Sep 21, 2023

Fellowship Application: 5 Tips for Applying with Success


Fellowship training is one step in the process of becoming a specialist physician. This is when you spend additional years of education and training to learn about your specific subset of medicine. Not everyone will be accepted into a fellowship program. In fact, it's typically reserved for only the top doctoral graduates. In this blog, we're offering a few tips to create a successful fellowship application.

How to Make Your Fellowship Application Stand Out

How can you better position yourself to be chosen for a fellowship program? Keep reading!

1. Show, Don't Tell

You want to demonstrate that you have a serious interest in your research and specialty. Get specific! Describe in detail your experience and skills, and why this specialty is important to you. What makes you unique? Why does this research matter to you? Aim to really illustrate why you're a top pick and don't hesitate to offer particular examples to prove your points.

woman typing fellowship application on laptop

2. Write a Personal Statement that Shines

Part of your fellowship application is going to be a personal statement, and this is where applicants commonly stumble. First, whichever agency you're applying to, check their mission statement. What do they care about most? That's what you're going to want to speak to.

More specifically, think of how your experience and training can have a broader impact on society. What's the point of all of this? What are you trying to accomplish, and how does it affect other people? Go beyond the classroom, clinic, or hospital. How do you want to make a real impact, and why?

3. Gather as Much (Qualified) Feedback as Possible

Your fellowship application is likely going to go through several edits, and that's completely normal. Throughout this process, turn to people you trust for their valuable feedback and insight. Who among your faculty and peers can offer a qualified opinion? Collect as much feedback as you can and continue polishing your application.

two women discussing fellowship application

4. Think Outside the Box

You can easily look up fellowship application templates and canned responses online. Avoid them! (The people reviewing your application will know.) Get creative and speak in your own voice. After all, you're the one asking for funding. Scared you're thinking too outside of the box? Don't stress — that's what feedback is for.

5. Pay Attention to the Eligibility Requirements

These requirements are going to vary by fellowship. Look at the qualifications for where you're applying, and make sure your fellowship application really highlights relevant strengths. Make your application unique to this specific experience. Not all fellowships are the same.

Submitting a fellowship application is an incredibly admirable next step in your journey to becoming the doctor you want to be. Start planning early, do your due diligence, and be yourself. To recap:

  • Really illustrate your qualities by showing (not telling).
  • Take your personal statement seriously.
  • Get feedback from people you trust.
  • Don't be afraid to get creative.
  • Mind the eligibility requirements.

Follow these tips and you're on your way to creating a fellowship application that stands out from the competition.

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