George L. Mitchell Scholarship Program

Purpose

The George J. Mitchell Scholarships honor the former Senator's pivotal contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process, are intended to familiarize and engage the next generation of America's leaders with the island of Ireland. Mitchell Scholars may study any academic discipline offered in a degree or certificate program at an institution of higher learning in Ireland.

The Selection Committee's overriding interest is the applicant's record of academic excellence, leadership, and community service. These Scholarships allow Americans to pursue one year of post-graduate study in any discipline offered at institutions of higher learning in the Republic of Ireland; as of 2015, the Mitchell Scholarship is not tenable at universities in Northern Ireland. The Mitchell Scholarship provides tuition and housing for one year along with international travel and a living expenses stipend. For further information, visit the Mitchell website.

Please Note

In order to apply for the Rhodes, Marshall and Mitchell scholarships, currently enrolled students must obtain an institutional endorsement from GW.  Applicants who are not currently enrolled need not be nominated by a university.  For the Mitchell specifically, beginning with the 2014 application cycle, institutional endorsements will neither be required nor accepted from any graduate students, part-time students or non-students. Because the Rhodes, Marshall and Mitchell competitions have many elements in common, GW conducts a single endorsement process for all three. If you would like to learn more about these prestigious scholarship programs, and about the GW endorsement process, please contact us at fellcent@gwu.edu.

History

The George J. Mitchell Scholarships were established in 1998, and are named in honor of the former U.S. Senator who served as Chairman of the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. Under his leadership, an historic accord, ending decades of conflict, was agreed by the governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom and the political parties of Northern Ireland. In May 1998, the agreement was overwhelmingly endorsed by the voters of Ireland, North and South, in a referendum.

Senator Mitchell's leadership earned him worldwide praise and a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. His life and career have embodied a deep commitment to public service. That commitment to serve community and country, along with his personal characteristics are the qualities the US-Ireland Alliance seeks in Mitchell Scholars. As the goal of the Mitchell Scholarships is to interest the next generation of American leaders in the island of Ireland, Scholars will be encouraged to avail themselves of the various educational and social opportunities which will be offered to them during their stay by members and friends of the US-Ireland Alliance.

Eligibility

Eligibility is limited to U.S. citizens, permanent residents of the U.S., persons in the process of becoming U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and permanent residents of the Northern Mariana Islands. Applicants must be at least 18 years old or older but not yet 30 years old on October 1.

Eligibility is limited to students who have demonstrated record of intellectual distinction, leadership, and extra-curricular activity, as well as personal characteristics of honesty, integrity, fairness, and unselfish service to others which indicates a potential for future leadership and contribution to society.

Eligible Fields of Study

There are no restrictions as to academic field of study although the proposed course of study must be available at the university elected by the applicant and the applicant's undergraduate program must provide sufficient basis for study in the proposed field. As institutional balance will be a factor in the selection process, an applicant's likelihood of being selected is increased if the applicant expresses a willingness to attend more than one of the eligible institutions.

Award

The universities participating in the Mitchell Program are generously contributing tuition and room for the Scholar. In addition, each Scholar will receive a stipend of $12,000 to cover other necessary expenses for the term of study. This stipend will be paid in two equal parts directly to the Scholar. The US-Ireland Alliance will assist successful applicants with their traveling expenses to and from Ireland and Northern Ireland.

GW's Revised Endorsement Process

The Mitchell Scholarship has recently and fundamentally revised its instructions to prospective applicants and nominating universities.

Beginning with the 2014 application cycle, all  applicants must add the following statement at the conclusion of their personal statement and before their signature:

“I attest that this personal statement is my own work and is wholly truthful. Neither it nor any earlier draft has been edited by anyone other than me, nor has anyone else reviewed it to provide me with suggestions to improve it. I understand that any such editing or review would disqualify my application.”

Likewise, all nominating officials will need to affirm:

"I am knowledgeable regarding the institutional practices of [name of institution] in connection with applications for the Rhodes Scholarship. To the best of my knowledge and belief, [name of institution] has provided no editorial review of the applicant's [or applicant's name] personal statement."

Consequently, GW's Endorsement Process for Mitchell Scholarship is revised as well in order to minimize any possible conflicts with the Mitchell Scholarship's recent changes.

Registration: All full-time undergraduate students intending to apply for GW endorsement for the Rhodes, Marshall and Mitchell Scholarship programs must register with the Center for Undergraduate Fellowships and Research.  By registering and declaring their intent to apply, applicants for GW endorsement will be sure to receive the advice and support of fellowships center staff.  Prospective applicants must declare their intention to apply no later than May 11, 2017.  At that time, a questionnaire will be distributed to individuals declaring their intention, and this questionnaire will provide an opportunity to describe especially meaningful experiences.

*Beginning with the 2014 application cycle, institutional endorsements will neither be required nor accepted from any graduate students, part-time students or non-students.

Since we can no longer provide support and feedback on your Mitchell essay, prospective applicants for the Mitchell Scholarship must complete an Scholarship Aptitude Questionnaire, and they must submit the Questionnaire no later than June 11, 2017.

GW Endorsement Application: All applicants seeking endorsement for the Rhodes, Marshall and Mitchell competitions must submit complete applications by Friday, August 18, 2017.

In order to best prepare the eventual endorsees, the GW endorsement application consists of completing this year's Mitchell application, including:

a. A 2017 Mitchell scholarship application form.
b. A personal statement of 1000 words or less, including a proposal for study at an University in Ireland  (approx. 150-200 words of the total).  If applying for a UK scholarship program, a completely different essay does not need to be written for the Mitchell application.  Applicants may re-use portions so long as they meet the requirement of the attestation clause.
c. Four recommendation letters, at least three of which must be academic.
d. An official GW transcript, together with official transcripts from ALL other universities attended.

GW Endorsement Interviews. The GW Rhodes, Marshall and Mitchell nomination committee will notify select GW students submitting complete applications of its desire to interview them. Those interviews take place during mid-September.

Further information and support materials (application timelines and checklists, information for recommenders, etc.) are available from the Center for Undergraduate Fellowships and Research.

Note

All GW Mitchell candidates are eligible to be considered for the George Washington University J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Scholarship to the University of Oxford and Bender Scholarship to the University of Cambridge. For further information please contact the Center for Undergraduate Fellowships and Research.

For more information please contact the Center for Undergraduate Fellowships and Research at fellcent@gwu.edu.