The George J. Mitchell Scholarships were established in 1998 in honor of former U.S. Senator, George J. Mitchell, who served as Chairman of the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. Scholarships allow for study in the institutions of higher learning in Ireland, including the seven universities in the Republic of Ireland, for one academic year of study. The program is administered by the US-Ireland Alliance, based in Washington, D.C.
Who is Eligible
Undergraduates, aged 18-30, who are U.S. citizens. Begin the process in the spring before your final year on campus by submitting a Pre-Application. See SELECTION PROCEDURE section of page for more information. If you win the scholarship, you will travel shortly after having graduated. (Mitchell states winners must have graduated from a college or university in the U.S. at the time they take up residence at an Irish university. However, you do NOT need to have earned a bachelor’s degree by the time you apply.) Seniors and recent alumni may also apply.
Please note that external scholarship agencies will consider all of your credit-bearing coursework from any college or institution as part of the review process (including CSU, community colleges, private colleges or other UC campuses/Extension programs, and including units earned while in high school). Grades from other colleges will be included in calculation of your overall GPA for eligibility purposes.
The scholarship does not stipulate a minimum GPA*. There are no restrictions as to academic field of study although the proposed course of study must be available at the university selected by the applicant and the applicant’s undergraduate program must provide sufficient basis for study in the proposed field.
* It is expected that a candidate will “exhibit sound scholarly excellence and strong preparation for the proposed field of graduate study.” However, recent winners have had exceptional academic achievement. Applicants should have at least a 3.7 GPA and must be able to demonstrate professional competence and dedication to the field of study through leadership or mentoring roles in academic or service organizations, publications or performances, and/or significant work experience/internships related to the major.
The first step in applying is to complete a Pre-Application, accessible each year throughout March. In April and May, SOP staff review Pre-Applications and meet with students to discuss their candidacy and subsequent steps. For detailed information about each stage of the application process — including the roles of campus endorsement and evaluation — please view the Application Process Overview.
After completing the Pre-App and meeting with SOP staff to discuss your candidacy, you will work on the formal application during the summer.
A complete application entails a well-thought out 1000-word personal essay, academic transcripts, proof of U.S. citizenship (passport/birth certificate), and four letters of recommendation — two of which must come from persons with whom the candidate has done academic work.
Applicants must obtain UCI endorsement by submitting their application materials to the SOP office.
Candidates whose final applications have earned UCI endorsement — find out more about this process by completing the Pre-Application and meeting with SOP staff — will have their apps forwarded to the U.S.-Ireland Alliance for national-level consideration.
About 30 semi-finalists will be selected and contacted for Skype interviews.
Approximately 20 finalists will be invited to Washington, D.C. for an interview in November before the final selection committee.
The US-Ireland Alliance will pay for round-trip transportation within the U.S. for applicants invited to interview. The Scholarship committee will seek places at the Irish universities on the successful applicants’ behalf.
Applicants are judged on three criteria: academic excellence, leadership, and a sustained commitment to service and community. Prospective scholars must have demonstrated a record of intellectual distinction, leadership, and extracurricular activity, as well as personal characteristics of honesty, integrity, fairness, and unselfish service to others that indicates a potential future for leadership and contribution to society.
Brittany Schick, UCI’s first Mitchell Scholarship winner, received bachelors degrees from UCI in Political Science and International Studies in 2005. She pursued a masters degree in international security and conflict studies at Dublin City University through the Mitchell. Her long-term goal is to work in the intelligence community.
The Mitchell Scholarship provides tuition, housing, a living expenses stipend, and an international travel stipend.
In addition, each Scholar will receive a stipend of $12,000 to cover other necessary expenses for the term of study. The US-Ireland Alliance will assist successful applicants with their traveling expenses to and from Ireland. In addition, Usit Now, Ireland’s leading travel service for students, will contribute a travel stipend to each Mitchell Scholar. It is envisaged that the Mitchell Scholars will use the stipend not only to explore the island of Ireland, but also to develop an understanding of the relationship between Ireland and Britain as well as Ireland’s relationship with Europe.
World Wide Web
Further information and applications are available at the Mitchell website.
Access the Big 10 Pre-Application between March 3 – April 3, 2017 at 12 NOON to begin the Mitchell application process.
For applications and more information, contact the Scholarship Opportunities Program at 824-0189. We are located within the Center for Excellence in Writing & Communication, on the first floor of Ayala Science Library (Building 520).
SOP is able to advise competitive undergraduate candidates at UC Irvine only.