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Application Information

How to Apply

Apply online beginning on October 1st of each year. The deadline to submit applications is midnight November 15th unless extended by OACS.

A complete application consists of the online application including short answer questions, detailed budget, and an explanation of financial need along with a letter of recommendation emailed to


All currently enrolled Vanderbilt students are eligible to receive assistance from the Fund. It is preferred that students’ proposed projects for funding be a minimum of two weeks in length and occur during the summer academic break. Preference will be given to undergraduate students who have not yet completed their baccalaureate degrees and students who have yet to receive the award. Awards are based on merit and need but students must demonstrate financial need in order to be considered for assistance. Students from all class-years, degree programs, and majors are welcome to apply.

Application Requirements

Applications will be read by a selection committee and evaluated according to the following (1) project organization and feasibility including fiscal practicality and risk management considerations (2) impact on the community being served, (3) expected outcomes both personally and for the community, and (4) motivation for pursuing the service experience.  Projects must be service-based but may focus on any area of work (education, women’s rights, poverty, healthcare, etc).

Students are required to complete and submit the official application form, and to have a letter of recommendation sent to

Submit a Letter of Recommendation to Melissa Looby.

By email:

Or by mail to the following address:


PMB 356308

2301 Vanderbilt Place

Nashville, Tennessee



Award Requirements

Upon being granted an award, students are required to submit a photograph of themselves and a brief bio that includes hometown, class year, major or current course of study, and where they will be doing their service project.

During the spring semester, recipients of the Nichols Humanitarian Fund award will participate in a series of  preparatory seminars to prepare them for their upcoming humanitarian aid work.

Throughout the service project, student recipients are required to submit a minimum of two blog posts. The posts will be brief yet descriptive updates of the service project and overall experience.

After completing the service project, students are required to submit a reflection paper that summarizes their experience, lessons learned and outcomes achieved. The reflection paper is due to by August 31st.