Letter from the Director

Thank you for your interest in the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards. All students are encouraged to take a close look at the listings of scholarships, fellowship and internship opportunities available to UK undergraduate and graduate students, as well as programs, such as the Fulbright, for which recent alumni are encouraged to apply. These opportunities cover a broad range, from recognition for research accomplishments to paid employment in Washington and the opportunity to pursue graduate study or teach English outside the United States.

The process of applying for a nationally competitive scholarship is, in itself, a learning experience. It challenges the student to think through his or her career plans, to set ambitious long-term goals, and to imagine how they can use their talents to shape and change the world. In order to be a successful candidate for one of these highly competitive awards, you need to begin as early as your freshman year, building your extracurricular and leadership background, as well as participating in community and public service and maintaining a high grade point average.

It is important to begin the scholarship preparation well before the national deadline. For the scholarships requiring university endorsement, there will be a campus deadline for receipt of materials that is typically one month prior to the final submission date. This is to allow UK to complete an internal selection process since many of these awards limit the number of students that can be nominated. It is important to allow plenty of time to prepare your nomination carefully and have it reviewed for errors before you submit it to the campus committee to allow you the best possible chance for success.

The true value of these awards lies not in the financial benefit or ever the prestige that comes with selection, but the lifelong connection to a community of scholars and leaders and the opportunity these awards can provide to open yourself to the world and make you aware of career opportunities you might not have otherwise considered.

The Office of Nationally Competitive Awards can help you determine if you are eligible for a particular award, assist you in crafting a personal essay and shepherd you through the nomination process. Our goal is to increase the number of UK students and alumni who apply for, and receive, these nationally and internationally prestigious awards.

I look forward to meeting you and working with you throughout your UK career to help you achieve the high goals you have set for yourself.


Pat Whitlow

Pat Whitlow, Ph.D.
Director of Nationally Competitive Awards