About the George J. Mitchell Scholarships

Per the Mitchell Scholarship website: The Mitchell Scholarship Program, named to honor former US Senator George Mitchell’s pivotal contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process, is designed to introduce and connect generations of future American leaders to the island of Ireland, while recognizing and fostering intellectual achievement, leadership, and a commitment to community and public service.

Applicants are judged on three criteria:

  • scholarship,
  • leadership, and
  • a sustained commitment to community and public service.

Scholarship Details and Eligibility

Up to twelve Mitchell Scholars between the ages of 18 and 30 are chosen annually for one academic year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Mitchell Scholarship Program provides tuition, accommodation, a stipend for living expenses and travel.

Minimum Eligibility

Eligible applicants must:

  • be a U.S. citizen
  • be 18 years of age or older, but not yet 30, on September 30 of the year of application (those who turn 30 on September 30th are not eligible).
  • have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university before beginning study as a Mitchell Scholar. Degrees from international accredited universities are acceptable, if all other conditions are met.
  • While married applicants or applicants with partners are accepted, no allowance is made for the expenses of an applicant’s spouse, partner, or dependents.
  • receive USC endorsement.

Campus Endorsement Process

Competitive applicants seeking USC Endorsement will:

1. Research the Mitchell Scholarship website and thoroughly review the Frequently Asked Questions.

2. Review the Mitchell Application Process and Completing the Mitchell Scholarship Application which provide a profile of a successful Mitchell Scholar, key dates for submission, details of the application components, and insight into the personal statement.

3. Review the Institutions of Higher Learning and Fields of Study at which Mitchell Scholars may study or conduct research.  A useful tool is the UK Research Excellence Framework, a system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The website offers a searchable online database and an initial analysis of REF impact case studies are available.

4. Utilize the UK Scholarships Timeline to develop a strong application over several months.

5. Request letters of recommendation from your referees.

6. Meet with an Academic Honors and Fellowships advisor to discuss the application process and interest in applying.

7. Prepare application materials including a response to the following personal statement prompt:

In 1,000 words or less, share your personality, passion, and drive with the selection committee.  Describe your academic and other interests.  Describe the specific area of proposed study and your reasons for selecting a particular institution.

8. Submit a complete Mitchell Scholarship Campus Endorsement Application, including four letters of recommendation, by Monday April 3, 2017 at 5pm.  All applications will be reviewed; however, only competitive applicants will be invited to a campus endorsement interview.

Letters of Reference

Once you have provided the contact information for your referees an email from our automated system will be sent to them inviting them to upload a letter.

Recommendation and Institutional Endorsement letters supporting Mitchell Scholar candidates must not exceed 750 words.

Campus Interview Process

After an initial screening, competitive applicants will be invited to interview before a USC faculty panel.  Once interviewed, impressive applicants will be supported with University Endorsement.  Undergraduate applicants must receive University Endorsement to apply for the national competition.

Questions asked during the campus interview often reference application materials and asses an applicant’s knowledge of their proposed field(s) of study, proposed graduate program(s) of study, leadership and commitment to public service. Other questions may be related to knowledge of topics outside of the application process such as national or global affairs or an applicant’s non-academic interests.

Reading American and British publications such as The Economist or The Guardian is an important step in the application process. Applicants can access a free copy of these publications through USC Libraries.

USC AHF Advisor

Erica Lovano McCann