FIRE Guide For Undocumented Students

The Undocumented Student Resource Guide is a guide of fellowships, internships, funding, and research opportunities open to undocumented students and students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.  These opportunities are both Brown-specific and unrelated to Brown and include opportunities for graduate school preparation and funding, special projects, public service, law, government, health, medicine, and general resources.

The list is not extensive (i.e. if there is an opportunity at Brown that is not listed on this sheet, it does not mean that it is not open to undocumented/DACA students). Although this guide was created to make resources more accessible to undocumented and DACA students, it can also be used for people with other legal statuses and work permits. This guide will be continually updated.

For a paper copy, please visit the Curricular Resource Center, the First-Generation Low-Income Student Center, or the CareerLAB.

 

 

 

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Student Spotlight – Maryori Conde

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Name: Maryori Conde

Class Year: 2018

Concentration: Ethnic Studies

Maryori  has interned at American Public Media, Breakthrough Providence, and with the AFSCME Union Scholars Program. Read on to learn more about how her desire for social change led her to pursue a career in teaching.


What kind of research experiences, internships, or fellowships have you been involved with during college?

During the summer, I have had internships that fall into different categories. My first internship was at American Public Media where I interned as a Financial Analyst and Office Clerk. I took this internship because it was way out of my comfort zone and I thought I should do it in order to learn communication and finance skills and I am happy I did. I learned how to use Excel and how much care and attention to detail the finance department has to have on a daily basis.

My second internship was at Breakthrough Providence where I was a Teaching Fellow. Breakthrough Providence is a non-profit organization that primarily serves academically motivated, first-generation, low-income students of color from the Providence area. As a summer teaching fellow, I co-taught a 15-student, heterogenous 7th grade English class. We created lesson plans that blended a social justice curriculum with an academic one. Our social justice curriculum taught issues related to the school-to-prison pipeline using the book Monster by Walter Dean Meyers as the primary class reading. I also taught an elective on Gender and Sexuality to the 8th graders, which was very impactful.

My last and most recent internship was being a Union Scholar for AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees). The program was sponsored through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, as well as the Harvard Labor and Worklife Program.  Through the program, I was able to learn how to be a labor organizer in Jacksonville, Florida, and rebuild a local of residential nurses that encompassed three hospitals. I had the opportunity to attend meetings with AFSCME international and state-wide organizers to report on the local and discuss different organizing methods for the future. This definitely helped change the way I saw organizing outside of a college setting.

How have these experiences shaped your goals and plans for the future?

My internship with Breakthrough furthered my passion and love for teaching and really cemented my desire to be a teacher in secondary elementary. My last internship with AFSCME showed me the importance of organizing around labor and how much diversity is needed within that field. I hope to be a teacher that is able to not only help my students succeed inside, but also outside the classroom. I hope to help their families and be an active member of their community.

What was your favorite part of or an interesting story about a research experience, internship, or fellowship you participated in?

My favorite part of each of the internships was that I was able to meet many different people of different backgrounds and hear their stories. It was great to be surrounded by people who were passionate about social justice and helping others. They were aware of their positionality through it all and how they were interacting with other folks and taught me how to do the same. I love them and feel like the people I worked for are mentors I learned so much from. They taught me how to care for myself and still be involved in activism.

Do you have any advice for students looking to potentially pursue opportunities similar to what you’ve pursued?

I did not pursue any research experiences, but I wish that I had. I didn’t believe in myself nor my ideas and felt that I would not be able to contribute as a professor to the academy in a meaningful way. Because of this, I steered away from those opportunities. My advice for students is to work everyday at believing yourself and your ideas. Talk to a professor about your ideas, meet with professors who are probably thinking about the same things, and they will definitely help you find the opportunities you need. If you are first-generation, low-income, these opportunities are still for you! Trust me, there are mad grants and scholarships out there that professors will push you to apply for if you want to do research.

If you don’t want to pursue research and want to do internships as I did, just look. Be comfortable with the uncomfortable. There are so many opportunities for student activists like the Dream Summer Fellowship at UCLA, the Union Scholars Program with AFSCME, and the Summer Activist Training. Don’t limit yourself if you are into activism and want to learn more. Also, if you want to be a teacher with a social justice focus, Breakthrough Providence was such an amazing resource. Would 100% recommend.

Post Baccalaureate Fellowship Program

The Carnegie Foundation offers a Post Baccalaureate Fellowship Program, a paid, two-year program that provides recent college graduates with a chance to learn from and contribute to the Foundation’s efforts in the field of education and, more specifically, networked improvement science in education.

Post-Baccalaureate Fellows serve in full-time appointments at the Foundation and are placed in different programs and departments and are assigned a supervising mentor. Fellows gain a range of widely applicable professional skills in research, communication, group facilitation, teamwork, project management, writing, and leadership.

Fellows must be willing to commit to the two years of the fellowship program starting July 2018, must have obtained their Bachelor’s degree, completed within the past two academic years (May 2016-June 2018), and must be able to provide proof of eligibility to work in the U.S.

Applications are received on a rolling basis. You can apply here.

Royce Fellowship Application Tips with Professor Kevin Escudero

Established in 1996, the Royce Fellowship enables undergraduates to explore their developing interests and passions. The program confers lifetime membership into the Society of Royce Fellows, a community of student scholars, faculty fellows, and Royce alumni that offers a forum for reflection, inquiry, and intellectual engagement within the university. Applications are due March 16, 2018 at 11:45p.m. through UFUNDS.


Application Tips from Royce Faculty Fellow Kevin Escudero:

1) What is the Royce Fellowship?

The Royce Fellowship is an opportunity for undergraduates to carry out independent research, curricular development, or public service projects in places across the U.S. and around the world. Accepted students receive a stipend of $4,000 that is distributed to pursue their project during the summer. Royce Fellows conduct their research under the guidance of a faculty mentor and as part of an interdisciplinary cohort that is composed of up to twenty students. All students in good standing who will return to Brown for at least one full semester are welcome to submit applications. First-generation, low-income, undocumented, and DACAmented students are especially encouraged to apply.

2) What characteristics do you value in an application?

Students selected for the Royce often have projects that involve community engaged scholarship. Engaged scholarship is a form of scholarship (including teaching, research or service) in which faculty and students partner with organizations and individuals outside the academy to address challenges that those organizations and individuals face. These partners may be private enterprises, government agencies, or community nonprofit organizations. Overall, we value Royce projects that deal with producing knowledge that communities want and need.

3) What kind of applicants stand out to you and why?

The committee looks for students that are excited about working on their project and building community knowledge, particularly in interdisciplinary ways. Students should understand and expect that their projects will change over time as it develops through the partnership and how they understand their project. We value students who think, “Maybe I should readjust this way,” over applicants who didn’t question themselves or who didn’t adjust. Some students conduct literature reviews before fully developing their project proposal and continue to be reflective throughout the process.

To see a previous iteration of application tips for the Royce Fellowship, see this post.

 

Mellon Mays Application Tips with Dean Asabe Poloma

The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) aims to increase the number of historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in the academy. Rising juniors across eligible fields are invited to apply. As a private university, Brown’s MMUF program is open to U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, DACA and undocumented students. Applications are due March 5, 2018 through UFUNDS.


Application Tips from Mellon Mays Associate Director Dr. Asabe Poloma:

1) What is the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship?

The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship is two-year research fellowship that sponsors students who are interested in pursuing a research project, particularly centered around issues of race, equity, and access. The program makes up a nationwide network that hopes to establish a cadre of young and aspiring scholars that want to contribute to the research enterprise across disciplines. Fellows should be prospectively interested in academic careers.

2) When should students begin thinking about this opportunity and their application?

It is never too early to start thinking about this opportunity. For first-year students, this means starting to think about what are your academic interests are and what interests you hope to pursue at Brown. When you engage in seminars and classes, what are the intellectual questions that draw your interest? If you were to design your own seminar, what scholarship and tools would you want to use?

In the fall semester of your second year, talk with your professors, faculty members, and those in your advising network about academic careers. Ask about what an academic career entails, not simply in relation to research but also teaching and service. What were their pathways? Start to think about what your driving focus could potentially be within and beyond your concentration. How would the Mellon elaborate on those interests? How can your current academic interests be a clear pathway to an academic career and a world beyond Brown?

If you enjoy the courses you are taking, talk to graduate students and faculty mentors; start engaging with the program through an information session and a meeting with the program director.

3) What does the selection process for the MMUF program look like?

The selection process is a very competitive process but also a very clearly outlined process. There are two main steps. The first involves applying to the program. The admissions committee, comprised of Brown faculty members across a range of disciplines, then review the applications thoughtfully and carefully and from an applicant pool, invite shortlisted candidates to interview. After the interview process, the pool is narrowed down to the finalists who are made the offer.

4) What qualities make an application stand out?

Academic promise. One quality that we look for is for applicants to demonstrate academic promise. In many ways, Mellon is not a just a meritorious award based on past accolades, but also about fellows’ imagined possibilities and potential impact as future scholars, mentors, and critically engaged educators. Intellectual creativity, risk-taking, and thinking about the world and engaging social and critical issues are academically promising qualities. We want to understand how students have mapped their academic experience and where they see them taking them.

Conceptualizing the power of academic tools. Another quality has to do with how students have started to think of the tools of their academic discipline to construct and deconstruct new forms of understanding about the world and what they care about. Students should see where the academic opportunities and gaps are. Take what you have learned and think about what you want to gain from the Mellon in terms of a personalized map for yourself, networks, advisors, and meeting other Mellon fellows.

Self-reflection. We want to see students who engage in a lot of self-reflection in the contemporary moment but also looking forward. In that reflection process, we want students to demonstrate how their individual reflection goals are related to larger social goals. How do you see your research contributing to important social justice issues and advancing racial justice?

5) Do you have any general tips for potentially applicants?

Develop and leverage a network that is informed about and would help you craft a competitive application. Talk about your work, talk about what upsets you, what excites you, and talk about how they could be used for a research agenda. Be comfortable with soliciting and seeking advice or feedback whether it be current fellows, faculty mentor who are familiar with other fellowships, and think about how you might conceptualize this in a proposal.

Develop nonacademic habits. As a Mellon research fellow, develop the other nonacademic habits that are integral to a successful research career. The ability to adapt, be coached, and self-reflect all are important to the process.

Keep your research a dialectical processResearch is not a solitary enterprise, especially if it is research dedicated to solving issues of racial and social justice. Mellon is based on the principles of community engaged scholarship, as well as community and peer collaboration. As individuals move through the process, it is such an important skill to be able to connect bridges, for people to give you feedback and translate the project for the communities you hope you are either representing or giving voice to. Think about your research as an intellectual application.

6) Is there anything else you want to say about the Mellon Mays Fellowship?

The Mellon cohort is one of the most tangible and long-lasting impacts of the program that students don’t always see. The cohort serves as a model for a group of peers to practice supporting each other’s intellectual process of discovery and also to have a community of like-minded individuals that can serve as a powerful antidote to what can be a solitary or isolated research process. Mellon is composed of people who are idealistic and passionate, and hold space for critical engagement and learn from each other. I don’t think a lot of students realize that when they are inducted into the Mellon family, their fellowship will translate to lifelong friendships.

For more resources, see this writing sample of the MMUF essay application.


 

 

Targeted Fellowship, Internship, and Research opportunities for Students from Historically Underrepresented Groups

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Don’t you love diversity?

There are many fellowship, internship, and research opportunities out there (far too many to list on this blog), and a significant portion of these are specifically for students from groups that have had a historically small presence within particular disciplines and within the university overall. Historically Underrepresented Groups (HUGs as they are called institutionally) can include any number of populations but is associated overall with students from marginalized minority groups, particularly:

  • Underrepresented Minority Students (Usually referring to Black, Latinx, and Native American, Indigenous, and Pacific Islander students, but can be expanded to other groups depending on how it is defined).
  • First-Generation College Students (This term is used pretty generally, but can refer broadly to students who are of the first-generation in their family to attend a four-year college in America).
  • Low-Income Students (This one is also used pretty generally and can be relative based on the environment one is from and where one goes to college).

There are other opportunities that can also be looking for women broadly (especially in STEM fields), LGBTQ+ students, and students with disabilities.

Here we hope to list some of what is out there, especially ones for Brown students. We will try to keep this post updated as we become aware of new opportunities and hope this can be a resource as you try to figure out what you can and should be applying for.

Continue reading

Smithsonian Fellowships

“This is a list of  current fellowship opportunities at the Smithsonian, sorted by unit. Use this list to get a better sense about where you might like to pursue a fellowship at the Smithsonian; click the links to dig deeper. You can also view all of the Smithsonian’s Fellowships by their deadlines here.”

Fellowship Opportunities

Royce Fellowship Application Tips-Kerri Heffernan

“Established in 1996 through the generosity of Charles Royce, a 1961 graduate of Brown University, the Royce Fellowship Program supports Brown University undergraduates as they carry out independent projects of their own design in locations across the United States and around the world. Along with funding, the program confers lifetime membership in the Society of Royce Fellows, a community of student scholars, faculty fellows, and Royce alumni that offers a forum for reflection, inquiry, and intellectual engagement within the university.

Every spring, up to twenty students at Brown are inducted into the Society of Royce Fellows, each receiving an award of up to $4,000 to pursue a research, curricular development, or public service project of his or her own design. The program seeks to enable undergraduates to explore their developing interests and passions and to extend the ideals of Brown’s open curriculum beyond the walls of the university”


Below are Royce Fellowship application tips from Kerri Heffernan

1. What organization and funding programs are you involved with at Brown (Basically what is your role for someone who doesn’t know you at all)?
I direct the Royce Fellowship. I oversee all aspects of the Fellowship including the application and selection process.
2. When is an appropriate time to begin thinking about the Royce Fellowship?
I think its good to begin thinking about independent research in your second year. It’s smart to understand what your options are for funding and support – and to understand what type of course work and experiences are going to help you craft a successful proposal. The application deadline for the Royce is February – I really encourage students to meet with me to discuss their ideas in October and November, It can take time to hone an idea, build a base of support, understand IRB protocols, get appropriate letters of support and work through multiple drafts.
3. What characteristics make an application particularly compelling in your eyes?
We fund a really diverse pool of student proposals – from bench science to composing an opera. The committee looks for proposals that are well crafted, creative, enthusiastically supported by a faculty sponsor and ‘doable’ in the time frame of the Fellowship. I tend to be drawn to proposals that tell me with great enthusiasm and rigor, why I should care about a nano gold particle, Columbia’s position on climate change or liturgical music in 1940’s New York.
4. Any tips for potential applicants?
Be sure you have a question. Many times students have a good idea but not a real ‘question’. Before applying meet with current or former Fellows and the director to better understand the types of projects that the Fellowship funds. Talk about the scope of work, the expectations for a product and the types of support you can expect.

Fellowships and Scholarships for the Arts

Take a look at this great listing of opportunities for students in the arts provided by NYUs Tisch School of the Arts.
“This guide is intended for students in the performing, cinematic and related arts who are
currently pursuing degrees at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. The guide includes U.S.
government, international, corporate, and private funding agencies that support graduate and undergraduate study and research. Information is included for both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals.

The Guide to Scholarships, Fellowships and Grants for students is structured to give you a brief description of each funding source, its purpose in offering the award, award amounts, application requirements, restrictions, deadlines, and contact information. The Office of Student Affairs has made every possible effort to ensure that the information included in this guide is up-to-date. However, given the precarious nature of financial support for artists and the arts, you should contact any funding source of which you may be eligible prior to applying in order to verify award information, deadlines, and protocols.

This guide does not present an exhaustive list of financial aid opportunities. Our aim is to get you started in the right direction. This guide offers a broad overview of the many kinds of sources of funding available; you should continue your search for funding beyond the
opportunities listed in this guide. At the conclusion of this listing you will find a listing of
financial aid reference materials.”

https://tisch.nyu.edu/content/dam/tisch/student-affairs/AcademicServiceForms/guidestoscholarships20152016.pdf