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Does having a job reduce fellowship chance?


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I have a job at a major company that pays for most of my tuition as part of the benefits. However, I'd like to switch to part-time to spend more time in the lab at school. I'm thinking of applying for a fellowship to make up for the loss of benefits and income. I might even quit my job completely depending on the award amount.

I'm concerned that the committee will be less likely to award me a fellowship if they see on my resume that I'm currently employed.  The job is loosely related to the fellowship and I wanted to list since I thought it shows I'm not completely in over my head.

Should mention that I'd like change to part-time or possibly quit in my application? They have no way to enforce it or guarantee that I'll do it, so I'm thinking it's pointless to mention. Maybe I should just leave my current job completely off my resume? It's slightly related, but not the exact same area as I'm studying.

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I can only speak for my field because this might vary a lot at different places. As far as I know, funding packages are always awarded by merit and never by need. For example, the graduate fellowships that I've applied for in the past never considers need. In theory, I don't "need" the award I recently applied for because my advisor's existing grant could in theory pay for my work. But I applied for it anyways because that's what you do if you're qualified for a pot of money.

So, your current employment status should not affect your funding decision. However, I suspect we might be in very different fields with potentially very different funding norms because your post implies that you might be able to continue working while in graduate school while almost all funding packages in my field will require you to not have any outside employment commitments. 

But, there are some times where your funding could change based on availability of other funding. For example, a department may have set stipend levels for all students so if you end up winning an external fellowship, then a department-level fellowship or award may decrease but your total stipend is going to be the same. Or you may not be able to accept a certain fellowship if you are already holding other similar fellowships (common for federally funded awards). 

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