Wheaton Fellows FAQs
In addition to the application procedures outlined, here are some answers to frequently asked questions.
What is the Wheaton Fellows Program?
The Wheaton Fellows Program is designed to help students undertake educationally meaningful domestic or international experiences that link to academic or career interests. Students are invited to submit proposals for unpaid domestic or international non-credit internships, service/volunteer experiences or structured independent research based on their interests and background. They can design and initiate their own assignments and contacts, either independently or through established organizations. Students also may seek suggestions and guidance from faculty and staff.
Proposals must identify a specific organization, describing the goals and the nature of the activities in which the student will be engaged. The student must also identify an individual who will serve as the site supervisor. Students may apply for structured independent research directly in support of their academic majors, senior or honors theses, etc. All proposals for structured independent research require a letter of support from a Wheaton faculty member.
For summer 2012, up to 24 awards will be given. Summer 2012 Wheaton Fellow recipients will receive a $3000 stipend to support domestic or international experiences 6-8 weeks in length during summer break.
Who is eligible to apply for a Wheaton Fellow?
Wheaton first-years, sophomores and juniors who are not prior Wheaton Fellow winners; in good academic and social standing at the time of the application deadline (students with changes to their academic or social standing during the selection process may be disqualified from the competition at any point); currently enrolled on-campus or in a Wheaton approved off-campus program, and who must be returning to Wheaton for the next semester, or immediately following the completion of the Wheaton approved off-campus program. Program is merit based, not need-based. International students are encouraged to apply.
For Balfour, Community, Regional, and Trustee Scholars only:
If you used your merit scholar stipend last summer, then you are eligible to apply for a Wheaton Fellow for summer 2012. If you did not access your merit scholar stipend last summer, you MUST use your stipend during the summer of 2012 or you forfeit the money.
You must access your merit scholar stipend this summer prior to applying for a Wheaton Fellow in a future summer.
What kinds of experiences qualify for a Wheaton Fellow?
Non-credit bearing and unpaid internships or volunteer experiences, domestic or abroad and structured independent research.
What kinds of experiences DO NOT qualify for a Wheaton Fellow?
Credit- bearing study or internship programs; recreational or cultural tourism, unless explicitly linked to scholarly or professional development as presented in the proposal; paid experiences; travel/internships/research/volunteer experiences in countries on the U.S. State Department’s Travel Warning List
Who selects the Wheaton Fellows?
All application materials will be reviewed by a committee comprised of Wheaton faculty and staff, who possess backgrounds in experiential learning.
What suggested steps should I take when applying for a Wheaton Fellow?
STEP 1: EXPLORE SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES EARLY
Use a range of resources to explore potential sites for your out-of-class learning experience. Use winter break as a time to research and contact sites. Resources include: Filene Center for Academic Advising and Career Services staff and your faculty advisor; online research; networking contacts through family, friends, former employers, teachers, etc; former Wheaton Fellow recipients and Peer Mentors in the Filene Center for Academic Advising & Career Services
STEP 2: APPLY/SECURE YOUR SITE:
Apply to potential opportunities by developing a cover letter and resume to send to potential supervisors as soon as possible. Explain the time frame of your availability and your eagerness to learn and contribute. Be sure to include any other supplemental application materials required by the organization.
NOTE: Please be aware that experiences in countries included on the U.S. State Department’s list of alerts are not eligible for Wheaton Fellows funding. Please refer to the U.S. State Department website for travel warning information at:
STEP 3: CONFIRM YOUR SITE:
Once you have confirmed your summer placement, complete the Wheaton College Summer Fellowship Application. Discuss your ideas and proposal drafts with staff members of the Filene Center for Academic Advising & Career Services, other advising centers, writing tutors and faculty.
Is the Wheaton Fellows application process competitive?
Yes, but up to 24 Wheaton Fellows are selected. You should invest significant time in writing the best proposal possible.
Do first year students ever get awarded Wheaton Fellow stipends?
Yes. There is a fairly even distribution of first year students, sophomores and juniors who receive awards.
I won a Wheaton Fellow previously. Can I apply again?
No. Students who have previously won a Wheaton Fellows award cannot apply again.
I didn't win a Wheaton Fellow last year. Can I apply again?
Yes. If you applied previously and didn't receive a Wheaton Fellows award, you are welcome to apply again for the same or a different experience. We encourage you to utilize resources such as The Filene Center for Academic Advising & Career Services Advisors, Faculty Advisors, Peer Mentors, and College Writing Tutors to receive feedback on your proposal.
I want to propose my own research project; can I apply for a Wheaton Fellow?
Yes. If you propose a research project for a Wheaton Fellow proposal, the topic and implementation of your project should be an idea and design that you developed. Faculty members may serve as mentors and you may consult faculty about the feasibility and implementation of your project.
Can I apply for both the Wheaton and Davis International Fellows?
Yes. Separate committees determine the Wheaton Fellow and the Davis International Fellow recipients. You can apply for both, though you will need to write two separate proposals. In the event that you are awarded both Fellows, you will have to choose only ONE award to accept.
If selected, what are my responsibilities/obligations as a Wheaton Fellow?
Required attendance at a pre-departure meeting before you leave for the summer and complete all of the necessary payroll paperwork (by the end of April) in order to receive payment in the first week of June. Students are required to cover their expenses before receiving the stipend, and should plan accordingly. The stipend MAY BE considered taxable income -you will receive a document outlining tax information at your pre-departure meeting. If going overseas, you will need to purchase overseas health insurance through the Center for Global Education. You will need to submit a 1-2 page reflection essay on the experience at the end of August to Ben Chalot, Associate Director of Career Services and present a poster/presentation at the annual Internship Showcase, which is held in November. You may be asked to acknowledge that your Fellow position is named for a benefactor whose gifts to Wheaton have made your award possible.