Sorensen Fellowship 2016 Application

The deadline for summer 2016 has passed. Take a look at the application materials below to get a sense of the process for future summers.

2016 Application Deadlines:

Draft Application (optional but strongly encouraged):
Thursday, October 1, 2015 by 5pm

Final Application:
Monday, November 2, 2015 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 conduct research into three possible organizations with which to intern. 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.

Changes for 2016 (more about these changes in the information packet and here)

  • Students abroad in the spring are eligible.
  • No need to secure your internship before applying
  • Summer Earnings Replacement Grant available
  • New options for letters of recommendation


  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. Get ideas from former Fellows from last year and from all years by viewing "Student Fellow Profiles" at right. Read or download the Fellows' final papers, compiled in an annual publication.
  5. View the PAX 89 course syllabus for fall 2014. (Note: the syllabus will change as instructors alternate.)
  6. Read the Ethics Center mission statement and principles.

  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, gender identity, 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. (You are not limited to these sites.)
  2. Read the internship site description, which, if you are chosen as a Fellow, you will give to your potential organizations. This form clarifies for the organization what they will be required to do if you choose to intern with them. 
  3. Read about other ways of finding internships in the information packet.

  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. 2 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 award-winning application essays of the 2015 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
  • brief information session Tuesday, October 13, 2015, 5:00 - 5:30 pm, Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex (ASAC) Atrium
  • more information here


  1. Attend the Summer Internship Funding Information Session, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, 4:00 - 5:30 pm, Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex (ASAC) Atrium, across from the Heller School.
  2. Click here to submit a DRAFT APPLICATION by Thursday, October 1, 2015 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 Thursday, October 1, 2015 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.

  3. Take advantage of Application Support Weeks, October 14-29, 2015.

    Sorensen Fellowship director Marci McPhee holds regular office hours throughout the semester. In addition, she’ll have extra office hours during Sorensen Fellow Application Support Weeks. Make one ½ hour appointment anytime this fall to discuss ideas, questions or concerns about your application. Contact, or sign up here.

  4. Attend the Proposal Writing Workshop on Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 5:00-6:00 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 2, 2015 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 (ASAC) 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. Click here to submit the online portion of the FINAL APPLICATION (This is NOT the Draft Application; to complete a Draft Application, scroll up.)

  2. Hard copy materials, SINGLE-SIDED, NO STAPLES:
  • 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.
  • 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,