Phillips Student Fellowships

Phillips Student Fellowships: Experiences in Global Learning

Application Deadline : 2 February 2015  Phillips Student Fellowship Application

Through the generous bequest of Charles F. Phillips, fourth president of the College, and Evelyn M. Phillips, the College offers students the opportunity to undertake fellowships in international and other culturally distinct settings. The goals of the Phillips Fellowship Program are to:

1) provide an experience of immersion in another culture,

2) provide opportunities for extensive research, service-learning, volunteer work, or career exploration, and

3) provide a student with unique opportunities for intellectual and personal growth.

Phillips Student Fellowships support student-designed projects featuring service-learning, career exploration, volunteer work, research, or some combination of these. Most projects are undertaken by individuals, but joint projects may also be considered. Fellowships usually take place during the summer, though some occur during the Short Term or the fall semester.

Most fellowships take place in international locations. Projects in the United States or in an international student’s home country are considered, but only if the project takes place in a setting that is culturally distinct from the student’s own background and previous experiences.

In 2009, one Phillips Fellow traveled to Indonesia to continued studies of gamelan music, dance, and West Javanese lifestyle through cultural immersion; while another Phillips Fellow fostered art creativity and self reliance with the poorest, endangered children living in the city’s garbage dump by working with them to make items that could later be sold inside and outside Guatemalan communities ; and the third Phillips Fellow traveled to Liberia to examine their origins as a state and its current path to stability, and development of  a country emerging from a recent civil war. While there, he taught in a rural after-school program and then worked in the Mayor’s office where he learned about the policies taken at higher levels of authority to rebuild a country.

In 2010, one Phillips Fellow volunteered with the non-profit organization, Unite for Sight, in Ghana  and received training in global health practices and basic eye care diagnostics which was put into use by helping with preliminary diagnosis, patient records, medication distribution, and education; another Fellow made a short documentary film about orangutan conservation and sustainable development efforts in Indonesia Borneo; and the last Fellow was involved in Volunteering Project in Ghana by teaching mathematics in a junior secondary school in Accra, Ghana, and learning about the linkages between Ghanaian culture and African American culture by visiting places that hold historical importance.

In order to apply, students must have completed at least two semesters and one Short Term at Bates before the Fellowship begins, and must have at least one semester remaining at Bates following completion of the Fellowship. Graduating seniors are not eligible. Joint applications may be submitted for a double award to two eligible individuals whose complementary abilities would enhance the potential of the project. Students must be in good academic standing to receive and carry out a fellowship.  Because the goal of summer grant programs is to contribute to a student’s academic success and persistence at Bates, all summer funding is contingent upon a student maintaining a G.P.A. of at least 2.0.

Grants range from up to $4,000 for the Short Term; up to $6,000 for the summer; and around $12,000 for a semester-long project. More information on preparing a budget is available in the Guidelines for Preparing a Proposal. The Committee will carefully consider and assess each proposal budget, so it is essential to have project costs carefully delineated and well documented.

Academic Credit
Academic credit is not granted for Phillips Fellowships.

Application Procedures
Students pursuing a Phillips Fellowship in Short Term, summer, or fall of next year should begin by discussing their ideas with a faculty member or staff member who can assess the feasibility of the project and the student’s qualifications to undertake it. Members of the Selection Committee (see below) may also be consulted when preparing a proposal.  While a student may consult with a member of the selection committee about the project design and feasibility, applicants are advised not to consult with each member of the committee, as members’ time is very limited.

To apply, the student must provide:

1) a completed application form, which includes the following information: student name; class; campus, home, and email addresses; telephone; project title; project start date and end date (these dates will be the basis for the contract); primary locations of the project; sponsoring organization (if applicable); name of the faculty or staff sponsor whose letter of support is attached; and names and telephones of two other references who can assess the student’s qualifications. On this page the student should also indicate if he or she is studying away from the campus during the winter semester.

2) a one-paragraph abstract of the project.

3) a proposal of two to five pages (double-spaced) describing the project in detail; the participating institutions or individuals, if applicable; the student’s qualifications for the project; the student’s goals for the fellowship; and an assessment of how the project relates to the student’s academic program, intellectual development, or personal transformation.

It is important to explain how the proposed fellowship represents a new personal and intellectual challenge for the student. The narrative should also describe what the student will bring back to the campus from the experience.

Students whose projects involve the use of animal or human subjects must indicate in the narrative if their project was subject to review by the Animal Care Committee or the Institutional Review Board, and if so, whether the project was approved.

4) a completed budget form, including travel, housing and living expenses, materials, supplies, equipment, training, subject reimbursement, gratuities, plus an additional supplemental amount no more than  $400/week for up to 10 weeks, etc.

5) a letter endorsing the proposal from the Bates faculty or staff sponsor who has been consulted in the process of developing the project.

6) (if applicable) an official endorsement from the site supervisor representing the institution or individual with whom the student will be working and whose approval of the proposal is critical to its success. The letter should describe in detail the role and activities of the student, and should indicate any compensation the student may be receiving from the organization or individual. If the fellowship involves volunteer work or service-learning, the letter of support must state how the agency itself will benefit from the proposed work.

These materials must be submitted in their entirety to the Office of the Dean of the Faculty (Lane 121) no later than the due date stated above.  PLEASE submit your ORIGINAL PAPERWORK AND 6 ADDITIONAL COPIES of the  APPLICATION FORM AND 7 COPIES of the ENTIRE PROPOSAL for a TOTAL of 7 COMPLETE PACKETS.

Transcript: The student applicant does NOT need to submit an official transcript. However, the Dean of the Faculty’s Office will request a transcript for each applicant from the registrar after the deadline.

Application Signature Permissions: By signing the application form, the student grants permission to the Committee to review the transcript and other academic records pertinent to their decision-making.

Note for Students Studying Off Campus: Materials may be submitted without using the required forms if the student is studying away during the winter semester, but all the information sought in the forms must be included in the proposal. Students studying away may submit proposals by mail (Office of the Dean of the Faculty, Bates College, 2 Andrews Road, Lewiston, ME 04240 USA); by fax (207-786-8393) or via email ( However all materials including supporting letters must be received by the deadline.

Review Process
The Selection Committee reviews all proposals. The Committee reserves the right to request additional information or to contact references. Applicants may be interviewed. The Committee gives preference to proposals demonstrating the greatest student creativity and initiative, the richest international or culturally distinct experience, and the most significant connections to a student’s academic program, intellectual development, and personal goals. The Committee recognizes that students applying for the fellowship have different life experiences; the Committee supports those proposals that encourage intellectual curiosity and are most likely to be transformative experiences for the student. Typically, Five to seven fellowships are awarded annually. Fellowship recipients are announced by March 15.

Late Applications
If, after the deadline, not all Phillips funds are committed for fellowships for the current cycle, the Committee may consider additional grant requests if they are submitted before the end of the winter semester.

Fellows’ Responsibilities
Phillips Fellows conducting projects during the summer or the semester are required to submit a brief electronic interim report to Alison Keegan, ( in the Dean of the Faculty’s Office. All fellows must then submit an electronic abstract and a brief (two pages) final report to no later than two weeks after the completion of the project.

**Fellows are expected to present a short talk on their experiences to the College community upon their return. **

Phillips Student Fellowship Committee
A member of the Selection Committee will be pleased to discuss with any eligible student the fellowship program, individual proposals, budget preparation, or the selection process. Due to time restrictions on the part of committee members, students should choose only one member from the committee for consultation.  Committee members are:

Dennis Browne, Associate Professor of Russian;  Holly Lasagna, Associate Director, Community-Engaged Learning Program, Harward Center for Community Partnerships; Kerry A. O’Brien, Assistant Dean of the Faculty; Clarisa Perez-Armendariz, Assistant Professor of Politics and Latin American Studies; Steve W. Sawyer, Associate Dean of Students.

Guidelines for Preparing a Proposal

The best Phillips Student Fellowship proposals are thoughtful and concise. Your proposal should articulate the particular value to you of the project you propose. Group proposals should indicate the specific strengths and anticipated roles of each member of the group. To develop a strong proposal:

• It is ESSENTIAL that you meet with your academic advisor, department faculty, or any Bates faculty member or staff member with whom you have a good working relationship and who can help you develop your ideas. Discussion with a fellowship sponsor will also help the sponsor prepare a strong letter of support for you. The students who seek sound advice from a faculty or staff mentor usually develop the strongest proposals.

• You may also wish to discuss your proposal with a staff member in an appropriate administrative office, such as the Center for Service-Learning, the Office of Career Services, the Multicultural Center, the Dean of Students’ Office, or the Dean of the Faculty’s Office. Individuals in these offices may make suggestions or provide contacts that will strengthen your proposal. They may also be able to recommend other staff members, faculty members, alumni, companies, organizations, or web sites that could be of assistance to you as you put your proposal together.

• One of the primary aims of the Phillips Student Fellowship program is to encourage students to take intellectual risks at whatever level is appropriate for the individual student. Proposals demonstrating creativity, originality, and strong student motivation are given preference by the Selection Committee.

• Students who propose to return to a country where they participated in an off-campus study program should offer convincing arguments that the activities of the Fellowship will bring the student to a new and deeper understanding of the country. In other words, you must demonstrate that even though you are returning to a country you have lived in before, your experiences will be new and transformative.

• If you are working with an institution, government or private agency, corporation, or other organization as part of your project, you must secure a letter of support from that organization or individual, confirming that your activities and goals can be realized as the project is designed. You need to convey your plans to these site sponsors, solicit their reactions, and incorporate their suggestions into your final proposal.

Preparing the Budget
• Fellowships do not exceed $4,000 for projects undertaken in the Short Term;  $6,000 for projects undertaken during the summer; and $12,000 for projects undertaken in the fall semester. The committed carefully considers each proposal budget, and may make adjustments to funded project budgets.

• Equipment–equipment necessary to complete the Fellowship may include books, journals, data sets, maps, scientific equipment, field or data-gathering equipment, computer hardware or software, camera or video equipment, tape recorders, etc.

• Supplies–may include any consumable supplies, including film, paper, postage, chemicals, tapes, videotapes, etc.

• Air and Ground Travel–may include any air or boat travel; taxis; public transportation; car rental or car mileage. Secure accurate estimate of air travel.

• Lodging–may include hotels, dormitories, rooms, or apartments at project locations. Get as accurate an estimate as possible.

• Food–may include an estimate for meals per day at the project locations.

• Subject/Informant Reimbursement–some research involves consultation or activities with subjects or informants, who are normally paid a nominal fee for their time and effort. Please include the estimated number of subjects and each subject’s projected payment.

• Gratuities–in some cultures, the social custom is to present small gifts as tokens of appreciation or hospitality. Estimate the number and types of gratuities.

• Training–may include short course fees, training sessions, conference registrations, or private lessons.

• Admissions–may include admissions to tours, museums, historic or archaeological sites, libraries, archives, etc.

• Additional supplemental funds–up to $400 / week may also be available, subject to the expense budget .