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Fellowship Clarifications


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I am looking to apply to ecology/fisheries programs for the fall of 2011. All of the profs I have contacted have said that I need external funding to get into their lab (i.e., from fellowships).

1. How do schools make acceptance decisions based on ability to procure funding when fellowship announcements are in April, but many grad school rejection letters are sent in February to March?

2. Since I am applying to many programs and don't know which one I'll be going to, this means there are many different areas I could be studying in. Do I just write a research proposal on a hypothetical concept and use this for my fellowship application? If so, what if I'm studying something different than what was on my research proposal? Do I still get to keep the fellowship?


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You need to specify the fellowship(s) you're applying for, they can be quite different.

Assuming you're referring to the NSF graduate fellowship (or similar):

1. Once you procure funding, you'll be let in, even if you were initially turned away (generally).

2. You pick one of your potential advisers, and write based on that (hypothetical) weaving in your current research if possible. You get to keep it even if that isn't the research you end up doing.

All fellowships are different, however, and I can't speak for many others.

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