The George J. Mitchell Scholarships were established in 1998, and named in honor of former U.S. Senator Mitchell who served as chairman of the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. The Scholarship funds one year of graduate study at institutions of higher learning in Ireland, both in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland.
The universities participating in the Mitchell Scholarships provide tuition and room for each Scholar. In addition, each Scholar will receive a stipend to cover other necessary expenses for the term of study. The US-Ireland Alliance will assist successful applicants with their traveling expenses to and from Ireland and Northern Ireland. Scholars will also receive a travel allowance.
- ALL CANDIDATES: Notify CURF of your intent to apply for the Mitchell Scholarship as soon as possible by completing the REQUEST FOR UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA ENDORSEMENT FORM. Candidates are required to attend a Fellowships 101 Information Session, and then schedule an appointment with Dr. Wallace Genser to discuss the application process.
CANDIDATES SHOULD INDICATE THEIR INTENT TO APPLY FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR THE SCHOLARSHIP NO LATER THAN MARCH 31, 2015. Candidates who submit a Request for Endorsement by March 31 will be assigned a Fellowship Advisor who will help the candidate clarify goals, values, and purposes, assist with application details, and draft the letter of endorsement on behalf of the University. Beginning in 2014, to conform with new rules of the Mitchell Scholarship, Fellowship Advisors will not comment on drafts of Mitchell (or Rhodes) Scholarship essays.
Candidates who submit a request for endorsement form between April 1 and June 30 are not guaranteed a Fellowship Advisor, but will be considered for endorsement.
Candidates requesting endorsement after June 30 must contact CURF to petition to be considered for University of Pennsylvania endorsement.
- ALUMNI CANDIDATES: If you are not currently a Penn undergraduate, your application does not require endorsement by the University of Pennsylvania. However, you are still strongly encouraged to participate in the fellowships advising process starting in March to aid you in presenting the best possible application.
All candidates must submit their finalized application and ensure that their recommendations are submitted online to the Mitchell website.
The internal University of Pennsylvania deadline for receiving all required application materials (including recommendation letters) is 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 26 (the first day of fall classes).
The deadline to submit applications to the US-Ireland Alliance is 5:00 PM US Eastern Standard Time on the first Wednesday of October.
REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS AND SELECTION CRITERIA
To be eligible for a Mitchell Scholarship, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be 18 years of age or older, but not yet 30, on September 30 of the year of application (those who turn 30 on 1 October are not eligible).
- Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university before beginning study as a Mitchell Scholar. Degrees from international accredited universities are acceptable, if all other conditions are met.
In terms of personal characteristics, the US-Ireland Alliance is looking for candidates with significant achievement in:
- Academic excellence
- Commitment to community and public service
The most successful candidates have also demonstrated initiative and commitment to larger issues such as service, research, and engagement in efforts to serve humanity both on and beyond their campus. Candidates should demonstrate wide-ranging academic excellence, which should be reflected in the candidate’s overall academic record. The candidate should show qualities of moral leadership and social purpose, and should also exhibit outstanding achievement and potential for future success within the classroom, through engagement on their campus, and beyond the confines of university life. Finally, they should also have a clearly articulated reason for studying in Ireland and a solid understanding of the research they will do in a specific graduate program.
CANDIDATES ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR REVIEWING AND UNDERSTANDING ALL REQUIREMENTS AND REGULATIONS PERTAINING TO THE SCHOLARSHIP DESCRIBED ON THE MITCHELL SITE.
Following Penn's internal submission deadline, candidate materials are reviewed by the University of Pennsylvania’s Faculty Review Committee for the Mitchell Scholarship, comprised of Penn faculty who have been awarded prestigious scholarships and are actively engaged in promoting Penn’s academic mission.
The Faculty Review Committee will assess applications and select candidates to interview for consideration for Penn endorsement. Candidates selected for endorsement must then apply directly through the Mitchell website.
Candidates should submit the Internal Penn Mitchell Application form, including a single pdf with application materials in the following order:
- Personal essay (no more than 1000 words)
- Curriculum Vitae / Resume or list of principal activities (no more than two pages)
- An electronic version of your Penn transcript created from Penn In Touch: Academic Records —> Transcript & GPA. Print your transcript as a .pdf
- Any other post-secondary transcripts from all institutions attended
- Four letters of recommendation are also required. For the Mitchell Scholarship, recommendation letters are limited to no more than 750 words.
- Passport-style photo
- A selection of at least three programs at three different Irish universities. Listing fewer than three will weaken your candidacy. You may name as many as five.
For the final submission to the Mitchell website, you will also need:
- A scan of your signature (PDF)
- Contact information for Institutional Endorser (for full time undergraduate students only)
- Contact information for 4 Recommenders including email, mailing address and phone number.
- Complete mailing address of your university
- Video interview: After your application has been received and certified as complete by the US-Ireland Alliance, you will receive a request to complete a video interview of fewer than 10 minutes by 5:00 Eastern Time on October 4, 2015.
CANDIDATE LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION:
As soon as candidates have arranged for letters of recommendation, they should fill out the Recommendation Request Form for each recommender, and for each program to which they are applying (e.g., Mitchell, Marshall, Rhodes, etc.).
INFORMATION FOR RECOMMENDERS:
In order to compose the most effective recommendation possible, fellowship recommenders are urged to review the information and suggestions CURF has developed. In addition, your letter should describe what you have observed of the candidate that illustrates the traits and abilities that will lead to academic, personal, and professional success. Specific examples of work the candidate has performed and behaviors that you have observed are crucial to successful letters.
Recommenders are required to upload a separate letter for each fellowship for which the candidate is applying. While it is not generally necessary to tailor a letter specifically for each fellowship, it is extremely important to refer to the correct fellowship, degree program, and school in each letter (e.g., “I write to recommend [Student Name] for the Rhodes Scholarship to obtain an M.Sc. in Global Health Science at Oxford”).
Semi-finalists will be required to participate in a preliminary interview via Skype the week of October 27, 2015. Finalists will interview in person in Washington, DC, on November 20-21, 2015. Recipients will be announced on November 22. The US-Ireland Alliance will pay round-trip transportation, within the US, for applicants invited to interview. No applicant can be selected for a Mitchell Scholarship who has not been interviewed by the selection committee. Deferment of the Scholarship is not allowed.
The Scholarship committee will seek university admission on the successful applicant's behalf. Election to a Mitchell Scholarship is formally confirmed by the Mitchell Scholarship selection committee after the Scholar-elect has been accepted by the university. Scholars are required to be full-time students for the duration of their academic year of study.