Academic and Project Proposals

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Some fellowship applications require an essay describing your research project or a writing sample of your academic work. This gives a fellowship committee a sense of your proposed course of study and your grasp of the subject matter. Therefore, your statement should demonstrate a distinctive viewpoint and an advanced competency in your chosen discipline. In addition, your essay should show that you are passionate about your work and have the knowledge, vision and skills to support your proposed ideas. Your essay should illustrate your familiarity with the nuances of your subject: What makes your proposal interesting and significant? Why is your project idea relevant now? Show evidence that your questions are of interest to others in your field.

Write with Authority and Clarity. Your essay should illustrate that you are familiar with the nuances of your subject. Tie your arguments to the specific theme of the fellowships and show how your work overlaps with and adds to the prevailing concepts of your field and the sponsoring organization.

Demonstrate your Mastery. Address the reasons for choosing this topic and fellowship. What is important about your research? With what professors have you worked? How did your educational background prepare you for this fellowship? In short, show your academic preparation and the lines of thought and research that this fellowship will allow you to pursue. Your essay will demonstrate your ability to produce sophisticated work. Also, show how your proposed project will come to fruition in the timetable and funding provided by the fellowship opportunity.