Student Fellowships and National Scholarships

Picture of Detroit Mercy Students with Metro Detroit Backdrop

The Office of Academic Affairs mentors Detroit Mercy students interested in applying for fellowships and national scholarships sponsored by agencies outside of the University.

Are you a student who wants to make a difference in the world? Are you a student who plans to go to graduate school? Are you interested in leadership development, global challenges, foreign policy, or independent study/research? If you answered yes to these questions, then a fellowship or national scholarship may be of interest to you.

How do I apply for a fellowship or national scholarship?

  1. Review the list of fellowships and national scholarships listed below. Visit the websites to learn more about each program.
  2. Complete and submit the preliminary interest form. Once the form is submitted, you will receive an email from the Office of Academic Affairs to set up an appointment to discuss this grand opportunity.

Students should be aware that external fellowships and national scholarships are not the same as financial aid. Students who have questions and/or concerns about paying their Detroit Mercy tuition and/or their financial aid package should contact the Office of Financial Aid.

Truman Scholarship

Truman Scholarship Logo

Rhodes Scholarship

Rhodes Scholarship Logo

Barry Goldwater

Barry Goldwater Logo

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Fulbright Scholarship Logo

Goldwater Awardee

Sara Abdulelah

Picture of Sara Abdulelah

 Abdulelah is one of 396 students in the United States to earn the prestigious national scholarship from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

Sara Abdulelah, a junior Biology student in Detroit Mercy’s College of Engineering & Science, has been named a 2020 Goldwater Scholar. Abdulelah applied for the scholarship through a pre-application approved by Richard Hill, Assistant Dean for Research & External Initiatives at the College of Engineering & Science. Three faculty members — Professor of Biology Gregory Grabowski, Assistant Professor of Biology Nicole Najor and Associate Professor of Biology Rachelle Belanger — supported Abdulelah’s application with reference letters. Sara is an amazing part of Belanger's research team; she designs and implements experiments and collects and analyzes data. Seeing Abdulelah honored as a Goldwater Scholar leaves Professor Belanger overjoyed.

For the past two years, Abdulelah and her classmates have studied the effects of atrazine on aquatic environments in Belanger’s lab. They found that atrazine, a commonly used herbicide, can have detrimental effects, including damage to DNA, on aquatic organisms when running off into water sources. “ In our lab, we use the crayfish as a model organism, and the studies that I focus on have shown diminished chemosensory abilities of the animal following atrazine exposure,” Abdulelah said. Abdulelah furthered this study by examining the olfactory sensory neurons (OSN) of the crayfish’s lateral antennules, which the crayfish use to find food. “I found that OSN damage increases as atrazine levels increase,” she said.

Fellowship and National Scholarship Opportunities

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    Truman Scholarship

    Overview

    The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation - the federal memorial to our thirty-third President - awards merit-based scholarships to college students who plan to pursue careers in government or elsewhere in public service. Truman Scholars receive up to $30,000 for graduate or professional school, participate in leadership development activities, and have special opportunities for internships and employment with the federal government.

    THE SCHOLARSHIP: AWARDS AND PROGRAMMING

    The Foundation provides:
    • Up to $30,000 toward a public service-related graduate degree. The Foundation has supported Truman Scholars in many fields of study, from agriculture, biology, engineering, technology, medicine, and environmental management, to fields such as economics, education, government, history, international relations, law, political science, public administration, nonprofit management, public health, and public policy.
    • Truman Scholars Leadership Week. This event, held at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, introduces new Scholars to the services provided by the Foundation and the many pathways to public service.  Scholars participate in seminars and workshops with distinguished Truman alumni and other public service leaders, a group exercise about policy implementation, a graduate school and career fair with representatives from the schools and programs most attended by Truman Scholars, and community service events in the Kansas City area; this event is required of all Scholars.
    • Summer Institute. Immediately after college graduation, Scholars have the opportunity to participate in an eight-week Summer Institute in Washington, DC.  The Foundation helps to arrange internships with government agencies and nonprofit organizations, seminars and workshops, meetings with Washington policymakers and Truman alumni, and opportunities for community building among Scholars.
    • Truman-Albright and Other Fellows Program. After Summer Institute, Scholars may elect to stay in Washington, DC, for a full year in the Truman-Albright Fellows Program; Truman-Albright Fellows are placed in public service jobs while participating in workshops, seminars, and mentoring opportunities. Additional fellowship opportunities, outlined on the Truman website, are available for Scholars as they move through the early stages of their careers in public service.
     

    GUIDELINES & ELIGIBILITY: WHAT MAKES A GOOD TRUMAN SCHOLAR?

    Each nominee for the Truman Scholarship must be:
    • a full-time junior-level student at a four-year institution pursuing a bachelor's degree during the 2020-2021 academic year. 'Junior' here means a student who plans to continue full-time undergraduate study and who expects to receive a baccalaureate degree between December 2021 and August 2022, or a student in his or her third year of collegiate study who expects to graduate during the 2020-2021 academic year;
    • nominated by the Truman Scholarship Faculty Representative at his or her institution;
    • in the upper quarter of his or her class; and
    • a United States citizen or a United States national from American Samoa. Resident aliens (green card holders) are not eligible.
     A good candidate for the Truman Scholarship meets the above eligibility requirements and also:
    • has an extensive record of public and community service;
    • has outstanding leadership potential and communication skills; and
    • is committed to a career in government or elsewhere in public service, as defined by the Foundation.
     The Foundation defines public service as employment in government at any level, uniformed services, public-interest organizations, nongovernmental research and/or educational organizations, public and private schools, and public service-oriented nonprofit organizations.
    In 2021, one scholarship will be available to a qualified resident nominee in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and, considered as a single entity, the Islands: Guam, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. (Residency is generally determined by home address for school registration, family's primary residence, and voter registration.) The Foundation may select up to 15 at-large Scholars in 2021.
     

    THE NOMINATION PROCEDURE

    The Institution of Higher Education. Candidates must first be nominated by the Truman Faculty Representative at their institution. Each accredited four-year institution may nominate up to four students for the 2021 awards.

    NOMINATION DEADLINE
    The complete nomination package must be submitted by February 2, 2021.
     
    THE SELECTION PROCESS
    1. The Finalists Selection Committee.  A committee examines all nominations and selects about 200 Finalists to be interviewed for Truman Scholarships. Finalists are selected on the basis of:
    •  extent and quality of community service and government involvement;
    • leadership record;
    • academic performance, writing and analytical skills; and
    • suitability of the nominee's proposed program of study for a career in public service.
    2. The Regional Review Panels. Regional selection panels interview Finalists in March and early April, and select Truman Scholars largely on the basis of:
    • leadership potential and communication skills;
    • intellectual strength and analytical ability; and
    • likelihood of 'making a difference' in public service.
     

    SCHOLARSHIP CONDITIONS AND ACCOUNTABILITY

    The award may be used only for tuition, fees, books, room and board, or other specifically approved expenses. Payments from the Foundation may be received to supplement, but not to duplicate, benefits from the educational institution or from other foundations, institutions, or organizations. The combined benefits from all sources may not exceed the costs of tuition, fees, books, and room and board as prescribed by the institution.
    Scholars may defer, for up to four years, Foundation support for their graduate studies after completion of their undergraduate studies. Scholars in graduate study programs supported by other means and Scholars in the Armed Forces may request additional years of deferral.
    Scholars are required to work in public service for three of the seven years following completion of a Foundation-funded graduate degree program as a condition of receiving funding.  Scholars who are not employed in public service for a total of three years, or who fail to provide proof to the Foundation of such employment, will be required to repay any funds received along with interest.  The Foundation will have an appeals process for those Scholars in special circumstances.
    The Foundation may withhold or terminate a scholarship due to unsatisfactory academic performance or failure, as judged by the Foundation, to prepare specifically for a career in public service.
     

     

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    Barry Goldwater Scholarship

    Overview

    The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 to serve as a living memorial to honor the lifetime work of Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years in the U.S. Senate. By providing scholarships to college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering, the Goldwater Foundation is helping ensure that the U.S. is producing the number of highly-qualified professionals the Nation needs in these critical fields. Over its 30-year history, Goldwater Scholarships have been awarded to thousands of undergraduates, many of whom have gone on to win other prestigious awards like the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Fellowship, Rhodes Scholarship, Churchill Scholarship and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship that support our Scholars’ graduate school work. Today, Goldwater alumni can be found conducting research that is helping defend the Nation, finding cures for catastrophic diseases and teaching future generations of scientists, mathematicians and engineers.

    Student Level

    The Scholarship is available to college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics or engineering.

    Eligibility

    1. Be a full-time matriculated sophomore or junior pursuing a degree at an accredited 2- or 4-year institution of higher education during the 2020-2021 academic year,
    2. Intend to pursue a research career in a natural science, mathematics or engineering,
    3. Have a college grade point average of at least a 3.00 on a 4.00 scale , and
    4. Be a U.S. citizen from the 50 states or the District of Columbia; a U.S. national for those students nominated by institutions in Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; or a permanent resident. A permanent resident must submit a photocopy of their Permanent Resident Card, also known as the Green Card.

    Nomination Rules

    All nomination materials (Student Questionnaire, Research Essay, three Letters of Recommendation, Transcript(s), Institutional Nomination Form and, when applicable, a copy of the student’s Permanent Resident Card) must be uploaded to the Goldwater online nomination site by 5:00 p.m. Central Time on the last Friday in January. Incomplete nominations or nominations that are not uploaded by this date and time will not be reviewed. 

    Important Dates

    First Tuesday in September: Goldwater Online Application Opens

    Early September to Late January: Individual internal campus deadlines are determined by each institution’s Goldwater Campus Representative. Check with the Goldwater Campus Representative on your campus for specific dates.

    Last Friday in January: Goldwater Foundation’s nomination submission deadline (5:00 p.m. Central Time)

    Late February: Nomination packets reviewed by Goldwater review committee

    Mid-March: Goldwater Foundation Board of Trustees reviews and votes on slate of Goldwater Scholars

    Last Friday in March: Goldwater awardees announced (12:00 p.m. Eastern Time)

    Barry Goldwater Scholarship Website

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    Rhodes Scholarship

    Overview

    "The Rhodes Scholarship is a fully funded postgraduate award for young people to study at the University of Oxford, UK. The Rhodes Trust funds 100 Scholars per year. They select young leaders of outstanding intellect and character who are motivated to engage with global challenges, committed to the service of others and show promise of becoming value driven, principled leaders for the world’s future."

    Student Level

    Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.

    Additional Information

    The program supports exceptional young people for postgraduate study at the University of Oxford, and actively fosters lifelong learning and fellowship.

    Application Deadline

    Application window is June thru September each year.

    Rhodes Scholar Website

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    Fulbright U.S. Student Program

    Overview

    The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries

    Student Level

    “Current U.S. Student - United States citizens who are currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs are eligible to apply. All applicants enrolled in U.S institutions must apply through their home campuses. Find the Fulbright Program Adviser on your campus. If you are an undergraduate student, you are eligible to apply in the fall of your senior year.  If you are a graduate student, you are eligible as long as you will not have a PhD degree by the application deadline."

    Additional Information

    Fulbrighters will meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences.

    Application Deadline

    "2021- 2022 Award Cycle Competition will open on March 31, 2020."

    Fulbright US Website

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    Preliminary Interest Form

    In order to better support Detroit Mercy Students who are interested in Fellowship or National Scholarship opportunities, the Office of Academic Affairs requires students to complete a preliminary interest form.

    Click here to complete the Preliminary Interest Form

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    About Detroit Mercy Selection of Candidates And Internal Deadlines

    Some fellowships and scholarships require the University of Detroit Mercy to select, nominate, or otherwise endorse you as a candidate before you may continue with the application process.

    Detroit Mercy, through the Office for Academic Affairs, sets its own internal deadlines for applicants well in advance of the deadlines established by those agencies which are offering the fellowships or national scholarships. Detroit Mercy students must abide by these deadlines in order to receive proper assistance and endorsement by the University. 

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    About Letters Of Recommendation

    University professors, administrators, coaches, priests, and ministers are happy to write a letter of recommendation for you. In order to assist them, please provide the following information with your request:

    1. A description of the fellowship or national scholarship for which you are applying.
    2. The deadline for your recommender to submit it to the foundation/agency or for the letter to be sent to or picked up by you.
    3. Your proposal, your resumé/curriculum vitae, and any other information that might be useful and help your recommender write a strong letter with specific details.
    4. If possible, a brief statement regarding your interest in and suitability for the fellowship. Your Preliminary Interest Form will help you with this.