University Fellowships Office continues mentoring, remotely

Sean Yoder
March 30, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The staff at the University Fellowships Office (UFO) are using remote tools to continue helping students realize their potential and mentor them for competitive awards and academic success.

Although all of the remaining in-person workshops — many in collaboration with University Libraries and others — have been canceled, UFO Director Caitlin Ting said she and other mentors are available remotely to answer students’ questions and help them get on track to apply for opportunities such as Fulbright, Rhodes, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and other national awards.

“We recognize that things are strange and overwhelming, but we are here to help students,” Ting said. “We’re looking into what hours are best for students and how they want to hear from us, so that whether they have questions concerning how best to spend their summer, or to navigate things in the future, they don't have to wait for in-person activities to resume talking with us.”

Because all students are now attending class remotely, Ting said her office is communicating with students by email, Zoom or phone.

“The upcoming few months are a perfect opportunity for students who are unfamiliar to the office to introduce themselves. It’s also a great time to get ahead. Appointments don't have to be just about how to prepare for starting in undergraduate research or applying for one's first fellowship, we can also talk about current events or new books or articles to read, especially as options on Netflix and Hulu are running low.”

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

An information session on the Fulbright U.S. Student Program from 5 to 6 p.m. on April 8. Use this Zoom link to attend. The session will also include an overview of the Peace Corps program delivered by campus representative, Andrew Maguire.

The national Fulbright deadline is Oct. 13. Up until this time, students and alumni will be able to revise and refine their materials based on the feedback they receive through the campus interviews.

Before returning for the fall semester, students looking to apply for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program should submit notice of their intent to apply to UFO  — — by Aug. 14. Then, by Aug. 28, students and alumni must submit a completed application through the Fulbright online application system.

The month of September will be dedicated to campus interviews, where the University Fellowships Office will assemble committees of Penn State faculty and staff to interview applicants and provide extensive feedback on applications.

Erickson Discovery Grant 2020-21

At noon on April 1, UFO will host an hour-long discussion on applying for the Erickson Discovery Grant 2020-21 competition. These grants offer funding for summer participation in student-initiated, supervised original research, scholarship and creative work. To attend, use this Zoom link. This event is cosponsored by the College of Arts and Architecture and University Libraries.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Information sessions are also scheduled for NSF Graduate Research Fellowships on April 6 and 13. For more information, visit the UFO calendar of events page.

About UFO

The University Fellowships Office is part of Penn State 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


Last Updated March 30, 2020