Fellowship & Grant Writing Help & Tips

Graduate School Resources

Reviewers of grant and fellowship applications want to know what makes you stand out from hundreds of other candidates – and stand out in a way that is going to fit with their particular program. You will gain an edge if your overall package is a genuine portrayal of yourself and not just what you think they want to hear. Here are some other tips for success:  

  1. Start early. Don’t wait until the last minute to file your application. Websites crash and the postal service does experience occasional delays.
  2. Make sure you read the funder’s entire website. Make sure you review the Frequently Asked Questions, which could give you even more insight. After you’ve written the application, read the instructions again to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
  3. Ask a colleague or friend to read your application for correctness. Sometimes you are too close to it and can easily miss mistakes.
  4. Ask previous winners of the fellowship for advice. Gather as much information from winners, professors and colleagues as you can.
  5. Give your recommenders enough time to craft your letters. Letters of recommendation are a very critical part of your application. Allow three or four weeks for recommenders to write your letters. See more in Advice on Letters of Recommendation.
  6. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it.  Fellowships are very competitive and re-applying is often a good strategy.  

For more helpful tips and information, visit our resources section for graduate studies.