Before you start filling
Get to know your audience.
- Find out how the selection process works. How
much will the person reviewing your application know about your field. Most scholarship selection committees review applications
from a broad area of science. The number of applications reviewed is often
- Your application must be clearly and quickly
understood by a non-specialist.
- You must write your application such that your excellence
leaps out of the page.
Try to clarify in your mind what you want to
achieve in the
long run (say the next ten years).
- In many applications you must outline a career plan. You
must demonstrate that you have thought through your long term goals.
- You must demonstrate
- how what you plan to do fit with what you did in the past
- how this next position fits into your future goals
Select a potential
supervisor. Selecting a supervisor is
- It will give your application focus. You can give details
as to why this particular training is critical to your career goals.
- It will demonstrate clearly that you have a definite, well thought out,
career path in mind.
- You can get help from your potential supervisor. If you are uncertain
with your future, be honest. Most potential supervisors will help anyway.
- You can still change your mind later, as to your potential supervisor,
later. Most scholarships are portable.
Get letters of reference. Select people who
- know and like you
- are willing to give you a good reference. If they seem reluctant try
- have the time to write a good letter.
- Do not select people on the basis of who you
think would be considered more famous. Often the selection committee members will
outside your field and will not have
heard of them.
To help make these letters superb, provide the people you have asked for
references with ammunition, including:
- a copy of your marks with your ranking in each class
- an updated CV
- a short letter in which you highlight
- what you have achieved and what you
hope to achieve.
- concrete evidence
of any outstanding performance
- courses in which you have done particularly well in. If you know your
ranking, state it.
- progress in your current
research. Progress in publications.
Meetings attended. Techniques mastered.
- courses taught. TA's (ratings if available).
- other research jobs (publications if available).
- contributions to the dept., university (e.g. student rep., committees,
- It takes time to write a good letter of reference. So
make sure you give the person you ask lots of lead time.
Order your transcripts
- Don't wait till the deadline. Getting transcripts can take time.
Read the forms and take the directions seriously.
- Place information where the referee expects to find it and in a format
that is clearly understood.
Check the deadline (internal and external).
- Many applications are screened by the department and have early internal
- Write out a schedule/timeline for completing the application
Copyright © 1995
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
University of Western Ontario
London Ontario Canada
Created 28 Sept 1995
September 13, 2009