Sorensen Fellowship 2015 Application

The 2015 Sorensen Fellowship application deadline has now passed. Several changes are planned for 2016, but to see what the 2015 application looked like, continue below.

2015 Application Deadlines:

Draft Application (optional but strongly encouraged):
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 by 5pm

Final Application:
Monday, November 3, 2014 by 5pm

First, a note from the Ethics Center: Completing a Sorensen Fellowship application is hard work. You will be required to look closely at who you are and what you want to do to make the world a better place. You will make contact with organizations as you research internship leads. You will approach professors for recommendations and write at length about yourself, your past, present and future. And this is just the application process! The Sorensen Fellowship is a year-long commitment bridging your academic learning with experiences in the field, and sharing your experiences with your peers and the Brandeis community.

No matter how far you get, we commend you for taking these first steps. We have heard from students that the application was tough, but an invaluable tool in guiding them toward achieving their goals, whether or not they received a Fellowship. Start early, ask questions, and have fun.

New for 2015: Additional need-based funding available through the Summer Earnings Replacement Grant!
(Note: You'll be asked if you're applying for the grant in the online application.)


  1. Read a quick summary of the program.
  2. Download the information packet to learn about the Fellowship and how to apply.
  3. View due dates and Ethics Center contact info.
  4. Read "Brandeis and the World" to figure out how to be a Sorensen Fellow AND study abroad if you want to do both.
  5. Get ideas from former Fellows from last year and from all years by viewing "Student Fellow Profiles" at right. Download the 2013 Fellows' final papers, compiled in a publication entitled Parallel Paths: Journeys, Explorations and Reflections.
  6. View the PAX 89 course syllabus for fall 2013. (Note: the syllabus will change as instructors alternate.)

  1. Review safety and security considerations from the U.S. State Department and Centers for Disease Control as you choose a location.
  2. Think about how religion, sexual preference, dietary needs, or ethnicity concerns might influence your selection of location. You'll want to strike a balance between your professional goals and your personal needs. View some excellent resources for helping you think through which region might be the best match for your needs, and how you might manage various factors as you make your choice.

  1. See internship ideas and leads.
  2. Get tips on contacting a potential internship site.
  3. Send the Internship Site Description to potential internship sites as you request your letter or email of interest.

  1. Give the Recommender's Instructions to your recommenders -- far in advance. We suggest giving your recommenders a deadline of at least one week before application materials are due. Recommendations received after the Nov. 3 deadline will not be opened. YOU must submit your recommendations in signed, sealed envelopes. Recommendations will not be accepted by email unless you are studying abroad.
  2. Read the Ethics Center mission statement and principles.
  3. Read the award-winning application essays of the 2014 Fellows (flaws and all!) to see how former Fellows presented themselves in their applications. (Please note that last year's essay questions varied slightly from this year's. Just read these essays to get a sense of some good writing.


  • a need-based grant of up to $1,500 as partial replacement for what you would have earned at a summer job
  • does not affect your application status
  • more information here


  1. Click here to submit a Draft Application by Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 5 pm.  

    Although not required, submitting a Draft Application for review is strongly recommended so you can get useful feedback on your ideas. Draft materials will not become part of your final application, so it is fine if the proposal is incomplete or in rough draft form.

    In addition to the online Draft Application, we appreciate a double-spaced, hard copy of your essay, delivered to the Ethics Center office, Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex (ASAC) Room 310, by Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 5 pm. However, hard copies of application materials are optional for the Draft Application. 

    NOTE: Do NOT use the Draft Application link above to submit your final application. To submit a final application, see the "Final Application" instructions below.

  2. Attend the Proposal Writing Workshop on Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 5:30-6:30 pm  in the Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex (ASAC) Atrium, across the loop road from the Heller School. This workshop will offer specific suggestions about how best to present your ideas and how to write a compelling proposal. It’s particularly aimed at those who have submitted a Draft Application, but all are welcome.


The final application is due Monday, November 3, 2014 by 5 pm. To make sure you are turning in a complete application, see the "Checklist" below. Please deliver a complete packet of your hard copy materials to the Ethics Center office, Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex room 310 (across the loop road from the Heller School). Unless you are studying abroad, EMAILED MATERIALS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. MATERIALS RECEIVED AFTER THE 5 pm DEADLINE WILL NOT BE OPENED.
  1. Online application - Click here (This is NOT the Draft Application; to complete a Draft Application, scroll up.)

  2. Hard copy materials, single-sided, NO STAPLES PLEASE:
  • Printed copy of your essay, double-spaced and paper-clipped (single-sided, no staples). Note: The essay will be pasted into the online application, but we'd also like this additional print-out from your word processing program.
  • Letter or email of interest from internship organization
  • Transcript (unofficial or official)
  • Current resume (include honors, special programs, extracurricular activities, etc. Can be 1-2 pages.)
  • Two recommendations in signed and sealed envelopes. Recommendations will not be accepted by email unless you are abroad. Recommendations submitted after the deadline will not be opened.

We hope the Sorensen Fellowship application process has proven to be a meaningful educational experience. Congratulations on your hard work, and best of luck!
Questions? Please contact the Ethics Center, MS 086, x68577,