Saturday Oct 23, 2021

Seven practical steps to follow when applying for various academic endeavors

From time to time, an academic’s career is marked by completing applications for teaching awards, fellowships, research, and other scholarships. I refer to these as academic endeavors. My experience, participation and successful analysis or the processes involved in several of these efforts suggest that there are some common characteristics and associated steps linked to these applications. To be successful, these must be met.

Step one: be sure to create an online account or personal web portal. The online application for these efforts has now become standard. It is through these web portals or online accounts that you can check your current status and upload and respond to the sections and requirements for the endeavor you are requesting.

Second step: use the web portal to find and apply for the correct category of scholarship, grant, or award you wish to apply for. Categories and descriptors are clearly highlighted and strategically placed on these portals or websites. The location ensures that they are easily identified by a potential candidate, participant or applicant like you.

Step three: Please read carefully the sections and instructions provided for the endeavor you are requesting. In some cases, there may also be sample completed sections for you to read and model your own application. If this does not exist on the portal or website, with a diligent search on the Internet, examples can be found. It is very important to participate in this process of finding and obtaining examples. Doing so will help guide your thinking and help structure your response according to what is required and which will ultimately lead to success.

Step oven– Pay close attention to things like word limits and other special requirements, such as the need to clearly demonstrate your knowledge and understanding or a particular discipline or clearly delineate the impact your proposed research may have or may have had on others or show how Your education, training, employment, roles, and experience contributed to your professional development as a teacher, mentor, learning facilitator, and / or academic leader.

Step five: Take care to complete all required sections of your application and review them. An application in need of review reflects negatively on you as a professional and makes the evaluator’s job less than a pleasant experience.

Step six: most academic related applications require a reference or two. Referees must be well chosen, that is, they must be able to comment sensibly on their work and, in doing so, contribute to its success. You will either send them a summary of what is required or the web portal will automate this request and link your referees to the appropriate section of your web portal. Send timely reminders to your referees.

Step seven– Sometimes, depending on the nature and type of effort requested, there is a cost involved. This will have to be paid. The fees you pay may be based on your status, that is, independent scholar or scholar employed by an institution.

If you want to be successful in applying for your next academic endeavor, I highly recommend that you follow these steps. Good luck!

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