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. Scholars are eligible to attend institutions of higher learning in Ireland, both in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland, for one academic year of graduate study. As institutional balance will be a factor, an applicant’s likelihood of being selected is increased if the applicant expresses a willingness to attend more than one of the eligible institutions.
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.
As the goal of the Mitchell Scholarships is to interest the next generation of American leaders in the island of Ireland, Scholars will be encouraged to avail themselves of the various educational and social opportunities which will be offered to them during their stay by members and friends of the US-Ireland Alliance.
Eligibility and Qualifications
Prospective Scholars must have a demonstrated record of intellectual distinction, leadership, and extra-curricular activity, as well as personal characteristics of honesty, integrity, fairness, and unselfish service to others which indicate a potential for future leadership and contribution to society. There are no restrictions as to academic field of study although the proposed course of study must be available at the university elected by the applicant and the applicant’s undergraduate program must provide sufficient basis for study in the proposed field.
Mitchell Scholarships are highly competitive. Successful applicants will have first a clearly articulated reason for studying in Ireland and a solid understanding of the research they will do in a specific graduate program. They will also have substantial recommendations, level of activity at Penn, and academic record.
Application Procedures and Selection Criteria
CURF must prepare a letter of endorsement for each applicant. Therefore, a substantially-complete draft of the personal essay and a list of activities must be submitted no later than September 12, 2012.
Applicants must also complete the Mitchell online application by its final due date of Tuesday, October 2, 2012. The application consists of five sections: Personal Information; Education and Employment; Registration of References/Institutional Endorser; Awards and Activities; and Personal Statement, plus supporting documents, letters of recommendation, and a short video interview.
Semi-finalists will have a preliminary interview via Skype. Finalists will interview in person in Washington, DC, on Friday and Saturday, November 16-17, 2012. The US-Ireland Alliance will pay round-trip transportation, within the U.S., 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 applicants’ 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.
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