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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long will my Fellowship experience last?
A: That depends on the nature of your planned experience itself, and the start and ending dates that you have tentatively set in your experience proposal.

Q: Will I be required to complete my experience over the summer?
A: No. However, we understand that many students will choose this option so as not to delay their education. Students are required to complete their experience within one calendar year of receiving their Fellowship.

Q: Does my experience need to be related to my major or field of study?
A: Not at all. While this is certainly an option, your Fellowship experience should be designed to realize a passionate interest or dream of yours that will contribute broadly to your education and your development as a person, and need not be expressly related to research, etc.

Q: Does my experience need to be related to service and/or volunteerism?
A: No. The Givens Fellowship encourages students to design experiences that truly speak to their passions and interests. Service and/or volunteerism may certainly be a part of your experience if you so choose, but it is not a requirement, and no preference whatsoever is given to candidates whose proposals focus on service and/or volunteerism.

Q: Must my experience include travel overseas?
A: No. However, that is certainly an available option.

Q: Should I contact the groups and/or individuals that would be integral to my experience before I apply?
A: While it is not required, background research on your experience, and initial contact with those groups and/or individuals who would be important in fulfilling it, is certainly encouraged.

Q: Who are the members of the Stuart R. Givens Memorial Fellowship Advisory Committee?
A: The members of the Advisory Committee, and their contact information, may be found on the Givens Fellowship homepage.

Q: How many awards will be given each year?
A: Up to two awards of up to $6,000 will be given annually, depending on each year’s field of applicants.

Q: Can I additionally fund my experience with my own money?
A: Yes. Personal funds, including grant money obtained from other sources, may be applied to the cost of your experience in addition to the up to $6,000 awarded by the Givens Fellowship.

Q: Is the Fellowship only available to Arts and Sciences students?
A: No. While the Fellowship is administered by the College of Arts and Sciences, students from any college and in any major may apply, and no preference whatsoever is given to Arts and Sciences applicants.

Q: Why isn’t the Givens Fellowship open to graduate students?
A: The private donors who established this fellowship wished to create a unique experience for undergraduate students.

Q: When will the Fellowship funds be distributed to students?
A: While no formal date is set for the distribution of funds, the Fellowship funds will be provided to each year’s winners as soon as possible after the Fellowship is awarded in order to allow the recipients to begin the preparations for their experiences.

Q: If a student is planning on working with a particular individual as a part of their experience, is it appropriate to budget an honorarium, or other payment, for that individual from the $6,000 grant?
A: Yes; however, the Givens Fellowship Advisory Committee will assess whether this is a necessary part of the budget, and the stipend itself should be only a small component of the budget overall. Additionally, stipends, etc., may only be offered to individuals external to BGSU.

Q: Will there be a notification process put in place so that students will be assured that their application has been received?
A: Yes. Students will be contacted after their completed application packets have been received.

Q: Should an applicant wish to prove their passion/interest/background, etc., regarding their experience, or be more detailed in explaining its planning, is it permissible to include “attachments” with their application, in addition to their 1,000-word statement and other documents expressly required by the Fellowship?
A: No. Applicants should be able to convey the project itself, and their evidence of commitment to it, within the confines of the materials required by the Fellowship. Any attachments, etc., submitted in excess of the required materials will not be reviewed or considered by the Fellowship Advisory Committee. (Note: The applicants’ passion and commitment will also be assessed in oral interviews, should they be chosen as finalists.)

Q: May freshmen apply for the Givens Fellowship?
A: No. Students cannot apply for the Givens Fellowship until they have completed two semesters at BGSU.

Q: May seniors apply for the Givens Fellowship?
A: Ordinarily not, as Givens Fellows are expected to return to BGSU for two semesters after their experience takes place, and this disqualifies most students with senior standing. However, mitigating circumstances may be taken into consideration. Seniors may wish to contact the Fellowship to determine if they qualify as applicants.

Q: Can students submit joint applications, in which more than one student applies to take part in the same experience and split one award of up to $6,000?
A: Joint applications will be considered; however, applicants must demonstrate that this would contribute to their overall goal of pursuing a passionate interest in a way that will enable personal and intellectual growth. Furthermore, the applicants will have to demonstrate to the committee that their proposal is meritorious and feasible.

Q: Would applicants be able/allowed to look at previous applications for insight into how such Fellowship applications are constructed, etc.?
A: Successful Givens Fellowship applications are available on the Fellowship Web site for students to view. However, it should be emphasized that this Fellowship rewards the applicant's own individual passion, imagination and creativity.

Q: Could Fellowship money be used to fund certain programs or supplies (including, for example, books and computers for a needy school)?
A: The Fellowship experience budget must support a compelling project that fits the guidelines. In that spirit, applicants may include any items in their budget that they feel would be appropriate for their particular project.

Q: If a student budgets their experience at a certain amount but later discovers that they will require additional funds, will these funds be made available?
A: No. While Fellowship recipients will receive assistance in refining their budgets, once a budget is finalized the monetary amount indicated in the budget will be the amount allotted to the student, and no additional money will be provided through the Fellowship. In applying, students are to exhibit creativity, resourcefulness, and imagination, and as such these qualities should enable them to complete their experience within the budget requested/allocated.

Q: Could students complete college credit or an internship/co-op, etc., while engaged in their Fellowship experience?
A: No. Students are to focus on an experience that is not for academic credit or fulfillment of other programs’ requirements.

Q: Will all applicants be interviewed?
A: Applicants whom the Fellowship Advisory Committee feels have submitted the most compelling proposals will be selected for interviews as finalists for the award.

Q: If I am overseas or otherwise away from BGSU and am chosen for an interview during this time, will this affect my eligibility for the Fellowship?
A: Not at all. However, if you expect to be away from the University during the period that interviews may be conducted (approximately January-February), please make this fact known to the Advisory Committee as soon as possible, and inform them as to how you may be contacted (by email, telephone, cellular phone, and any other available communications media, if applicable). If necessary, the Advisory Committee will be happy to conduct a long-distance interview.