A fellowship is a small duration paid learning opportunity that lasts from a few months to about two years. It provides you with the financial resources and professional support which helps you pay some tuition fees and also adds to your resume as work experience. There are many companies and associations that offer fellowships and provide financial support to bright young individuals in exchange for work. These are mostly awarded to masters or doctoral students of merit who have a high GPA’s.
Types of Fellowships:
The type of fellowship one should apply for depends on the students’ area of study. The association offering scholarship would want the student to learn a specific topic, work in a particular field, research or work for a community. It helps students who are looking to gain some experience while learning. Some types of fellowships offered are doctoral fellowship for students of Ph.D. to conduct research in the area of specialization. NGO’s offering fellowships for students who are looking for humanitarian initiatives, medical fellowships for MD students who are training in the field of child care, women’s health, etc.
It is not a Scholarship!
There is a major difference between fellowship and scholarship. Both offer financial support to the students who have merit and show great promise but the similarity ends there. In a fellowship, you need to complete the assigned job before receiving the money while in a scholarship you get paid upfront to pay the tuition fee. A fellowship is also a great status symbol and is not a financial aid as in scholarship.
Advantages of Fellowships:
- Professional network: One of the major advantages of getting a fellowship is to get introduced to leaders in the field of your work. A fellowship provides a major networking opportunity for aspiring students and also includes mentorship and training. It helps to interact with leaders, mentors, and another executive, who can help you gain more professional knowledge and valuable work experience.
- Get to work on challenging tasks: It can help you provide ‘fellows’ work that is interesting and challenging.
- Provides financial support to work abroad: There are many fellowships which provide you with an opportunity to work abroad and gain valuable work experience in a foreign country. These fellowships will provide a stipend along with taking care of the visa and travel.
Applying for Fellowships:
If you are seeking a fellowship it is highly competitive and thus essential that you start the process of building your skills very early. Many schools offer programs in their schools to help their students get a fellowship. To apply for it, you should be doing a full-time masters or Ph.D. degree. Apart from that, the student should have good grades, have great leadership qualities, good oral and written communication skills, research experience and be a motivated individual. You will need to have a resume, a summary of the research project you propose, recommendation letters and transcripts for applying.
A fellowship is a coveted opportunity for graduates to earn money, gain experience and also conduct research in the chosen field.