Frequently Asked Questions
Racial/Ethnic Minority Graduate Fellowship
Click on the following link to access the application: https://sssp.slideroom.com/#/permalink/program/69536/p63mISKkpK.
- How many students apply for the fellowship each year?
Historically, about 20 students apply each year. Since moving the application process online, on average 30 students apply each year. Starting in 2016, two fellowships are awarded annually.
- Do you have to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to apply for the SSSP Racial/Ethnic Minority Graduate Fellowship?
With the exception of DACA students, who are also eligible, applicants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident at the time of application.
- How far along in a graduate program should applicants be?
Applicants should have defended the dissertation proposal and have achieved advanced status in the doctoral program (completed course work, examinations, and approval of the dissertation prospectus) by the end of the Spring 2023 academic year. Masters level students are not eligible for this fellowship.
- Can the award be used to support the dissertation writing process after the research stage is completed?
Yes, the fellowship may be used to support the dissertation writing process after the research stage is completed. The ideal candidate is a student who is in the process of completing a dissertation, whether that be data collection, data analysis, or writing.
- Does an applicant need to be a student throughout the entire time for which the fellowship applies (2023-24 academic year)?
Yes, the distribution of the award occurs twice during the academic year (September 2023 and January 2024). Only applicants enrolled in their respective graduate programs during this period may receive the fellowship.
- How formal should the dissertation proposal be? How long does it need to be? Does it need to be the official prospectus approved by the graduate program?
The dissertation proposal should be as formal as possible. The length of this document should be no more than 10 single spaced pages, plus a table of contents. A document approved by a doctoral committee or graduate program is appropriate as long as it is no more than 10 single spaced pages in length, plus a table of contents. While the proposal need not be formally approved by the time of application, it should be approved by the time of the award (September 1, 2023).
- Is there a requirement for the length of the personal statement?
The personal statement should be no more than 3 double spaced pages in length, plus a table of contents.
- Is there a specific form for the letters of recommendation or does it have to be on letterhead?
We are only accepting references via our online application system. The online application system allows a document to be uploaded or written using the online text editor. For an uploaded letter of recommendation, letterhead is standard but not required. The letter of recommendation from the advisor should note either that the student already has or should have defended the dissertation proposal and have achieved advanced status in the doctoral program (completed course work, examinations, and approval of the dissertation prospectus) by the end of the Spring 2023 academic year.
- How do you request letters of recommendation?
The online application allows the applicant to enter e-mail addresses for those being asked to write letters of recommendation. The online system will then send instructions to those being asked to write references on how to load letters of recommendation to the applicant’s application. The applicant will not have access to these letters, but will be able to see if they have been submitted. It is the applicant’s responsibility to follow-up with references who fail to submit a letter of recommendation prior to the application deadline date.
- Do application materials need to be completed using the online application process?
Yes, no other format will be considered. A complete application includes:
- Racial/Ethnic Minority Graduate Fellowship Application
- Unofficial Academic Transcript from Doctoral Program
- Resume or Curriculum Vitae
- Three letters of recommendation addressing the student’s work and progress in the program, including one from the student’s dissertation advisor, are required. A letter from the dissertation advisor, program chair, or graduate director should address the financial need of the applicant and that the student will have defended the dissertation proposal and have achieved advanced status in the doctoral program (completed course work, examinations, and approval of their dissertation prospectus) by the end of the Spring 2023 academic year.
- No more than 3 double spaced pages of the personal statement of commitment to a career of scholar activism, plus a table of contents
- No more than 10 single spaced pages of the dissertation proposal, plus a table of contents
- Incomplete online applications will not be reviewed.
It is the candidate’s responsibility to make sure that their application meets all requirements to be considered eligible for evaluation. Each application must include the components listed above. Otherwise, the application will not be available to the Fellowship Committee for review.
- What happens if I forget to include one item in my online application?
Your online application will not be considered complete unless all required items are included. You have until 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) on February 1, 2023, to finalize the online application. Only complete applications will be available to the Fellowship Committee for review.
- When will applicants learn of the Fellowship Committee’s decision?
Applicants will learn whether they were selected for the fellowship by July 15, 2023.
- Is membership in SSSP required in order to receive the fellowship?
Yes, applicants must be current student members of SSSP at the time of application in order to be eligible for the fellowship. The current membership year is 2023.
- Is conference participation required at the SSSP Annual Meeting?
Yes (except for DACA eligible winners who might be excluded from travelling outside the United States).
The award recipient should plan to attend both the 2023 and 2024 SSSP Annual Meetings (August 18-20, 2023 in Philadelphia, PA and August 9-11, 2024 in Montréal, Québec, Canada) as the award will be formally given at the SSSP Awards Ceremony in 2023 and the recipient will be required to present work that was supported during the award year at the 2024 meeting ($500 will be provided to offset travel expenses for the 2023 and 2024 annual meetings).
- If I am not selected, may I apply next year?
Yes, applicants not selected are encouraged to reapply the following year.
- How can I find more information about the SSSP Racial/Ethnic Minority Graduate Fellowship?
Visit https://www.sssp1.org/index.cfm/m/261/Racial/Ethnic_Minority_Graduate_Fellowship/. If the information there does not answer your questions, contact the 2023 Racial/Ethnic Minority Graduate Fellowship Committee Chair, Dr. Felicia Arriaga, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have technical questions concerning the online application system, contact the SSSP IT Specialist at email@example.com.