What Are the Common Requirements for a Fellowship?

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  • Written By: L.K. Blackburn
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2018
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Fellowship positions and programs are usually offered to exceptionally qualified candidates by colleges, universities, non-profit organizations, as well as regional governments. Qualifications and requirements vary by fellowship type as there are often many different programs and opportunities available. Generally, however, they require applicants to possess a well rounded resume and solid academic background. High academic marks, volunteer experience, work history, and life experiences can all be factors used to award a fellowship.

Programs can offer fellowships for individuals to study, conduct research, teach, and practice medicine. Academic fellowships may provide a stipend for undergraduate or graduate students to attend their university or a university abroad to study a particular subject. Other types of academic fellowships are presented to graduate students and professors to allow them to teach and research at a university. Non-profit groups may offer fellowship programs to sponsor research projects in-line with the group's causes and areas of interest.

A medical fellowship is one which is completed at the end of a medical residency program in the United States. Other regions may have their own specific medical fellowships offered at different points within the medical education process. Medical fellowships can allow a doctor to further specialize in a field and obtain board certification within the area of the program. Fellowships in medicine can be awarded based on residency performance, recommendation letters, and national medical board scores.


One way to earn a fellowship position is to begin building a resume and curriculum vitae within a chosen area as soon as possible. Programs are generally looking for candidates highly dedicated to a specific area of concentration. When applying for fellowships, it may be helpful to present a resume that contains high grades and community service, though many programs may also be looking for someone with a variety of unique life experiences. Some of the ways interesting experiences can be earned include completing independent research projects, starting a business, and traveling.

Letters of recommendation are often required when applying for fellowships. Generally, the letters are required to be sealed by the recommending party, and sent directly to the program. Professors, research supervisors, colleagues and work supervisors can all be people who can be asked to submit letters on a person's behalf, depending on a program's specific standards. The letters usually speak to an individual's expected contributions to the program they are applying for, as well as describing and listing the person's personal achievements and academic history.



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