A headline in these pages in January asked “Fellowships: do people here get them?”

It answered its own question (“People do.”) with examples, students who won fellowship competitions, both national and local.

The basic message is worth repeating: yes, Berkeley grad students do win these things, and gain thousands of dollars in funding as a result.

The way they did it?  They sent applications — or, in more and more cases, filled them out online and clicked “submit” or its equivalent.

The next few months are the peak season for fellowship applications and selection announcements.

Why apply (aside from the money)?  Many fellowships confer distinction, and may afford you research adventures that aren’t otherwise accessible.  The task of applying, in itself, is useful in helping you consider what you’d really like to do with the opportunity that your time at Berkeley represents.

The Graduate Division has a convenient online list of fellowships, awards, and other funding sources, on-campus and off.  Among these are four kinds of University Fellowships the Grad Division administers, more than a dozen fellowships and grants that are provided through the Grad Division, ten other UC Berkeley programs, and more than two dozen “extramural” or outside fellowship programs, including some of the best-known names, such as Ford, NSF, and Fulbright.

If all this seems abstract, read what real Berkeley grad students Vasundhara Sirnate and Naomi Ondrasek have said about what the fellowships they won allow them to do — and how they went about applying.  (Also, check out the quick guide to fellowships from the Graduate Division’s Fellowships Office.)

Pictured below are a half-dozen students who have not only experienced the reality of fellowship funding, they’ve personally enjoyed the company of the people who provided (or, through foundations, administer) the Named Fellowships they’ve received.  They all dined together at a get-acquainted luncheon in the Women’s Faculty Club earlier this month, about which we’ll report in more detail in a subsequent issue.

Fellowship donors meet student recipients, and vice versa: clockwise, from upper left: endocrinology grad student Kristina Hargraves (in white blouse) with attorney Bill Taylor and Regina Guillory, trustees of the Ida Louise Jackson Foundation, and Graduate Dean Andrew Szeri; Terence Kissack, trustee for the Micheline Maccalio Fellowship in Neuroscience, and recipient Katelyn Begany, a neuroscience grad student; Elena Carano, Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering, recipient of the George and Nancy Leitmann Graduate Student Support Fund Fellowship, with its namesake, George Leitmann Ph.D. ’56, professor emeritus of engineering science; left and right, like bookends, are computer science Ph.D. student Daniel Aranki and mechanical engineering Ph.D. candidate Sergey Vichik, both recipients of the Irving and Helen Betz Foundation Fellowship for Students from Israeli Universities, with Dr. Nancy Ras (daughter of Irving and Helen Betz), her husband Avi, and their son Guy. (photos: Dick Cortén)

Categories: Featured in eGrad, Headlines, November 2012

About Dick Cortén