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Getting Started

The Career Center’s Listing of Fellowships and Scholarships outlines outlines major undergraduate and postgraduate awards that Vanderbilt students and alumni have recently pursued. This chart breaks down opportunities by goals, interests, and qualifications.

Vanderbilt strongly encourages fellowship applicants to cast a wide net and to explore the wide range of professional, leadership, research, teaching, and service opportunities available in the US and abroad, including Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Teach for America and related programs.

Depending upon your interests, background, and academic record, you may be suited to a range of competitive award opportunities. This chart is color-coded to indicate: 1) gold: awards that require VU nomination, 2) blue: awards that the Fellowships Team supports if applicants meet relevant Priority and Campus Deadlines, and 3) that require no Vanderbilt nomination, therefore students and alumni may apply independently.

Recommended next steps:

  • Undergraduates and recent alumni should first attend Drop-Ins with Career Coaches to update their Fellowships CV and to discuss parallel planning (e.g., job or internship applications, graduate/professional study plans and other postgraduate opportunities) to supplement fellowship applicants.
  • Potential applicants should complete the Fellowships Interest Form. Students and alumni should begin the Infoready Preapplication and attend “Exploring Fellowships” drop-ins (details in Handshake) before requesting a 1:1 meeting with the Fellowships Team.

Alumni without access to Handshake or applicants who need access to current Interest Forms, preapplications or to BrightSpace resources, please email

Each award has distinctive eligibility requirements, campus nomination, and award notification timelines, application tips, and resources. The most up-to-date information can be found on the Awards page.  Additional resources are available from the Fellowships Team.

Fellowship programs vary widely in their aims, meeting the needs and interests of a large range of applicants. The detailed descriptions in the list of fellowships are intended to help you understand the terms, eligibility criteria, and desired qualifications for each program. Some students may focus on a particular fellowship that fits their interests; for many students, it makes sense to apply for multiple fellowships.

Types of awards

  • Nominated Awards: Many nominated awards limit the number of applicants that Vanderbilt can put forward. All nominated awards involve a campus review process. Applicants must meet all Priority Deadlines—which are well in advance of the national deadlines— to obtain Vanderbilt nomination. This begins with submitting an “Intent to Apply” (pre-application) via InfoReady. This timeline ensures that applicants receive substantive feedback to revise their application materials, facilitates campus review, interviews, and other award-specific screening processes. Finally, it ensures that Vanderbilt has sufficient time to craft strong letters of institutional endorsement, which are an essential component of successful applications.
  • Supported Awards (TIER II): These awards do not require institutional nomination but may involve complicated eligibility or submission requirements or certification of documents by the Fellowships Team. In order to take advantage of our extensive feedback, which draws on the criteria used by the Selection Committees that will review your materials, you must share complete application drafts with the Fellowships Team by the Priority Deadline listed on our awards page, which is at least six weeks before the national deadline for most awards.
  • Self-Directed Awards (TIER III): The Fellowships Team does not work individually with applicants because no institutional endorsement is required for applicants to complete these applications.  For this reason, there is also no internal campus deadline. Applicants simply submit their complete application to the online portal by the official deadline. We strongly recommend that applicants for these awards:
    • Register in the award’s application portal as soon as possible to ensure that you receive notifications about the application process, Info-Sessions, webinars, alumni panels, and other resources.
    • Take advantage of the abundant advising resources made available on funders’ websites, plus related social media posts, YouTube channels, blogs/vlogs, etc.
    • Work closely with your PIs, faculty, and staff mentors and request their feedback. Engage in peer review with friends.
    • Take advantage of other campus resources: the Writing Studio can provide a draft review, your Career Coach can review CV/resume drafts.

For all award categories:

Advice from the Fellowships Team:

  • Begin your application as soon as possible to allow adequate time to revise your application materials. Most successful applicants report at least 5 rounds of draft revisions.
  • The Fellowships Team strongly recommends that applicants discuss their applications with faculty, PIs, and other campus and community mentors. These individuals know you well and can provide insight and offer support throughout the application process.
  • If your application requires letters of recommendation, ensure that you give PIs, faculty and staff mentors, and other letter writers a minimum of 6 weeks’ notice before campus or national deadlines.
  • For any research-based awards, your PIs and faculty mentors should take the lead on statements of research, grant purpose, etc.
  • For professionally oriented awards, feel free to reach out to your Career Coach(es) to seek feedback on resumes/CVs and related materials.

A Note for Graduate Students:

Graduate students who are interested in pursuing internal or external awards administered by the Graduate School, including the Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowship, Fulbright-Hays DDRA, NSF, NIH, Free University Berlin Exchange, should contact the award-specific contact listed on the Graduate School Funding websiteTo confirm campus deadlines and with any technical questions, the Senior Coaches in the Career Center are happy to review application materials for these awards if drafts are shared with them at least 4-6 weeks prior to Graduate School or national deadlines.