Fellowship Committee Policy

Reference Number: S11-258
Senate Approval Date: Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Presidential Approval Date: 
Friday, July 8, 2011




There has not yet been a standing fellowship committee at San Francisco State.  Instead, ad hoc committees have assessed and nominated our applicants to nationally competitive fellowship programs.  The proposed Fellowship Committee would develop a knowledge base in respect the fit between candidates and fellowship programs, nominate the strongest candidates, provide valuable feedback to nominees, and assist in preparing finalists for foundation interviews.  Together, these improvements in the fellowship process will support the academic, artistic, and public service leadership ambitions of our most gifted students, and result in a stronger profile for the university among the foundations that require institutional nomination for their fellowships.


San Francisco State University students have, over the past decade, won several nationally competitive scholarships, fellowships, and grants (hereinafter “fellowships”).  These include the Fulbright, the Javits, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Merage Fellowship for New Americans, and Truman and Udall Scholarships.  Of these, four require institutional nomination or evaluation and rating: the Fulbright, Truman, Merage, and Udall.   We expect that in the coming years our students will win other fellowships that require institutional nomination.  Primary among these are the Marshall, Mitchell, and Rhodes Scholarships[1] (“the U.K. scholarships”), as well as the Jack Kent Cooke, Goldwater, and Soros.  A condition of institutional nomination is always that a faculty committee vet applicants to ensure that nominees not only meet the explicit requirements of the fellowship, but also fulfill the overarching intentions and implicit standards of the fellowship. 




The Fellowship Committee is responsible for understanding the core values of the fellowship programs that require nomination or evaluation, and recognizing how these may be embodied in fellowship applicants.  Following the campus or “internal” deadline for a particular fellowship, the committee reviews applications and identifies those applicants it considers potentially viable candidates.  It then interviews potential nominees to determine their fitness for the fellowship, as well as matters that, based on the interview, should be more fully or skillfully addressed in the candidate’s application materials.  The committee is interested in assessing whether an applicant might represent him or herself and the university well during a foundation interview of finalists, and what areas covered in the campus interview the candidate would be advised to strengthen in anticipation of a foundation interview.  By these means, the university ensures nomination of well matched and well prepared candidates for nationally competitive fellowship programs.




  1. To keep itself informed about the program purpose and selection criteria of national fellowships and CSU awards (hereafter “fellowships”) that require institutional nomination;


  2. To evaluate the candidacies of fellowship applicants according to program criteria;


  3. To provide feedback to nominees on their application materials;


  4. To nominate candidates for fellowship programs who fulfill the program’s selection criteria and represent the University’s excellence;


  5. To interview applicants to fellowship programs that require campus or finalist interviews;


  6. To provide mock interviews for and feedback on these interviews to finalists for national fellowships.


Voting Membership


  • A minimum of four faculty appointed by the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate. 


  • The University’s Fellowship Advisor will serve as an ex officio member.





Term of Service

Two year renewable terms.






[1] There are several Rhodes Scholarship programs: one for U.S. Students and others for students who are citizens of Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Newfoundland, Bermuda, Jamaica, and Zimbabwe.