1. Explain any shortcomings/discrepancies in your application package.
Whether that be grades, lack of research experience or etc. I personally had a rough semester and I explained some of the external circumstances that contributed to my performance and the reviewer took note of it. It’s best not to surprise the reviewer so explain what you feel could be a shortcoming.
2. Consult an advisor
If you don’t already have a research, or graustes advisor, find a faculty member that is willing to help you with your proposal. Even better if they’re familiar with the specific fellowship and get their help in every aspect of your application: proposal and personal statement. For heavy research fellowships, it was important I knew what NASA was looking for research-wise. It’s important that the entity you’re submitting to, finds your research worthwhile.
3. Consult someone who has already won the fellowship.
Take any and all advice from anyone who has already won the fellowship to which you’re applying. General rule.
4. Most important: start the application and apply.
Sometimes that’s the hardest part :)
Hey Naia, Christina here! I remember reaching out to you before I had officially started out at riddle so that I could participate in SWISE! As far as asking for tips from previous fellows, I don't want to seem like I'm hounding them for information or to seem like I am entitled to any help they could give. I also understand that many of the previous fellows are grad students with a lot on their plate! What is the best way to reach out to someone with experience, at least in a somewhat professional manner? Or what would you like to see in a prospective fellow?
Hi there! My name is Andrea Robinson. I'm a senior at Davidson College studying physics. I just wanted to reach out to let you know how appreciative I am of your media presence. Specifically, how you take the time to have a presence online that is very helpful as another WOC in a STEM field. I've recently stumbled across the GEM fellowship and see that you are a fellow. I will definitely be using all of your tips on my application! As someone not much younger than you, it's very encouraging to see you succeed. I'm looking forward to keeping up with your journey and just wanted to say thank you.