So you’re eligible for multiple fellowships that are due only a few weeks apart… gotta love application season. You really want to get funding for next year, so you don’t just want to apply for one fellowship opportunity. How do you juggle applying for different fellowships from different funders with different goals? It’s challenging, but you can do it by keeping a few strategies in mind.
1) START EARLY!
You can’t start early enough when you have multiple fellowship deadlines approaching. Starting early will reduce your stress and make you better prepared. Determine which fellowships you are eligible for based on your research, stage in grad school, and funding needs. Decide which opportunities you want to apply for and/or which ones are the most realistic for you. Research the funder goals for each opportunity. Commit to the deadlines.
2) Make one fellowship your focus.
Choose one fellowship to be your focus. It could be the one that is due first, the one for which you are the best fit, or the one about which you are most excited. Whichever one it is, choosing one application to focus on will allow you to develop a really solid and complete story for that funder. You will not only define your research goals but also your career goals and how you will meet the funder’s goals. This will help your other applications because once you have a specific set of project and career goals, it’s much easier to translate them for a different funder.
3) Use parts of one application for another, keeping funder goals in mind.
If, for example, you have to write a research statement for several fellowships, there’s no reason not to use at least part of your research statement from one application for another. The only thing you have to be careful of is ensuring you are still meeting the specific funder goals. If one funder wants to know how you will incorporate training and mentoring undergraduates into your research activities, make sure that aspect is addressed in that research statement. If training and mentoring is not part of another funder’s goals, then perhaps don’t make it the focus of that application.
4) Make a schedule for your application drafts (i.e. visit GradFund!).
When you are applying for multiple fellowships, creating a schedule will help you meet your deadlines. A great way to do this is to make appointments with GradFund ahead of time. Doing so will keep you adhered to your schedule, and it will likely force you to work more on that application since someone besides yourself will be reviewing it. Once you finish a draft of an application and submit it to GradFund, you will have a few days before your meeting. In this time, start working on a different application. This will allow you to stay in fellowship writing mode while working on something different. Once you meet with GradFund to review your application draft, revise it and resubmit it to GradFund. Then, again, work on another application draft. Repeat this several times until you submit all your applications.