Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans

UCI (Big 10 Pre-Application) Optional Advising Deadline:

April 6, 2020 at 12:00 noon Pacific Time (U.S. & all other countries of citizenship) for Fall 2021 admissions

Access the Big 10 Pre-Application between late February – early April annually to begin the optional advising process.

Please Use2019 Application Process Overview

A fellowship for two years of US graduate study in any field for immigrants or the children of immigrants. The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans was designed to honor America’s immigrant experience and “call attention to the extensive and diverse contributions of New Americans to the quality of life in the United States.

Juniors, graduating seniors, and recent alumnus/a who are naturalized US citizens, permanent residents, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, or those whose parents were BOTH immigrants (born abroad as citizens of other countries). Applicants must be age 30 or younger on the application deadline of November 1.

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.

UCI graduate students: contact the Graduate Resource Center for advising.

Application Process

As campus nomination is not required for this award, working with SOP advisors is optional but encouraged. To receive SOP advising services and support for the application process, th 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. Your supporting documents, including three to five faculty letters of recommendation will be due this summer.

Evaluation is based on evidence of “creativity, originality, and initiative;” “commitment to and capacity for accomplishment;” support for the values expressed in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights; “promise of continued significant contributions;” and appropriateness of the proposed graduate degree program to long-term, ambitious career goals.

Finalized, formal applications and letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically to the Soros Foundation by the final deadline (November 1 at 11:59 pm ET/8:59 pm PT).

The application comprises: eligibility, contact information, higher education history, proposed graduate program, resume, two essays, transcripts, standardized test scores (if required for your graduate program), optional exhibits, and 3 to 5 letters of recommendation. Each required essay has a 1000-word limit. In Essay One, applicants discuss their values and experiences as a New American in relation to their personal, professional, and academic accomplishments. In Essay Two, applicants discuss their current and near-term career goals and rationale for pursuing specific graduate degree programs.

For the 2020 award, over 2,200 applicants vied for 30 awards, with 77 being invited to interview. Finalists are interviewed in New York City or California in late January or early February. Winners are notified in March.

Degrees Funded

Soros Fellows “can study in any [graduate] degree-granting program in any field at any university in the United States.”

Recent Recipients and Selection Procedures

UCI has had five winners of the Soros Fellowship: Mohamad Abedi (2015), Carolina Gabriela Jauregi (2007), Dora Castaneda Rodriguez (2006), Erick Ruiz Miranda (2002), and Mia Cheng Lee (2000).

The top approximately 80 applicants will be designated “finalists” and invited for interview in New York or California in late January or early February. Soros covers travel and accommodation for interviews. Recipients will be notified in March.

Past Fellows also include Vivek Murthy (U.S. Surgeon General), Mariano Castillo (Editor & Journalist, Associated Press), Amy Chow (Physician and two-time Olympic gymnast), Cyrus Habib (Washington State Senate Democratic Whip), Thuy Thi Nguyen (President of Foothill College), Lei Liang (Composer, Professor at UC San Diego), and Julissa Reynoso (Attorney & former U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay).

Each fellow receives up to $90,000 in support over 2 years of graduate study in any field.

Any undergraduate or recent graduate who is a New American with a strong academic record, evidence of accomplishment and creativity, and the ambition to become a leader in his or her field should consider the Soros Fellowship.

World Wide Web
Further information and applications are available at the Paul & Daisy Soros website.

Access the Big 10 Pre-Application between late February – early April annually to begin the application process.

SOP is able to advise competitive undergraduate candidates at UC Irvine only.

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