APPLICANT RESOURCES

There are many different components for any fellowship or scholarship application but two key pieces are your personal statement and letters of recommendation.

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WRITING A PERSONAL STATEMENT | There is no single format or template for writing a successful personal statement. Click here to view a short guide to help applicants get started and important questions to consider when writing your personal statement. If you are having trouble getting started, the Wesleyan Writing Workshop has many guides to writing and can connect you with other online sources. You can also meet with a writing tutor.

INTERVIEW PREPARATION | Interviews can be daunting, but not impossible. Preparing and planning in advance will make applicants more comfortable in an interview setting. For more tips and best practices, please click here.

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION | Letters of recommendation are a critical piece of any fellowship application. As the applicant, it is important to prepare, plan and provide the most information that you are able to for a recommender.

  • Who should I ask?

    Not sure who to ask? Many fellowships are reflective of your academic experience, so it is best to ask faculty members, advisors and mentors as well as class deans or other administrators at Wesleyan. If a fellowship is more specific to teaching English abroad, related to public service or a specific subject area, it is useful to consider including a recommender that reflects one of those experiences.

    It is useful to ask recommenders who can reflect on different aspects of your experience and/or different aspects of the fellowship. Asking a recommender to focus on a specific component of the fellowship, of your experience or your academic interests allows the letter to provide a more clear vision of you as an individual or scholar.

     
  • When and How do I ask?

    Make an appointment at least a month in advance of the deadline to discuss why you are applying for this award and how it reflects your interests and goals. Tell potential recommenders why you have selected them. Provide information to remind them of the work you did under their supervision, as well as general information about the fellowship, and the current draft of your application. Seek their advice as you revise—these should be the people who know you best, and who can help you most.

    You may use this template as an icebreaker and this one to follow up with a potential reviewer.

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  • What if they say "no"?

    Be considerate of the responsibilities of a potential recommender. Ask each potential recommender if he or she can write the kind of letter you need. If a person seems reluctant after you have provided all relevant information, accept this and move on. If someone is too busy to write a detailed letter, or does not know you well enough, their letter may not strongly support your candidacy.

  • Follow up & Thank you

    Check to make sure the letter has been sent before the deadline, and give a gentle reminder as necessary. Please be certain to send thank-you emails (or thank you notes) after everything has been submitted.

  • Tips for Recommenders
    Writing letters of recommendation can be time consuming and rewarding. A few useful tips for faculty, staff and supervisors writing letters of recommendation can be found in this Inside Higher Education article.