George J. Mitchell Scholarships

Background

The George J. Mitchell Scholarships are named in honor of the former United States Senator who served as chairman of the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. Under his leadership, an historic accord, ending decades of conflict, was agreed to by the governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom and the political parties of Northern Ireland. Senator Mitchell's life and career have embodied a deep commitment to public service. The commitment to serve community and country, along with his characteristics of intellectual distinction, leadership, integrity, excellence, and fairness are the qualities the U.S.-Ireland Alliance seeks in Mitchell Scholars.

The Scholarship

Endowed by the government of Ireland, the George J. Mitchell Scholarships were established in 1998. Scholars will be eligible to attend institutions of higher learning in Ireland, including the seven universities in the Republic of Ireland and the two universities in Northern Ireland, for one academic year of post-graduate study. The Mitchell Scholarship Program provides tuition, accommodations, a living expenses stipend, and an international travel stipend. This stipend will be paid in two equal parts directly to the scholar. The U.S.-Ireland Alliance will assist successful applicants with their traveling expenses to and from Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The Application

Applicants apply via the US-Ireland Alliance website. An application can also be downloaded from the US-Ireland Alliance website at www.mitchellscholar.org. Most particularly, applicants should give careful thought to the preparation of a thousand-word essay in which they set out in their own words their interests and aspirations, and their detailed reasons for wishing to study the specific areas of proposed academic work. This statement is especially helpful to the selection committee in its attempt to gain an understanding of the applicant's strengths. In addition, applicants are asked to supply a brief description of their activities during their college years.

Who Should Apply

Applicants for the Mitchell Scholarships must be U.S. citizens, aged eighteen or over but not yet 30 on Oct. 1 in the year of application. They must also have academic standing sufficient to assure completion of a Bachelor's degree before they begin study under the Mitchell Scholarship. Prospective Scholars must have a demonstrated record of leadership, intellectual distinction, and extra-curricular activity, as well as personal characteristics of honesty, integrity, fairness, and unselfish service to others which indicate a potential for future leadership and contribution to society. There are no restrictions as to academic field of study although the proposed course of study must be available at the university elected by the applicant and the applicant's undergraduate program must provide sufficient basis for study in the proposed field.

Campus Procedure

Students wishing to be nominated for a Mitchell Scholarship should contact Fellowships and Scholarships Director Ted Ogaldez before their senior year begins. Recommendations are required to secure the formal endorsement of their university or college.

Deadline

Application deadline is usually the beginning of October.

Recommendations

Applicants are required to secure the formal endorsement of their university or college and to provide exactly five letters of recommendation. In addition, those applicants who are full-time students at the time of application must obtain an institutional endorsement and three of the five letters of recommendation must come from persons with whom the candidate has done academic work. The selection committee also welcomes letters from persons competent to comment on aspects of the applicant's character and interests as revealed in non-academic activities.

The Mitchell Deadline

Application deadline is usually the beginning of October.

The Mitchell Interview

A preliminary elimination will be made on the basis of credentials. A selection committee will determine – based on the students' academic transcripts, a brief essay prepared by the applicants, and from references of the applicants – which remaining applicants will be invited to Washington, D.C. in November for an interview before the selection committee.

For More Information

Contact Fellowships and Scholarships Director Ted Ogaldez, Office of Graduate Fellowships, and consult the U.S.-Ireland Alliance website for more information.