Application window open until March 18 for UK fellowships

Sean Yoder
February 27, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The application deadline is approaching for a number of postgraduate fellowships in the United Kingdom.

Undergraduate juniors and seniors can now apply for Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell and Churchill scholarships. Interested students must first participate in a University evaluation process and receive a nomination in order to apply directly to the scholarship bodies. Students are able to make us of the University Park campus process if there isn’t one in place at their home campus.

The first step for students is to apply internally to Penn State through this InfoReady link provided by the University Fellowships Office. Students must be juniors or seniors and have U.S. citizenship and a GPA of 3.8 or greater. The University Fellowships Office strongly encourages applicants to be able to demonstrate leadership experience and scholarly pursuit in their field of interest. The deadline for the internal Penn State application is March 18.

Ryan Henrici was the last Penn State student to win a Marshall Scholarship. He used it in 2015 to study at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, with his graduate work focused on “blending molecular methods and genome editing technologies to study multi-drug resistance in the malaria parasite.”

Marshall Scholarships give U.S. students the option to study at any university in the U.K.

The Wayne, Pennsylvania, native said the scholarship and subsequent opportunities helped him gain invaluable perspective outside of his known academic and geographic boundaries. Also appealing, he admitted, was getting paid to live in London while pursuing an advanced degree.

Although the prestigious scholarship had obvious rewards, he said the process itself helped him decide his future course.

“I applied because I knew I wanted to blend research and clinical practice in my future career,” he said of putting his application in for a Marshall Scholarship. “But more than that, I wanted a career that would be more than just as a traditional physician-scientist. I saw problems with the way that science and medicine are perceived and performed in the U.S. and wondered about the world outside of my traditional disciplinary and geographic boundaries. I understood that perspective would take years to learn and integrate into my own practice, and studying abroad for a term wouldn’t be sufficient.”

Portrait of Ryan Henrici in a laboratory

Alumnus Ryan Henrici was the last Penn State student to win a Marshall Scholarship, which he used in 2015 to study at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Marshall Scholarships give U.S. students the option to study at any university in the United Kingdom.

IMAGE: Ryan Henrici/Submitted Photo


He said he was encouraged by his mentors to compete for a Marshall Scholarship, because while he knew he was a successful student, he said he didn’t feel like he measured up when comparing himself with the biographies of past winners.

But there was valuable insight from the process itself, especially through the personal statement portion of the application, he said.

“That process of writing and rewriting is a deeply reflective adventure; I actually changed what I wanted to do with my Ph.D. as a result of writing that document because I had never really taken the time to pause for introspection,” he said. “I had always just assumed that I would become an oncologist and do cancer research, but during that reflection process I realized that my passions and experience incorporated international affairs and policy in a way that better aligned with global health and pathogen research.”

In addition to altering his trajectory, the Marshall Scholarship enabled Henrici to eventually branch out into national security, policy, clinical medicine and teaching. He was recently named an associate scholar on the faculty of the Center for Global Health at the University of Pennsylvania. He also is a contributing writer to the Royal United Services Institute on issues of biological and chemical security, and on global health issues worldwide. He said he credits the opportunities to his award of a Marshall Scholarship.

“Even without a Marshall Scholarship, I would strongly encourage students to study for a few years in England because it was simply that impactful for me and everyone I know who also did so.”

The University Fellowships Office is part of Penn State Office of Undergraduate Education, the academic administrative unit that provides leadership and coordination for University-wide programs and initiatives in support of undergraduate teaching and learning at Penn State. Learn more about Undergraduate Education at Sign up for UE Headlines for the latest news.

Last Updated March 20, 2019