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Applying for Multiple Fellowships: Dos and Don’ts

Applying for fellowships can be a daunting task, especially when you are considering applying for multiple fellowships simultaneously. While it may seem like a great opportunity to increase your chances of success, there are certain dos and don’ts that you need to keep in mind. In this article, we will explore the best practices for applying for multiple fellowships, as well as the pitfalls to avoid. By following these guidelines, you can maximize your chances of securing the fellowship(s) that align with your goals and aspirations.

1. Do Your Research

Before you start applying for multiple fellowships, it is crucial to conduct thorough research. Each fellowship program has its own specific requirements, eligibility criteria, and selection process. By understanding the unique aspects of each fellowship, you can tailor your application to highlight the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the program.

Start by identifying the fellowships that align with your interests and goals. Look for programs that offer opportunities in your field of study or career path. Consider factors such as the duration of the fellowship, the financial support provided, and the reputation of the organization offering the fellowship.

Once you have identified the fellowships you are interested in, delve deeper into their requirements. Pay close attention to the application deadlines, the documents you need to submit, and any additional materials or essays that are required. This research will help you prioritize your applications and allocate your time and resources effectively.

2. Plan Your Timeline

Applying for multiple fellowships requires careful planning and organization. It is essential to create a timeline that outlines the key milestones and deadlines for each application. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you submit all your applications on time.

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Start by identifying the earliest deadline among the fellowships you are applying for. Use this as a starting point for your timeline. Work backward from this deadline and allocate sufficient time for each step of the application process, including gathering recommendation letters, writing essays, and preparing your resume or CV.

Keep in mind that some fellowships may require additional steps, such as interviews or presentations. Factor in these additional requirements when planning your timeline. By creating a well-structured timeline, you can avoid last-minute stress and ensure that you give each application the attention it deserves.

3. Tailor Your Application Materials

One of the most important dos when applying for multiple fellowships is to tailor your application materials for each program. Avoid the temptation to use a generic application for all your submissions. Instead, take the time to customize your materials to highlight your fit with each fellowship.

Start by carefully reading the fellowship’s mission statement and objectives. Understand what the program is looking for in its fellows and identify the key qualities or experiences they value. Then, review your own background and experiences to identify the most relevant examples that demonstrate your alignment with the fellowship’s goals.

When writing your essays or personal statements, make sure to address the specific prompts provided by each fellowship. Avoid using generic statements that could apply to any program. Instead, focus on showcasing your unique strengths and experiences that make you a strong candidate for that particular fellowship.

Similarly, when selecting your recommendation letter writers, choose individuals who can speak to your fit with the specific fellowship. Provide them with information about the program and its objectives so that they can tailor their letters accordingly.

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4. Stay Organized

With multiple fellowship applications, it is crucial to stay organized throughout the process. This will help you keep track of the requirements, deadlines, and progress of each application. There are several strategies you can use to stay organized:

  • Create a spreadsheet or use a project management tool to track the status of each application. Include columns for the fellowship name, application deadline, required documents, and the progress of each application.
  • Set reminders for important deadlines and milestones. Use a calendar or a task management app to ensure that you stay on top of your application timeline.
  • Keep all your application materials in one place. Create a folder on your computer or use a cloud storage service to store your essays, resume, recommendation letters, and any other documents required for the applications.
  • Make copies of all your application materials. This will come in handy if you need to reapply for a fellowship in the future or if you want to reference your previous applications.

By staying organized, you can avoid missing deadlines, losing important documents, or submitting incomplete applications.

5. Seek Feedback and Revise

Once you have completed your application materials, it is essential to seek feedback from trusted mentors, professors, or colleagues. They can provide valuable insights and suggestions to improve your application.

Share your essays, personal statements, and other materials with them and ask for their honest feedback. Consider their suggestions and revise your application accordingly. This iterative process will help you refine your materials and make them stronger.

It is also a good idea to have someone proofread your application for grammar and spelling errors. A fresh pair of eyes can catch mistakes that you may have overlooked.

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Remember, applying for multiple fellowships is a competitive process, and your application materials need to stand out. By seeking feedback and revising your materials, you can ensure that your application is polished and compelling.


Applying for multiple fellowships can be a strategic approach to increase your chances of securing a prestigious opportunity. However, it requires careful planning, organization, and customization of your application materials. By conducting thorough research, creating a timeline, tailoring your materials, staying organized, and seeking feedback, you can navigate the application process effectively.

Remember, each fellowship is unique, and it is essential to understand the specific requirements and objectives of each program. By investing time and effort into each application, you can maximize your chances of success and secure the fellowship(s) that align with your goals and aspirations.

Good luck with your fellowship applications!

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