The United States has always put top priority on education. Many federal agencies have been set up to help individuals from high school to doctorate levels reach their goal in gaining more knowledge, honing new skills, and applying what they have learned in the classroom. Among the many forms of support given to deserving individuals is a government fellowship, and this article will discuss in detail what it is, who can benefit from it, and how it can be availed.
What Are Government Fellowships?
Government fellowships are programs sponsored by the federal government, aimed at providing individuals with the training and learning they need in a specific field of study. The program duration can be as short as six weeks, but it can also last for several years. Most fellowships are available to teachers, professionals, researchers, and high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. Currently, there are many government fellowships available, and those who are chosen to become a 'fellow' will be entitled to stipends, funding, full or partial tuition payment, and other benefits.
Who Are Eligible?
Eligibility requirements for government fellowships vary, depending on the field of study and the type of federal agency that's funding it. Generally, applicants are required to be very familiar with the field of study or area of discipline of the program and should have the required educational attainment, such as an undergraduate or graduate degree. Good academic performance is also a prerequisite, and the standard cumulative GPA required is a minimum of 3.2. Moreover, applicants should prepare a comprehensive resume, a letter of intent, and at least 2 letters of references.
There are more than 40 federal agencies offering government fellowships every year. Some of the most sought after programs are those of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Academy Fellowship, NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program, CBCF Congressional Fellowship Program, and the U.S. Department of Education Jacob K. Javits Program. Although most of the programs are designed for individuals with graduate and postgraduate degrees, there are also those that are aimed at helping high school and undergraduate students
How to Apply
Individuals who meet the eligibility requirements should contact the agency directly. They have websites on the Internet, making it easy for anyone to send their application package. However, it is always recommended to check the specific requirements set by the agency since they vary from one agency to another. For example, some agencies such as the NIST require the applicant's university to submit a grant proposal and the names of the students they have nominated. There are also application forms and reference forms that can be downloaded from their websites.
There are many individuals competing against each other in order to be accepted as fellows in government fellowships. The process is highly selective and only a handful of individuals will be chosen annually. It is best to apply early and spend a lot of time and effort working on the application package before sending it to the appropriate agency. Doing so can help increase the chances of acceptance.