Background: The George J. Mitchell Scholarships are named in honor of the former United States Senator who served as Chairman of the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. Under his leadership, an historic accord, ending decades of conflict, was agreed to by the governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom and the political parties of Northern Ireland. Senator Mitchell's life and career have embodied a deep commitment to public service. The commitment to serve community and country, along with his characteristics of intellectual distinction, leadership, integrity, excellence, and fairness are the qualities the US-Ireland Alliance seeks in Mitchell Scholars.
The Scholarship: Endowed by the government of Ireland, the George J. Mitchell Scholarships were established in 1998. Scholars will be eligible to attend institutions of higher learning in Ireland, including the seven universities in the Republic of Ireland and the two universities in Northern Ireland, for one academic year of post-graduate study. The universities participating in the Mitchell Scholarships are generously contributing tuition and room for the Scholar. In addition, each Scholar will receive a stipend of $11,000 to cover other necessary expenses for the term of study. This stipend will be paid in two equal parts directly to the scholar. The US-Ireland Alliance will assist successful applicants with their traveling expenses to and from Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The Application: Applicants apply via the US-Ireland Alliance website at http://www.us-irelandalliance.org/content/3/en/George%20Mitchell%20Scholarship%20Program%20|%20US-Ireland%20Alliance.html An application can also be downloaded from the US-Ireland Alliance website at ww.mitchellscholar .org. Most particularly, applicants should give careful thought to the preparation of a thousand-word essay in which they set out in their own words their interests and aspirations, and their detailed reasons for wishing to study the specific areas of proposed academic work. This statement is especially helpful to the selection committee in its attempt to gain an understanding of the applicant's strengths. In addition, applicants are asked to supply a brief description of their activities during their college years.
Who Should Apply: Applicants for the Mitchell Scholarships must be U.S. citizens, aged eighteen or over but not yet thirty on October 1 in the year of application. They must also have academic standing sufficient to assure completion of a Bachelor's degree before they begin study under the Mitchell Scholarship. Prospective Scholars must have a demonstrated record of leadership, intellectual distinction, and extra-curricular activity, as well as personal characteristics of honesty, integrity, fairness, and unselfish service to others which indicate a potential for future leadership and contribution to society. There are no restrictions as to academic field of study although the proposed course of study must be available at the university elected by the applicant and the applicant's undergraduate program must provide sufficient basis for study in the proposed field.
Campus Procedure: Students wishing to be nominated for a Mitchell Scholarship should see Scott Denham.
Recommendations: Applicants are required to secure the formal endorsement of their university or college and to provide exactly five letters of recommendation. In addition, those applicants who are full-time students at the time of application must obtain an institutional endorsement and three of the five letters of recommendation must come from persons with whom the candidate has done academic work. The selection committee also welcomes letters from persons competent to comment on aspects of the applicant's character and interests as revealed in non-academic activities.
The Mitchell Deadline: Application deadline is usually the beginning of October.
The Mitchell Interview: A preliminary elimination will be made on the basis of credentials. A selection committee will determine - based on the students' academic transcripts, a brief essay prepared by the applicants, and from references of the applicants -- which remaining applicants will be invited to Washington, D.C. in November for an interview before the selection committee.
For More Information: Consult the US-Ireland Alliance website at http://www.us-irellandalliance.org/