Fellowship Questions
Grant Proposal Questions
General Questions

Fellowship Questions

Q. Is residency at the University of California, Berkeley, a condition of the award?

A. No. Students enrolled at any institution of higher learning may apply for a fellowship. The fellowships support the field research portion of the student’s graduate degree program. Fellows remain enrolled at their home institution.o to

Q. At what point in my program should I apply for a fellowship?

A. M.A. students should apply when they have selected a research site and will be ready to begin research the summer or fall immediately following the February application deadline.

Predissertation students should apply the year before they anticipate writing their dissertation proposal. In other words, you should apply when you have only a year or year and a half of coursework remaining, and you anticipate writing your dissertation research proposal the following academic year. For example, say it is January of 2003, and you anticipate writing your dissertation proposal during the 2003-2004 academic year. Submit an application for a predissertation fellowship by the February 3 deadline, finish the courses in which you are currently enrolled during the remainder of the spring semester/quarter, spend the summer of 2003 in the field, and use the information you gathered during the summer to write your dissertation proposal during the 2003-2004 academic year. You may then also apply for a dissertation fellowship for the 2004-2005 academic year.

Typically dissertation fellows should apply for a fellowship after they have been advanced to candidacy and are ready to spend nine months to a year in the field doing research. You may also apply, however, if you can demonstrate that you will be completing all the requirements for advancing to candidacy during the spring of the year in which you apply. In other words, if you will take your qualifying exams, or defend your dissertation proposal sometime between the February application deadline and May of the same year, then you are eligible to apply for a fellowship. In such a case, award of the fellowship is, of course, contingent upon your successful advancement to candidacy. to top

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Q. Are the fellowships a one-time award per student per degree, or can they be renewed annually? If this is an annual fellowship, must the research project be completed in one year so that the report can be written?

A. The fellowship is a one-time award per student per degree. The research project does not have to be completed in one year, but significant progress must be made so that preliminary findings and a discussion of the student’s experience with participatory research can be included in the final report.

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Q. When are fellowships paid?

A. M.A. and predissertation fellowships are paid in full at the beginning of the research. Dissertation fellowships are paid in two installments: half at the beginning and half at the mid-point after receipt of the mid-term report.

Q. How many mandatory Community Forestry Workshops do fellows have to attend and where will they be located?

A. M.A. and predissertation fellows are required to attend one workshop. Dissertation fellows must attend two: one at the beginning of their fellowship and one the following year at the end. The workshop is held in the fall, usually in early October. The location varies every year. The program pays travel costs of up to $600 each, as well as room and board for all the fellows, their academic advisors and their community partners to attend. This is in addition to the fellowships.b

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Q. What is meant by “residence” in the community?

A. Typically we expect students to actually live in the communities being studied. We find that this facilitates the ongoing process of community participation in the research. However, depending on the nature of the research and how the community members are participating in it, it may not work for every fellow to live in the community. In this case, applicants should explain why they are not living in the communities in which they plan to collect data and what that means for community participation in their research.ba

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Q. If I am currently in a Masters program, but planning on continuing to a Ph.D. next year, which fellowship should I apply for?

A. Ideally the predissertation grant would be given to a fellow a year before going into the field to begin dissertation research. That is to say, a bulk of the coursework should already be out of the way and the fellow should be ready to start developing a proposal for doctoral level research which will lead to the completion of the dissertation.back t

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Q. Will the fellowship be available next year? Is so, when is the deadline?

A. Yes. Applications will be due around the beginning of February each year, but the exact deadline date may vary. Keep checking this website for updates.b

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Grant Proposal Questions & Answers

Q. Can you give me any suggestions for writing the grant proposal?

A. Participatory research is a top priority for the CFERP steering committee. So, in your proposal you should demonstrate: the extent to which your research question is derived from interaction with community members; how your methods are going to help you address the question you have set out to answer; show how the community will benefit in your use of those methods and in answering your question.

Finally, the social science research council has some good guidelines for proposal writing on its website. Go to http://www.ssrc.org/fellowships/art_of_writing_proposals.page

Another website that may be useful is http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/DissPropWorkshop to top

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Q. How much detail regarding potential sites is necessary in a pre-dissertation fellowship proposal?

A. The pre-dissertation grant is intended to help students explore possible directions their research might take, make initial contacts in the community and to explore what the community’s research interests and needs are. The latter is particularly important. So, in your proposal, you should give some background on the community(ies) you propose to study and what the issues are there. You should also describe how you will go about finding out from the community members what their research needs and interests are and how that will feed into the development of your dissertation research.k

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Q. How should the budget be organized and how detailed should it be?

A. The budget does not need to be organized by phases over time. Instead, just one number for travel, lodging, etc. should be fine. The more you can demonstrate that you have thought carefully about what you plan to do and have come up with a realistic budget to match those plans, the better. If, on the other hand, the budget is so detailed that it looks like you gave unrealistically rigid expectations, then it could work against you.

Q. What kind of guidance should I give to people writing the letter of support?

A. They should say something that shows that they have an understanding of your research that comes from having been involved in it in some way. It should say that they are willing to work with you in your research and mention how they think it may benefit them.p

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General Questions & Answers

Q. Do you know of any fellowships or scholarships that might be applicable to international community forestry research?

A. The Ford Foundation offers a fellowship for dissertation work overseas. Check their website for further details. Other possible funding may be found through the standard Social Science Research Council and National Science Foundation dissertation support grants. You can also check out our list of other funding opportunities in the Communities section of this website.

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Community Forestry & Environmental Research Partnerships
UC Berkeley,101 Gianinni Hall, #3100, Berkeley, CA 94720
tel: 510.642.3431
email: cffellow@nature.berkeley.edu

Photo credits:
Colorado Blue Columbine: Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service, www.forestryimages.org
Appalachian Mixed Hardwoods: Chris Evans, University of Georgia, www.forestryimages.org
Japanese Maple: Chris Evans, University of Georgia, www.forestryimages.org