April - June 2023: Steps 1, 2, & 3 - Explore, Meet, Reach out
This is a great time to complete Steps 1, 2, and 3. If you've never met with anyone in the Office of Fellowships, you should request an appointment. If you've already had a first appointment, just email Christine with your availability for a follow-up. Do your research on the graduate program offerings and reach out to UK faculty as needed. Contact faculty before the summer is well underway to discuss graduate school and programs and to solicit recommendation letters.
June - July 2023: Steps 4 & 5 - Write, Draft, Revise
This is a great time to work on Steps 4 & 5. The online application allows you to save your work and return to it. If you start early, you'll have ample time to revise and proofread your entries. Essay writing is an iterative process - you'll return to the essays again and again with each round of feedback. Again, if you allow time for this process to unfold, you'll produce your best work.
August 2023: Steps 5, 6, & 7 - Polish, Request, Submit
This is a great time to complete Steps 5, 6, & 7. Put the finishing touches on those essays. Very early in August, write to your recommenders to remind them of the internal deadline, and attach your essays to your message. Send or re-send the recommendation request from the application portal.) Copy and paste your essays into the portal by the internal deadline. Hit submit! (The application will not go to Marshall. This is only for internal review.)
August - September 2023: Steps 8 & 9 - Apply to your 1st year graduate program; campus interview
Whew! You've got that application submitted! In a change from previous years, Marshall now expects you to apply to your first year, first choice program as soon as the application becomes available (Step 8). Very soon after you submit your Marshall application, we will get in touch with you about scheduling your Marshall internal campus interview with the Committee on Student Fellowships.
Talk with us about your candidacy!
Request an appointment here so we can discuss your candidacy, potential recommenders, and how we work together on your essays.
Once you've had this conversation and have been approved to apply, you can move to Step 3!
Reach out to potential recommenders. The Marshall application requires three letters - at least two from faculty who have taught you in courses and can speak about your potential for success in graduate school, and one from someone (faculty, staff, work or internship supervisor, etc.) who can address your leadership and ambassadorial potential, if not also your academic excellence. For the two academic recommendations, seek those who have seen your most sophisticated academic work (upper level courses; thesis advisor, for example). Your first - "preferred recommender" should be the faculty member who knows your academic work best. Two of letters must be from faculty in the U.S. Make sure all are prepared to write a thorough and detailed letter (up to 1,000 words).
Before you reach out, read this advice for candidates on requesting recommendations. Ask your recommenders to read our Marshall Overview page, which introduces them to the Marshall and also outlines the content and format requirements for the letter (at the bottom of the page). You can also copy and paste the Info for Recommenders section at the bottom of that page and send it in an email to them. Ask them now, but assure them that before they write the letter (likely in early August) you will send them drafts of your essays.)
Got your recommenders all set? On to step 4!
Open an application in the Marshall online portal. In this portal you will enter all the materials for your application. For our internal review, we will pull a pdf of your application from that portal once you have submitted it by the internal deadline. The application portal will open by mid-June. We will provide the link when it opens. Once you've created an application, you can
For transfer or study abroad transcripts, follow instructions at the relevant institution for requesting an electronic version and have it sent to Christine as above. She will then send it to you for upload.
If you have any difficulty with the online application system, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
While you are drafting and saving your work in the online application, move on to the next steps!
Fellowship essays often require more work than do papers for a class. Reviewers read your application materials quickly, so the prose must be crystal-clear. This takes much revision, for everyone, no matter how good a writer you are. Further, the very act of writing can help you figure out what you want to say and even what you think. Allow time for your ideas and phrasing to develop. The Marshall application has a lot of essays! You don't have to write them all at once. Create a Google folder for your essays so you can work on drafts until you are ready to copy and paste them into the portal. As you write, share them with Christine either as Word or Google docs. She will send you written or verbal feedback. You may find inspiration through reading essays by AC Marshall Scholars and finalists.
We suggest you write your essays in the order listed below:
Post Scholarship Plan (150 words): Describe your immediate plans upon completion of your Marshall Scholarship and why two years spent undertaking a degree in the UK would enhance these plans. As well as describing your plans for employment or further study, you should indicate how you would develop ongoing connections with the UK through your UK institution or some other contacts you propose to make while there. Also include a brief statement of your future (long-term) career plans.
Proposed Academic Programme (500 words): Describe your proposed academic program, giving reasons for choice of course(s) and preferred university(ies). For research degrees, give an outline proposal of the research you wish to undertake, the person with whom you would like to work, and any contacts you have made with faculty there. Also include a brief outline of why you have chosen your 2nd choice courses and institutions. As you write this essay, keep in mind that it will factor into the reviewers' assessment of your academic merit.
Leadership essay (500 words): Describe a situation in which you were working with a group of people and recognized and responded to a need for leadership. The objective is to help the committee understand your leadership conviction and drive, style and potential; it it snot meant to be a list of achievements. See the Marshall understanding of leadership potential.
Ambassadorial Potential essay (500 words): Explain why you want to undertake your studies in the UK, and in what particular ways you think that you will benefit personally and professionally from the experience. Discuss how work in your field of study (including your own research) can enhance the USA-UK relationship. Further, explain what you might do to contribute to improved relations in this area now and following the scholarship. See the Marshall understanding of ambassadorial potential.
Personal Statement (750 words): Describe your intellectual development and other interests and pursuits. To generate ideas for writing this personal statement, read Reflection Questions for Personal Statements. (We suggest you write this one last because if you write it first, you may include content that belongs in the other, more targeted essays. Writing it last enables you to think about the values, motivation, and experiences that led to all the rest.
One-Year Choice Explanation (for 1-yr Marshall applicants only; 300 words): The one-year Marshall Scholarship is aimed at applicants who have strong reasons for wishing to study in the UK but are unable to commit to the two-year scholarship. Please read the objectives of the Marshall Scholarship outlined in the Rules and provide a statement that outlines why you are unable to apply for a two-year Scholarship.
Once the content of your essays is pretty firm, you can move on to the next step!
In Step 3, you asked people if they would be willing to write recommendation letters for you. Now is the time to send the email solicitation for that letter from within the Marshall portal. The information Marshall sends may not include our internal deadline. Make sure your writers are not confused by this! Before you trigger the request in the portal, send an email reminding them of the Amherst internal deadline. You may wish to re-send the information at the bottom of the Marshall Overview page as a reminder. Ask them to pay attention to the formatting details as well as the content information, and remind them that the letter can be no more than 1,000 words.
Along with your email, send drafts of the essays that pertain to what each recommender is writing about you. They will not need to read all of the essays. Your academic recommenders should see the post-graduate plan, academic program essay, and the personal statement. The third recommender should see the post-graduate plan, the leadership and ambassadorial essays, and read the personal statement.
On to Step 7!
Wow! You made it this far. Good for you! By noon on September 1, 2023, hit submit in the Marshall online application portal. Don't worry! The application will NOT go to the foundation. It can't, in fact. The only way your application can head over the pond is if we send it there. And we can send it back to you for revision at any time before the national deadline. If you have thoroughly proofread your application (hint: enlarge the print on your computer screen and read your words aloud as you proofread) and are satisfied it is free of errors, hit submit. You do NOT need to wait for your recommenders to submit their letters. However, if you notice they have not done so, DO send them a gentle reminder of the deadline. We cannot hold up the process for late recommendations.
On to Step 9!
You've come so far and done so much! Congratulations on researching programs, gathering supporters, writing essays, and getting it all in.
What is endorsement? After you've submitted your application, we'll present it to a faculty committee for their review. We will also reach out to you to set up a 20-minute campus interivew. After reading your materials and interviewing you, the committee will decide whether to endorse you. We will inform you of their decision via email shortly after the interviews are over. Marshall has a limit of 24 endorsements per institution. While that number is not a barrier to endorsement at Amherst, endorsement is not a given. The decision is based on whether or not the committee believes you have displayed in your application and interview the Marshall qualifications. As an applicant, you should prepare yourself for any outcome.
IF YOU WERE NOT ENDORSED
Meeting with Christine to discuss other options and receive support (we care about you!). We can't divulge the reasons for the committee's decision, but we can help you think about how to grow from the experience. Note that if you applied as a senior, you could apply again in the year following graduation.
IF YOU WERE ENDORSED
Christine will advise you as to whether any changes are recommended to your application essays or other components. If so, she will return the application to you in the portal so you can revise and resubmit by the next internal deadline of August XXX at NOON.
Christine will email you with questions for you to answer that will help her write the endorsement letter. Respond as soon as possible to that email. She will write the endorsement letter and upload it to your application, then nominate and submit your application by the Marshall national deadline.
Write to your recommenders to thank them again for their support and to let them know you were endorsed.
FOUNDATION SELECTION PROCESS AND TIMELINE
|Regional Committees send emails to or call finalists inviting them to interview; they also notify those not invited via email|
Finalists are interviewed in person or over Zoom (TBD) from early to late November by Marshall Regional Interview Panels
Finalists are notified via email of the Committee decision; winners complete paperwork and begin the graduate school application process if they have not already done so