This may be a personal statement, proposal of study/research, or both. Remember: the essay often is the deciding factor in who is invited to interview.
- Present personal reflections in your essay. Show how significant experiences are tied together.
- Have a firm idea of the connections you need to make among the different elements of your experience. Relate these to the fellowship criteria.
- Talk to insiders. These are the individuals who advise on the particular grant, faculty members in the related area, and former fellows or recipients of the award. Learn about the grand criteria. List aspects of your experience or achievements that relate.
- Be direct; get to the point. Be specific and demonstrate ideas with examples. The essay is usually short - about 1,000 words.
Prepare yourself to talk about every aspect of the essay in an interview. Do not include something that you cannot elaborate on in an interview.
Ask two or three professors to read and critique your essay. Write at least three drafts and have someone proofread the final draft.