for Medical Graduates

Anyone studying medicine and wanting to become a doctor knows that studying is paramount. Sometimes, after finishing the qualifications to become a medical doctor, you’ll decide that you want to specialize in a specific type of medicine. 

A fellowship for medical graduates funds this further study and gives you an edge when applying for specialist medical jobs.

Length of a Fellowship

How long does a fellowship last? This depends on the nature of the fellowship and the course or the activity that it funds.

For instance, a fellowship for a college student might last for one year. Whether it continues into the next year of study may depend on the grades you achieve in that year.

A postdoctoral fellowship might put a time limit on the research project that it is intended to cover so that it must be completed within one year or a period of months. It is also usually possible to hold more than one fellowship at the same time. Sometimes it is vital to secure several small pots of funding so you can continue studying.

Every fellowship is different. If you are awarded a fellowship based on merit alone might be explicitly prohibited from applying for other fellowships.

What is a Fellowship? A Great Opportunity

What is a fellowship? In simple terms, it’s a great opportunity to reward those who have studied hard to achieve their academic goals.

A student fellowship can fund your academic qualifications and extra-curricular activities that can broaden a student’s horizons. This encourages students to achieve their full potential. The levels of students’ income or their parents are not taken into account.

Fellowships are also great opportunities for those higher up the academic chain. They fund doctoral qualifications and even postdocs. This helps ensure that advanced students don’t starve on their path to becoming a professor.

If you are interested in reading more about how to get a fellowship and what fellowship programs are currently available, be sure to check out the rest of our site.