OCF Mission Statement
The Office of Competitive Fellowships' mission is to serve FGCU student body by fostering intellectual and personal growth through the competitive application process. We provide support and guidance including recruitment, advising, campus endorsements, practice interviews , and post-application mentorship. Our goal is to empower student to pursue their dreams and passions.
Please note: The OCF is specifically for external scholarship opportunities, for internal awards please see Financial Aid.
ObjectivesToggle More Info
- Create a space for intellectual risk-taking, a necessary part of university education to develop academically, socially, personally, and of course, intellectually
- Connect current students at different stages with each other through formal and informal mentoring programs
- Ensure that students of all backgrounds develop the competencies and academic literacies that will prepare them not only to pursue fellowships but also to make the most of their undergraduate experience.
- Provide writing and editing support to students which is vital for students to produce more competitive fellowships applications by strengthening essays, personal statements, and research proposals
- Actively engage in dialogue strengthening interview skills.
- Engage in experiential learning and apply active learning strategies in fellowships and scholarships.
- Present students with a range of internationally and public service-oriented fellowships and create a road map towards various careers both at home and abroad.
- Examine the genre of grant, scholarship, and fellowship writing in detail.
- Foster a campus culture committed to student success; aid students to find a sense of academic community that encourages and inspires them to make these connections.
- Aid students in weighing alternative forms of "winning" alongside their pursuit of fellowships, particularly admission into graduate and professional schools.
Guiding PrinciplesToggle More Info
The OCF is a member of the National Association of Fellowship Advisors and believes in the principles of the ethics of our profession:
Fellowship Advisors will:
- Balance the wants, needs and requirements of applicants, fellowship foundations and home institutions. Advisors' overriding concern must be for student well-being, the integrity of their home academic institution, and the value of the process of applying for fellowships;
- Encourage the intellectual autonomy and passion of character of each student with whom they interact;
- Encourage students to self assess their qualifications for individual fellowships and to be realistic in their expectations of the process and the outcome;
- Support a campus culture around fellowships that emphasizes consistent and fair promotion of fellowships, as well as awareness of the connections between campus strengths and specific fellowships;
- Understand and effectively represent the specific selection criteria and goals of each fellowship as described in foundation materials, and convey them with fidelity to candidates;
- Announce and promote scholarship and fellowship opportunities broadly, with adherence to the foundations’ stated criteria;
- Educate the home institution's administration and faculty about fellowship opportunities and ethical practices, including the campus role in student preparation and realistic expectations for fellowship results;
- Respect foundation practices and maintain professionalism in all correspondence;
- Avoid the appearance or an actual conflict of interest.
- Ensure fairness and non-bias in interactions with candidates in fellowship processes;
- Not accept gifts from students, faculty, foundations or administrators where there might be the appearance of a conflict of interest;
- Insist upon applicants' adherence to the highest ethical standards in preparing and submitting applications and supporting materials.
Advisor Expectations of Applicants
Prior to applications candidates will:
- Engage in self-reflection, assess long-term goals, and search for appropriate programs and funding;
- Pursue fellowships that support those goals, not fellowships that they must bend their goals to fit;
- Be aware of the high level of competition and respect the value of the process.
During the applications process, candidates should:
- Ensure that all application materials, including but not limited to personal statements, resumes, proposals, essays, shall be the sole and original work of the applicant. Cite any sources quoted or paraphrased;
- Respond to campus and foundation communications in an honest and timely fashion;
- Apply only to those fellowships in which they have a genuine interest;
- Provide adequate and accurate information to recommenders in a timely fashion;
- Neither compose their own letters for faculty to sign (even at the request of faculty) nor ask faculty members to show them their own letters of recommendation;
- Make clear what information revealed to an advisor or recommender should remain confidential;
- Include resume and application response items that reflect an accurate and substantive contribution;
- Provide honest responses to questions in all practice and real interviews without aggrandizing accomplishments or providing deliberately misleading information to committee members;
- Treat other applicants with respect and courtesy.
CommitteesToggle More Info
The OCF would like to recognize and thank the members of the United Kingdom Prestigious Awards Committee:
- Dr. Dawn Kirby, Dean of Undergraduate Studies
- Dr. Clay Motley, Dean of the Honors College
- Dr. Philip Allman, Associate Professor, Biology
- Dr. Elizabeth Bouldin, Assistant Professor, Social Science
- Dr. Jeanie Darnell, Professor, Music
- Matt Ryan, Assistant Director, International Services
Barry Goldwater Committee:
- Dr. Laura Frost, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
- Dr. Senthil Girimurugan, Associate Professor, Mathematics
- Dr. Lyndsay Rhodes, Associate Professor, Biology
- Dr. Kara Lefevre, Chair/Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
- Dr. Darren Rumbold, Program Director/Professor, The Water School