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The Fellowship Application Process

Rice Internal Awards and National Fellowship Nomination Process

The Center for Civic Leadership oversees processes for a number of internal undergraduate awards and national fellowships that require an institutional endorsement. CCL staff coordinate and facilitate the selection and nomination process with the Faculty Committee on Scholarships and Awards a university committee appointed by the President based on the advice of the Faculty Senate every year. In addition to working with that committee to compile applications and conduct interviews, the CCL works directly with students through robust recruitment and advising processes.

Typically, CCL advisers work with hundreds of students every year, helping them determine their fit for specific opportunities, offering workshops and resources to support them in developing their applications, and providing feedback on drafts to ensure they are submitting the best quality applications for national consideration. Most important in this process, however, is our commitment to student development and maximizing the value of the process as an opportunity for them to reflect deeply on their values, motivations, and goals. Whether a student gets a nomination, becomes a finalist, or wins an award, the vast majority of them indicate that the opportunity to think through potential future trajectories and to get feedback from advisors, mentors, and the faculty committee is one of the most meaningful activities of their experience at Rice.

Students who apply for fellowships go through the following process:

  • Become aware that fellowships are available -- through a peer, an advisor, or a faculty mentor
  • Browse the opportunities available to them on the CCL website or canvas resource
  • Meet with a CCL advisor and begin reflective planning on our Rice Engagement and Academic Leadership Planning canvas
  • Research the fellowships and ensure their eligibility, fit, and required documents
  • Determine which fellowships they are committed to applying for and submit an "intent to apply" form to the CCL by the deadline (generally a couple of months before the INTERNAL deadline, which is generally a month before the national deadline for external fellowships)
  • Reach out to faculty and mentors for letters of recommendation, providing those who agree with as much material as the recommender needs to write for them
  • Begin drafting their application materials, reaching out to potential host affiliations for research or programs of study, and drafting personal statements and proposals
  • Get feedback from advisors, mentors, and potential supervisors
  • Submit a complete application, including all letters of recommendation, through the CCL's online system.
  • Interview with the faculty committee members reviewing applications for internal awards or institutional nominations for external awards
  • If nominated, integrate feedback from the committee on their applications and revise/polish final submissions by the national deadline
  • Work with the CCL advisors to ensure all materials are input into whatever system necessary for the national submission, including letters of recommendation signed and on letterhead (where required), official transcripts, and nomination letters (written and submitted by CCL staff to represent the faculty committee's endorsement).
  • If named a finalist, prepare with the CCL and faculty mentors for finalist interviews with foundations
  • Reflect on the process and either celebrate or work with CCL advisors and mentors to adapt materials for other opportunities
  • Throughout this exciting and rigorous process, faculty and mentors play especially important roles, making students aware that these opportunities exist, encouraging students to explore and take advantage of the advising resources available to them, and supporting their applications with strong letters of recommendation that come out of meaningful conversations with those students about their motivations, experiences, and goals.

The CCL is here to support you as you support those students. If you have questions, would like additional resources or feedback, or would like us to meet with or present to your students, please contact Dr. Danika Brown, Director of Curriculum and Fellowships directly (danika@rice.edu)


Monday - Friday
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Center for Civic Leadership
Rice Memorial Center, Room 208
6100 Main St.
Houston, TX 77005


Phone: 713-348-2223
Fax: 713-348-5885
Email: ccl@rice.edu


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