Due by 5:00 p.m. ET April 17, 2019Need a downloadable PDF of this information? Click here
We are pleased that you are interested in applying for a nationally competitive and prestigious award. The process ahead will include lots of revision, introspection, goal-setting, and fact-finding. We are certain, based on our experience and the experience of previous applicants, that you will find the process to be rewarding and useful to your future pursuits regardless of the award outcome.
The application process for these types of funded opportunities is quite different than those you will typically encounter. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to meet with the University Fellowship Office (UFO) early and often. It is never too early to get informed, and we can expose you additional awards that may be a fit for your goals and interests.
We recommend you start your endorsement application at least eight weeks before the campus deadline. However, we prefer that you give yourself at least three months to work on your endorsement application, and even more time depending on the funded opportunity. You should treat your endorsement application as your final application, since the campus selection committee will use your written application to help them make endorsement recommendations. Lastly, let us know you are thinking of applying as soon as possible.
UFO’s tips and expectations for successfully applying for pre-endorsement for the Churchill, Marshall, Mitchell, and Rhodes Scholarships
1. Do NOT sign up for an online application at this stage
Instead, use this document to create the responses required for pre-endorsement for UK awards. If you are pre-endorsed, you will be eligible for endorsement and will receive further instructions from UFO. Those instructions may include signing up for an online application that will allow you to upload many of the application components and to send prompts to letter of recommendation (LOR) writers.
2. Make sure you understand the award’s eligibility, criteria, and rules before you start writing.
It is also critical that you meet with UFO before you start writing so we can first give you helpful tips.
3. Create a file(s) to draft your application responses, and rename the file(s) when you make major updates.
You should not write your answers to application questions within this document. Instead, you should draft your responses until you have crafted a strong and final response. When you are writing longer responses, such as essays and personal statements, you should ignore the word limits until you have allowed yourself to express all of your thoughts in written form. You can even aim to write at least twice as much as the word limit to make sure that you have not censored yourself. Two freewriting strategies are here and here.
4. If you cannot decide whom to ask for letters of recommendation, tell us immediately.
We will give you feedback based on your situation. In most cases, you should not ask for too many letters at any stage. You can, however, give several people a heads-up that you are considering applying for pre-endorsement and ask if they would be available to submit a letter by the appropriate deadline. For the endorsement application stage (after pre-endorsement), all letters of recommendation (LORs) should come though UFO’s online application. Remember, you cannot have access to your LORs—you will otherwise be subject to disqualification. Recommenders should contact UFO if they have any questions so that we can help them.
UFO pre-endorsement application instructions for the 2019-2020 Churchill, Marshall, Mitchell, and Rhodes Scholarships
Notes: All materials must be submitted using the JotForm on UFO’s website by the deadline. Applicants who miss the deadline will have to reapply in the next academic year. Candidates with exceptional circumstances that may prevent them from meeting this deadline must contact UFO in writing immediately.
5. Include above your written essay responses a brief explanation of the award(s) you are pursuing and explain why.
You can apply for one award, two awards, three awards, or four awards. The committee will expect that you have consulted with UFO to help make your decision. If you are applying for more than one award, you may need to provide additional essay responses per the prompts.
6. Draft, revise, and finalize your written responses to the below questions and prompts.
You cannot receive feedback from anyone on written content that you will use for a final Mitchell or Rhodes Scholarships personal statement, or you will be disqualified. If you are endorsed, you will receive further instructions about each award’s final application responses.
- Personal Statement (up to 1000 words). This is an intellectual biography which should:
- Describe your professional aspirations. What are they? What issues, needs, or problems do you hope to address? Indicate in what discipline(s)/field(s) you are considering making your career, including specific positions/roles you aspire to. Specify how your current academic program and proposed graduate educational plans will assist you in achieving your goals.
- Individuals/scholars (not NC State faculty) who have influenced your current scholarship. That is, through your readings in your discipline, which scholars have most influenced your current academic path?
- A leadership example
- Preliminary Academic Proposal (up to 500 words). Include here at least two program choices (university and degree, faculty you want to study with and why these programs are a good fit).
- Briefly describe three (3) books (fiction, nonfiction, or poetry) and/or journal articles you have read recently in your spare time (i.e., readings not required for research and/or for class) and why you chose these three (3) items.
7. Create a List of Principal Activities (LoPA), which should span at least your collegiate career.
Your LoPA can be up to two (2) pages and should include prizes, scholarships, honors, offices held, talents, athletic accomplishments, and extracurricular activities. It should also include the traditional information found in a resume or CV, such as education, skills, work and volunteer experience, presentations, and publications. You generally do not need to list courses taken. Be sure to avoid acronyms, and include descriptions of awards. Include descriptions or context for all items.
8. Provide contact and contextual details for Letter of Recommendation (LOR) writers.
List four (4) and up to eight (8) people who could write a strong and detailed LOR as noted in our Letter of Guidance PDF. Please identify at least one who can comment on your leadership.
9. Describe your research experiences, including those outside of your discipline.
Provide a statement of up to two (2) pages that includes past research experiences, including dates, titles of projects, supervisor and brief description of the project and your role in it.
10. Use this checklist to ensure that you have the required materials for a complete pre- endorsement application.
These materials may differ from what the award organizations require in their final applications. To apply for 2019-2020 NC State pre-endorsement for the Churchill, Marshall, Mitchell, and Rhodes Scholarships, you must upload the following (as a PDF unless otherwise noted):
- Your completed three (3) pre-endorsement application essays
- Your current unofficial NC State transcript
- All other unofficial collegiate transcripts
- Your LoPA (2 pages max)
- A list of LOR writers
- A statement for research experiences (2 pages max)
- A high resolution head shot or passport-style photo (see examples here) (.JPG or .JPEG only). This will not be used in the selection
11. Clearly label your pre-endorsement application materials and save them as PDF files.
Examples include “Last Name, First Name_UK awards_2019-2020 app._Essays” “Last Name, First Name_UK awards_2019-2020 end. app._LoPA,” and “Last Name, First Name_NCSU unofficial transcript_MM-YYYY.”
12. Be able to upload your pre-endorsement application materials one business day before the campus deadline.
We will use an online form to receive your pre-endorsement application. We will use a separate online form that should be shared with your letter of recommendation writers. These online forms are posted on the UFO website. All pre-endorsement application materials must be uploaded and submitted before the campus deadline (always a weekday by 5:00 p.m. ET). Do not wait until the last minute.