Fellowship Incentive Grants (FIGS)
How to Apply
$1000 Fellowship Incentive Grants for Undergraduates
In 2009, the Loyola Fellowship Office established undergraduate Fellowship Incentive Grants (FIGs), which offers a tremendous opportunity for undergraduate students to increase their ability to produce more competitive national applications. Up to eight (8) $1000 grants are to be awarded annually to prospective applicants of major fellowships and scholarships, including the Fulbright Award, Gilman Scholarship, Goldwater Scholarship, Marshall Scholarship, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Boren Scholarship, Rhodes Scholarship, Truman Scholarship, and Udall Scholarship. FIGs are designed to better identify and prepare Loyola students to apply for national and international scholarships and fellowships, and to encourage students and faculty to work together sooner on potential applications. Grants will be awarded to those students who are planning to pursue qualifying scholarships and fellowships and who best complete the grant application.
How to Apply:
Students are required to research and identify those scholarships and fellowships that they plan to apply for during their senior year (Fulbright, Marshall, NSF, Rhodes) or earlier for some awards (Gilman, Goldwater, NSEP, Truman). Applications will be evaluated based on a variety of criteria, especially those most relevant to the particular fellowship of interest (and will typically include a Personal Statement, a Research Proposal or Study Plan, information on GPA and extra-curricular activities, and one letter of reference from a Loyola faculty member). In most cases, the application will consist of the first draft of the planned external application (using the online application form of the current year or previous year for your chosen award). Applicants are allowed and encouraged to consult with their advisors and other faculty to improve their application for this grant, but drafts of their application cannot be evaluated by the Fellowship Office. After grants are awarded, students will work closely with the Fellowship Office and their faculty advisors to prepare their external fellowship application. Awardees will be expected to work and improve upon on their applications throughout the summer, with the mentoring assistance of the Fellowship Office, but need not reside in Chicago to do so. Awardees will also be expected to submit a highly competitive application to the funding organization within one year of the award. Students may apply for more than one grant, but can only receive one $1000 grant in a given year.
To apply for the FIG, you must submit the following before the May 19 deadline: 1) online cover sheet; 2) a draft of each major essay (commonly, but not always, a Personal Statement and Research Proposal) for your particular fellowship; and 3) one letter of reference from a Loyola faculty member. (Please inform your reference that the letter can be brief, and is for FIG purposes only, thus will not be submitted to the external program.)
Applicants must be enrolled as a Loyola undergraduate student at the time of the FIGs application (this Spring semester) AND at the time of the external fellowship application (the following academic year), and have definite plans to complete their undergraduate degree at Loyola. In addition, applicants must meet all eligibility guidelines for their proposed fellowship or scholarship application, including expected graduation dates or total number of hours at the time of their particular application. Applications are due May 19, 2014, and must be for fellowships and scholarships with submission deadlines of August through April of the award year. (For example, this year’s FIG applications are due in May 2014, and would be based on external awards whose deadlines will be from August 2014 through April 2015.) External fellowships or scholarships other than the 8 listed above may be eligible if approved by the Loyola Fellowship Director or Fellowship Coordinator, but FIGs cannot be used to apply for other internal, Loyola awards.
Applications will be evaluated by a selection committee, comprised of the Loyola Fellowship Director, Fellowship Coordinator, and associated advisors. Applications will be judged primarily on the strength and quality of the proposal as the student’s “first draft” for an external award received by the Fellowship Office. Finalists may be required to have an interview with the selection committee. Grants will be awarded by June 1 and credited to the student’s cost of attendance for the following summer or fall terms. Please consult the national fellowship and scholarship web sites and to locate information on their mission, eligibility, and online application instructions.