Bullitt Environmental Fellowship FAQ
Frequent questions about the Fellowship application and selection process.
- Applications may be started through our Online Application Portal on or after January 1st.
- The application submission deadline is in the first week of April.
- Selected finalists are interviewed in June.
- The winner is announced at an award dinner in September.
- I am interested in applying for the Bullitt Fellowship and I am wondering who qualifies as "under represented" in the environmental movement. Could you please clarify which communities will and will not be considered for this fellowship?
We leave it up to nominators and applicants to decide for themselves what "under represented" means to them, trusting that faculty will use their best discretion in nominating candidates. Anyone may be considered for the award, so long as they are a graduate-level student in good standing at a school within the Foundation's funding area. You can find announcements about past Fellowship announcements elsewhere on this Web site.
The selection process starts with a recommendation from a faculty member as a first screen. We hope that those making recommendations will encourage applicants who are exceptional not only for their academic achievements, but also for their perseverance and leadership in spite of challenges and adversity. ONLY faculty-nominated applications will be considered. The selection committee will review faculty recommendations and personal references to gauge applicants' overall capabilities and character.
- The program in which I am enrolled is housed in an out-of-region branch of the University. I do have a long relationship with the Pacific Northwest. Would that still fall within your guidelines?
- Does the research conducted by the graduate student also need to be located in the Pacific NW, or may the research be conducted anywhere?
- Are citizens of countries other than the United States eligible?
Anyone may be considered for the award, so long as they are a graduate-level student enrolled in good standing at a school physically located within the Foundation's funding area. While your research may be conducted anywhere, the geographic restriction is firm. Your program must be based within Cascadia.
- I'm nearing completion of my dissertation. I will be enrolled as a student at least through the summer, so appear to meet the requirements of the Fellowship, but, given that I'm working to complete my dissertation now, I would use the Fellowship first to enable completion of my Ph.D., but more dominantly as a post-grad. I'm wondering if that falls within the parameters of the Fellowship.
- I am currently a graduate student and anticipate graduating and completing my thesis work in September. Would I still be eligible for the Bullitt Environmental Fellowship, or is this for students who will be enrolled throughout the duration of the award?
Any student enrolled in good standing in a master's program or higher at the time of the application deadline is eligible. Fellowship funds may be expended in post-doctoral or research activities.
- I applied last year and am considering applying again this year. Is it possible to get feedback on my application from last year so that I can take that into consideration for my new application?
We welcome re-applicants, but while we appreciate that you would like to receive detailed feedback about your application, it isn’t possible for us to do so. Please do not re-submit your application verbatim from a previous year.
Nominations and References:
- Should the letter of recommendation come from my supervisor or is it from the department – something that my department head must write and sign?
- Could you please give me more information about what it takes to nominate a student for this award? As a university professor and researcher what can I do to ensure that the nomination is recognized and give the student the best chance of success? Is the nomination simply a signed letter or is there more to it than that?
The selection process starts with a nomination from any faculty member as a first screen. We hope that those making recommendations will encourage applicants who are exceptional not only for their academic achievements, but also for their triumph over adversity. Only faculty recommended applications will be considered. 100% of the nominations received thus far have taken the form of a signed letter.
- I'm uncertain whether the Bullitt Foundation requires the faculty recommendation to be sent by the faculty member, under separate cover...
Your nomination letter should be placed in a sealed envelope that has been signed by your nominating faculty member on the outside.
- Would it be alright if the signature on the letter of recommendation from a faculty member is an electronic signature? My advisor is in the field and will not be back by the deadline, so he cannot physically sign the letter. However, I have an electronic signature that I can add to his letter of recommendation if that is alright.
An electronic signature is fine, as long as it is with your instructor's knowledge and permission. Your instructor should expect contact from the Bullitt Foundation in order to verify authenticity.
- There are three essay questions. Do you want 1 essay with 3 separate questions OR 3 different essays?
Most applicants answer the three questions in one brief essay for each. However, you may structure your responses in the most logical way to tell your story.
- "Will the Fellowship represent a major change from the type of work you have been doing and, if so, please explain why this is the appropriate next step in your personal and professional development." Could you provide an example to explain this sentence?
We trust that all those who have been nominated to apply will be of the highest academic quality, so the award committee will focus on how you have prepared yourself to be a leader in the environmental field, and how you have overcome obstacles to do so. We understand that receipt of the award will likely be a transformative event in your research and professional development, so we ask if the award will allow you to engage in activities that you are not doing presently, what those activities might be, and how you think the opportunity to thus challenge yourself might impact your future development. Our best advice to you is to tell your story clearly, concisely, and compellingly - and present a best case scenario.
- Is it possible to provide a standard essay sample to show your requirements?
We hope that each application will be unique and compelling, and for that reason there can be no such thing as a standard essay. Be creative.
- Do the awards go to universities or directly to the individual graduate students?
- Could a student request that his/her fellowship award sum be deposited into an account managed by the university, so that they don’t have to pay taxes on it?
It does not make any difference for US federal income tax purposes whether the Foundation provides a check to the individual, or a check to the university that is earmarked to pay expenses for the individual. The payment will not be taxable income to the individual if 1) the individual is a candidate for a degree at a qualified educational institution and 2) the funds are used for qualified tuition and related expenses such as fees, books, supplies and equipment required for courses of instruction. Otherwise, the payment will be included in the individual's income, regardless of whether the check goes to the individual or to the school.
- Is there a specific requirement on the use of the Fellowship? Can this Fellowship be used in my research project OR in my personal expense?
If awarded, you may use the fellowship for any expense related to accomplishing your research goals - living expense, tuition, books, equipment, hiring assistants, lab fees, etc.
- Should my future budget be equal to $100,000 over two years? If my budget is much less than $100,000 over two years, does this situation affect my application?
If awarded, you must account for your entire award disbursement. It is possible that any award money left unspent at the end of two years would have to be returned to the Bullitt Foundation. Some of the award not spent on tuition, fees, books, equipment, etc. would be taxable as personal income.