An example schedule for a graduate scholarship application.

In this example, we outline the time line by working backwards from the last deadline. This is a good way of working out most time lines.

Time before deadline Task to complete
One day Submit your application.
Three days Xerox the final version. Don't wait till the last day. Xerox machines don't work on the last day.
One week Fill out the final version on the form. Proof read it. Ask others to proof read it.
Two weeks Revise the draft. Check that the important points stand out.
Three weeks Ask others for comments on your draft, especially other students who have been awarded such an scholarship.
Four weeks Make the second draft perfect.
Five weeks Write the first draft. You need a contiguous block of uninterrupted time for this. Take a long week-end. Put it away for a week.
Six weeks Ask for letters of reference. Provide each with your info package
Seven weeks Get all the stuff together. Read the application carefully. Update your info package (CV, transcripts, letter of goals and achievements).
At least 2 months Think about your career goals. Select a potential supervisor.
Now Go to the granting agency's web site. Find out the deadlines. Get the application forms.

It may seem that starting 2 months before the deadline is a bit of an overkill. It is not. You need this lead time to fit into other people's deadlines. By starting early you might actually save time. With a little luck, you may not be spending more a day or two, in total, actually working on the application.

Copyright 1995
Tutis Vilis
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
University of Western Ontario
London Ontario Canada

Created 28 Sept 1995
Last updated 10 January 2007
Comments welcome: