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Applying for Awards

Applying for Awards, Grants, and Fellowships: Things to Consider

Grants, fellowships, and scholarships can help you enjoy incredible learning experiences that will allow you to expand your academic work and artistic practice. As you research the opportunities available to you at Gallatin, be sure to consider all of the available options, reflect on your goals, and think about how certain awards may help you achieve them, and organize your time well so that you can put together a strong application.


Preparing for Awards

The following steps can help you prepare to apply for research awards and fellowships: 

  • Attend an info session or proposal writing workshop at the beginning of the semester
  • Carefully review application requirements
  • Be mindful of deadlines and timelines for soliciting a recommendation
  • Write a Project Proposal
  • Prepare a Budget Proposal
  • Ask for a Letter of Recommendation
  • Compile a Resume or CV


Types of Research Funded
Gallatin’s internal research awards and fellowships can fund a variety of projects in archival research, film development and pre-production, performing and visual arts, lab research, ethnographic research, and more.
What cannot be funded
  • Tuition scholarships and financial aid
  • Internships, independent studies, or courses taken for credit
  • Start ups, businesses, or fundraising for other organizations


Application Components

Most awards require some combination of of the following components:

  • Project proposal that explains your research plans and illustrates an alignment between your proposed project and the award(s) you are applying to. Projects should expand upon your academic interests, concentration, or thesis topic
  • Project timeline that outlines the timeframe in which you plan to complete your research.
  • Detailed budget that includes all costs associated with your project. If the budget request exceeds the award limit, then you should include other potential sources of funding.
  • Letter of support from an academic or professional who is familiar with your work and your research plans.
  • Resume or CV that conveys your ability to carry out your research plans. 
  • Work sample that illustrates your writing skills, artistic ability, or other needed skills for the award of fellowship
  • Unofficial transcripts are pulled and reviewed by the committee and are typically not uploaded to the application form
  • **Attachments for applications should be in PDF format whenever possible. Word documents are also acceptable. 

Makings of a Strong Aplication

Strong applications should make clear to the committee that:

  • The applicant demonstrates the skills and prior knowledge to complete the research. 
  • Project objectives are clearly defined and align with the mission of the grant/fellowship. 
  • The applicant is academically strong and demonstrates maturity and understanding of their research and its implications. 
  • The applicant demonstrates an understanding of appropriate research methodology, and is compliant with NYU policy on research with human subjects.
  • The research is significant for the applicant’s concentration, thesis, and/or academic interests. 
  • The application components are all properly included and received by the deadline. 
  • The recommendation letter strongly supports the applicant's project.

Proofread your proposal before submitting it. Do not leave proofreading until the last minute. Build in time to proofread your work and to have it proofread by others. Know that it is sometimes difficult to see your own mistakes. Ask a trusted friend or family member to read and review your text after you have a final draft. Make every effort to avoid grammatical errors. If you are having trouble with your writing or need another perspective on your draft, visit the Writing Center.

Recommendation Letters

Over the course of your academic and professional career, you may need to request that letters of recommendation be written on your behalf. Please keep the following guidelines in mind. Read the recommendation requirements carefully. Know that whomever you ask to write a recommendation for you has the right to turn you down for any reason. Think about other recommenders who may work. Be sure to give yourself ample time should you need to find an alternative.


Who to Ask for a Recommendation Letter

Recommendation Letters should come from a Gallatin or NYU faculty member who can speak to your ability to complete your research project. Exception: If you are working on or have worked on research or similar work with someone outside of NYU, then they can also write your letter. 

When finding an appropriate recommendation writer, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Who knows me best as a student? 
  • Who knows me longest in this role?
  • Who knows my interests and research best? 
  • Who can vouch for the feasibility of my project proposal? 
  • Who can offer me advice, mentoring, and/or guidance during my research?
  • You should NOT consider asking someone to write your letter simply because they like you or have given you good grades in the past.


How to Ask for a Recommendation Letter

Letters of recommendation may be requested in person or via email. If possible, make the request in person during office hours and then follow-up with an email. If the potential writer cannot be reached in person, then send a clear and concise email that includes: 

  • Your name and a reference to your relationship with that person 
  • The full name of the award, its purpose, and 2-3 reasons why you are a qualified applicant
  • What is required from them (a letter, evaluation, etc) Details about due dates, submission guidelines, etc
  • A draft or final copy of your proposal and resume/CV
  • **Be aware of how best to address your recipient: Dr? Professor? First name?


When to Ask for a Recommendation Letter

Late or missing recommendation letters can affect the committee's decision on your application. To ensure that everything is received on time, consider the following: 

  • Ask early! At least a month's notice is recommended
  • Give your prospective recommender advance notice of when your proposal is due
  • Check with them to ensure that they have enough time to write your letter
  • Keep in touch and follow up as the deadline approaches


What to Include in the Recommendation Letter

  • Strong recommendation letters should convey an understanding of the applicant and support their ability to complete the proposed research.
  • Letters can include references to the research project and examples of similar work the student has completed
  • If the award uses the Gallatin Research / Fellowship Common Application, then when the student submits their application, the recommender should receive an automatic email with a link to the recommendation form. 
  • Recommendations for awards due on the 1st of the month are to be received by the 5th of the month. 
  • Additional inquiries regarding the recommendation form can be sent to