A Brief Introduction to Fellowships and Scholarships

What are fellowships?

Fellowships and scholarships offer funding to support a range of purposeful activities, including undergraduate research, language study/other study abroad, self-designed projects, teaching and service, graduate or professional study, or even internships and professional placements. They can open doors for you to things you might not be able to pursue otherwise.

There are opportunities for students and graduates of every nationality and at every stage of their careers. What might be the right fit for you?


Where do I begin?

Since most fellowships provide funding for an activity you propose, rather than offering a structured program, a great place to begin is by imagining what you might like to do with a fellowship.

  • Are you hoping to pursue undergraduate research, language study, study abroad, a service project (did you know that any current Wellesley student is eligible to apply for the Davis Projects for Peace, started by Kathryn Wasserman Davis ‘28?), or something else entirely?  
  • For after graduation, there are scholarships for graduate or professional study, opportunities to teach English as a second language, and much more. For example, traveling fellowships, like the Watson or Knafel for graduating seniors, or the Stevens for alumnae, can allow you to explore a burning question you might not be able to pursue in any other way (read about a Wellesley alumna’s Stevens project, here; see what one Watson alumna did with her year, here).

If you could do anything next summer/after graduation, what would you do?  What might help you explore the path forward, build your experience, skills, and qualifications, and work towards your longer-term goals and aspirations?  Visit the Fellowships website for inspiring stories of what other Wellesley students and alumnae have done, and see what sparks your imagination! Once you have an idea what kind of activity you’re hoping to fund, it’ll be time to look for fellowships which might be able to help you do this.


Where can I learn more?

The Wellesley Fellowships website (www.wellesley.edu/careereducation/fellowships) can help you explore Wellesley opportunities and external awards alike.  There are possibilities offered all across campus, and far beyond:


  • In addition, international students at Wellesley, as well as Wellesley students interested in studying in another country, might find it worthwhile to search the website of that country's ministry for education. A few frequently requested examples:


Not sure fellowships and scholarships are for you?

A few things to bear in mind:

  • The only guarantee is if you don’t apply, you cannot possibly win.
  • If you do it right, even if you don’t win a particular award you can gain a great deal from the application process itself.
    • Fellowship applications ask you to clarify and articulate your goals and aspirations and to think about ways to work towards them. They give you practice in writing and interviewing, and usually ask you to have productive conversations with mentors who might write references in support of your application.
    • This will all be useful, even if you never apply for another fellowship, since you’ll apply for internships, jobs, and perhaps for graduate or professional school, and fellowship applications are great practice…
  • You don’t have to go it alone smart and capable as you are: the Fellowships team is here to help!
    • Have a look at the Fellowships resources on our website,
    • including application tips and recorded webinars and workshops available 24/7 (collected at fellowships 101),
    • book a Fellowships advising appointment via Handshake to talk things over, get application advice and feedback on drafts, help with interview prep, and much more. Appointments are available year-round (including summer and wintersession), in person or via telephone or video chat.
    • Or. simply drop by online or in person to Fellowships Pop-Up Advising: no appointment required (see Events listings on this website for details). Talk over possibilities and get your questions answered: no strings attached!


Can't find what you're looking for? Questions?
Let's talk! Email fellowships@wellesley.edu, drop in to Fellowships Pop-Up Advising, book a Fellowships advising appointment via Handshake, and/or call Caitlin Roberts-Donovan, of Fellowship Programs, at 781.283.2347.
We look forward to speaking with you!