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Fellows Program -- Frequently Asked Questions


What kind of projects are you looking for?

We’re looking for projects that either:

  a) continue an existing relationship with a Brandeis alumni, partner, or friend in India

OR

  b) establish a new, sustainable relationship with a partner organization, institution, or person in India

These projects can be carried out directly as part of a regular summer internship/academic program/volunteer program. In other words, your internship “project” can be directly related to your Brandeis-India Initiative Fellowship project. Or it can be done during free time from the internship or study abroad program.

We’re looking for creative projects that seek to further the goals of the Brandeis-India Initiative (strengthening our university ties to India), while also being valuable career-building tools for you. Your project should lead to a tangible, "Final Product" to be given to the Initiative library. Your project might be social justice-related, but it doesn’t have to be.

How will I know what projects might relate to the goals and partners of the Brandeis-India Initiative?

The best guideline is to check out the activities of the first and second rounds of Brandeis-India Initiative Fellows at: http://www.brandeis.edu/globalbrandeis/india/indiafellows.html.

The details of your project can and should be adjusted upon arrival, and a final summary will not be due to us until after you arrive. We mostly want to see that you have some initial ideas, and that you are able to think about the steps toward carrying a project out. In fact, we encourage you to build into your proposal and budget a mechanism for investigating project possibilities (such as arriving a week early prior to your internship, or arranging an initial dinner with an alumnus or other partner).

What is the “Final Product”?

Full distribution of the funding is contingent on you handing in a tangible ‘Final Product.’ The Final Product should be the culmination of your project and needs to be something that can be seen or viewed by many people. For example, a Final Product could be a short video, publication, report, web site, research documentation toward a senior thesis, or other documentation of an event.

The funding is nice. But why would I do this on top of doing an internship or study abroad program?

Ideally, your Fellowship project should be integrated into your internship, volunteer program, or study abroad program – or at least should not pose any conflicts with your regular work. There are no restrictions on using the project as a part of regular work or classes, as long as your agency/program approves it. For example, a capstone project for a study abroad program course could also be your Fellows project/product.

In addition to the extra funding to allow you to complete the project, we will also be publicizing you as an ‘Ambassador’ for the Brandeis-India Initiative and will try to arrange for career-building opportunities as best we can. It will ideally be a valuable career-building opportunity. In addition, we’ll be trying to organize group meetings among the fellows to help you prepare for your trip to India, and will be inviting in India experts and returned students.

The applications are due no later than March 22. But what if I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing yet?

For this round of funding, we are looking to support students with reasonably firm plans to go to India during summer 2013 or during 2013-14. 

Who is eligible?

Full-time Brandeis undergraduate or graduate students in all majors are eligible to apply as part of the following kinds of 2013-14 activities:

  • An internship, volunteer, study, or service program of more than three weeks
  • A semester-length, summer, or year-long study abroad program
  • A research fellowship or project

Students must submit a letter of commitment from the organization/program you will be working with, or other proof that you have applied for a program (such as a study abroad program). Our funding is contingent upon acceptance/invitation into the program or organization.

What are you looking for in a Fellow?

We’ll be seeking motivated students who have an interest in developing the global dimensions of Brandeis University through relationship-building and networking. We will especially be looking for students who may have worked with alumni or parent relations, or have been involved with the admissions office. Familiarity with the Brandeis-India Initiative, and strong support from faculty in South Asian Studies would be a definite plus. But overall, we’ll be looking for some kind of demonstrated ability to craft and carry out a project, and final product, that could benefit the Initiative, the university & the hosts, as well as yourself.

How does the funding work, and how many awards will be given?

We have limited funding to award. We will be choosing up to ten Fellows, with awards ranging from $500 - $1500.

You CAN combine this funding with other university or external funding – in fact, this is encouraged. In the case of the WOW or Sorensen Programs, funding will support your India Initiative project and not the internship itself, and may be more limited.

Half of the funding will be distributed a few weeks before you depart for your trip. The other half will be awarded to you after you return and hand in your Final Product. Note: You should NOT WAIT on this award to pay for any fixed expenses, such as airfare or other travel. It is intended as a reimbursement and supplementary funding.