The George J. Mitchell Scholarship
UCI (Big 10 Pre-Application) 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.
For Reference Only: 2019 Application Process Overview
Administered by the US-Ireland Alliance, based in Washington, D.C., the Mitchell Scholarship honors former U.S. Senator, George J. Mitchell, who served as Chairman of the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. Mitchell Scholarships fund one academic year of graduate study in the institutions of higher learning in Ireland, including the seven universities in the Republic of Ireland. (In some years, the Mitchell Scholarship funds study at universities in Northern Ireland as well.)
Undergraduates, aged 18-30, who are U.S. citizens. U.S. applicants who are currently enrolled as juniors must seek endorsement (nomination) from the campus through the Scholarship Opportunities Program. Begin the process during the spring before your final year on campus by submitting a Big 10 Pre-Application. You must finish your bachelor’s degree before enrollment at an institution in Ireland. However, you do NOT need to have earned a bachelor’s degree by the time you apply.
Current graduating seniors or recent UCI alumni may also apply for the scholarship but are not eligible for campus endorsement endorsement. If time permits, SOP staff will consider advising graduating seniors and recent alumni for Mitchell Scholarships.
Candidates should have outstanding records in academics, leadership, and community service. Recent recipients have had exceptional academic achievement with a 3.9+ GPA and demonstrate strong preparation for the proposed course of study at an Irish university. 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. Applicants must also 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. Candidates must also have sufficiently strong relationships with at least four mentors, including at least two academic mentors (instructors or research supervisors) and at least one mentor who can attest to the applicant’s strengths in service activities and leadership potential, in their letters of recommendation.
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.
For enrolled juniors, working with SOP advisors is mandatory, as campus nomination is required. To begin the SOP advising process, juniors, graduating seniors, and alumni within 1 year of graduation complete a Big 10 Pre-Application. In April and May, SOP staff review Pre-Applications and meet with potential applicants 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 four letters of recommendation, will be due this summer. Please note that the Mitchell Scholarship forbids others from editing or providing suggestions to improve your personal statement. You may not receive feedback on your Mitchell essay from any person, including SOP staff, your faculty, writing tutors, etc. The U.S.-Ireland Alliance requires that applicants and campus endorsers attest that essays are written without assistance.
Final applications that have earned UCI endorsement will be forwarded to the U.S.-Ireland Alliance for national-level consideration, and candidates will complete a brief video interview after the national deadline. Semi-finalists will be invited to Washington, D.C. for an in-person interview in November before the final selection committee.
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. It is envisaged that the Mitchell Scholars will not only 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.
Brittany Schick, UCI’s first Mitchell Scholar, received bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and International Studies in 2005. As a Mitchell Scholar, she pursued a master’s degree in international security and conflict studies at Dublin City University. Her long-term goal is to work in the intelligence community. You can read more about Brittany’s story on our Recipients’ blog.
The Mitchell Scholarship Program provides full tuition, housing, and a monthly living stipend (currently $1,250 USD) for up to one year (12 months) of post-graduate academic study in Ireland. Most programs run for nine months. Up to three additional months of stipend will be provided, if required by the program (for a maximum of 12 months). One round-trip airline ticket between the United States and Ireland is also provided. Each Mitchell Scholar is responsible for securing and financing his or her own health insurance while abroad.
For More Information
Please consult the Mitchell 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.