Application Components

While not exhaustive, these three components comprise the standard elements of your application. We encourage you to utilize our office, along with other resources at UIC, to prepare the best application possible. The more feedback you receive on your materials, the better they become!

Personal Statement

Student works at a laptop

The primary purpose of the personal statement is to allow you to express yourself and explain how you would use the award to further your plans for the future.

 

The essay also serves to show how diverse elements of your application are related and address any areas that might be ambiguous or problematic. The essay you write may tip the scale in your favor and compensate for less strong parts of your application. For this reason, some would consider it to be the most important part of the application.

Letters of Recommendation

Students in conversation at a table

Different awards require different numbers of letters of recommendation— ranging anywhere from 2 to 8.

 

Selection committees want to see what others have to say about you as a scholar and a person. Your letters of recommendation need to be strong endorsements of your background and experience to make you competitive as an award contender.

 

Whomever you ask to write a letter for you, that person should know you well enough to be able to address your strengths and potential. Therefore, the best approach to strengthen your letters of recommendation is to be proactive, interacting with professors over time so that they can get to know you.

 

Résumé/CV

Student working near laptop

Most awards require you to list your accomplishments and activities in the form of a résumé or curriculum vitae.

 

resume is a summary of your education, work history, volunteer work, and other accomplishments and skills.

A curriculum vitae or CV is a summary of your education, work history, and other accomplishment and skills and typically used when applying for academic, education, scientific, medical, or research positions or when applying for fellowships or grants.  CVs include more information than resumes with a focus on one’s academic background.

We encourage you to utilize our office, along with other resources such as UIC Career Services, to prepare the best résumé or CV possible.