Mather House Fellowships Office

The Mather House Fellowships Office eagerly welcomes all Mather students interested in applying to one or more of the many fellowships, scholarships, and grants available to support projects in areas such as academic research, study abroad, public service, international travel, and personal enrichment, among others. We strongly encourage all Mather students to consider applying for fellowships.

Resources Available for Fellowships Applicants

Tutor Coordinator: James Pelletier

Mather House provides a team of fellowships advisors from a variety of academic backgrounds who can help guide you through the application process. These advisors can support you in a number of ways, including identifying the fellowships that are right for you, developing and articulating your objectives and interests, drafting and refining application essays, interpreting the peculiarities and understanding the emphases of particular competitions, preparing for interviews, and in general helping you craft a successful application package. Most successful applicants have a strong working relationship with their fellowships advisor - applying for fellowships without first conferring with a fellowships advisor is not recommended.

The Fellowships Office at OCS is the main resource for fellowships-related information at Harvard. They publish the Harvard College Guide to Grants, which is available in hard copy at OCS, and they have a very useful website [http://www.ocs.fas.harvard.edu/students/fellowships.htm] with listings of fellowships by application due date, a calendar of fellowships deadlines and grants-related events, and other useful information. Particularly useful is the searchable grants database: [ http://www.ocs.fas.harvard.edu/students/fellowships/fellowships-table.htm] They also run information sessions for students throughout the year about various fellowship competitions. Please note that the OCS Fellowships Office is no longer physically located at OCS but has now moved to 77 Dunster St.

In addition to OCS, there are a variety of other online resources, including [http://www.funding.fas.harvard.edu], which has information on finding funding for international study or travel. The many regional centers at Harvard typically have information on their own fellowships, and most of the national competitions have their own web sites.

How Do I Get Started?

Step One: Research. At the very least, make sure you have read the Harvard College Guide to Grants and the grants database (link above). Avail yourself of the other resources identified above and/or any information that is available in your area of interest. Read the introductory literature on the OCS website.

Step Two: Begin to develop an idea of what your objectives are, what fellowships you might be interested in, and what it will take to apply. (Also, double check that you have completed Step One.)

Step Three: Sign up for office hours, which are held weekly by the fellowships advisors (look for emails to mather-announce with sign-up information). Alternatively, you can email Asad with your name, concentration, a brief description of your fellowships objective(s), a list of the fellowship(s) or fellowships area(s) you are interested in, and your regional and/or disciplinary focus if appropriate.

A Few Quick Tips

1. Get Started Early. There are no extensions on application deadlines, and applications tend to take longer than you would expect. Also, people like letter writers and fellowships advisors tend to be more helpful when you don't approach them at the last minute.

2. Make a Plan. Fellowships applications have a lot of moving parts. Make a list of all the things you have to get done and work backwards from your due date to make a calendar of deadlines.

3. Plan to Finish a Week Ahead of Time.
Then devote your extra week to doing several extra revisions on your essay(s) and address any of the emergencies that inevitably creep up.

4. Have Several Essay Readers.
Have professors, TAs, friends, or anyone you trust read and edit your essay(s). Make sure that both your fellowships advisor and a professor in your concentration or area of interest reads it and provides comments.

5. Have Letter Writers Send a Copy of Their Letter To the House Office. Some competitions require your letters of support to be sent through the House Office. Even when this is not the case, you should have your letter writers send an extra copy of their letter with a waiver to the House Office. This copy of their letter will then live in your house file and can be used (with your permission) for future competitions, to jog a former professor's memory for a future letter, or to inform a house endorsement letter.