ONIS Newsletter, February 2021

Publication date: 
Saturday, February 13, 2021

The ONIS newsletter is a semi-monthly record of news concerning applications for nationally and internationally competitive scholarships, primarily for undergraduates and primarily for the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota. If you would like to have a copy emailed directly to you, please send a request to natschol@umn.edu.  Follow ONIS on Twitter (@natscholUMTC) for the latest news and updates.

The University of Minnesota Rhodes Scholar who wasn’t

In 1972, Eileen Lach, a senior International Relations major here at the University of Minnesota, was looking at her options for graduate study.  She was attracted to a program at the University of Oxford, but she knew that she could not afford graduate study in England.  The Rhodes Trust, however, offered scholarships to young American college graduates to study at Oxford for two years, and Eileen thought that her academic record and campus leadership made her a good candidate.  The only problem was that Cecil Rhodes’ bequest did not allow women to compete for the scholarship.

Undeterred, Eileen submitted an application to the campus nominating committee, which agreed that she was as qualified as any of the men applying and forwarded her application to the state Rhodes committee.  The state committee agreed to consider her and scheduled an interview, but the Secretary of the US Rhodes Committee ordered them to void the application.

While her Rhodes application came to an end and she was unable to study at Oxford, Eileen went on to earn an MPA in International Diplomacy and Development Economics at Princeton and a law degree at NYU.  She worked as general counsel for Amnesty International, vice president at Wyeth Pfizer, and then as general counsel and chief compliance officer at IEEE, where she established herself as a leading authority on ethical dimensions of Artificial Intelligence.

Meanwhile, in 1973 three women at Harvard/Radcliffe applied for Rhodes Scholarships and more universities began to push for the conditions of the Rhodes Bequest to be changed to include women.  Three years later an act of Parliament changed the terms and the first women Rhodes Scholars were selected in 1977.  Since then over 1300 women have become Rhodes Scholars from countries around the world.  Last March, Eileen was welcomed to Rhodes House at Oxford and recognized as a pioneer for opening up the Rhodes opportunity for women.

Campus Nominations for Post-Graduate Scholarships to Study in Great Britain

Current juniors and seniors who would like to apply for a campus nomination for the Rhodes, Marshall or Churchill scholarships to commence graduate study in Great Britain in the fall of 2022 must submit a preliminary application to ONIS by April 1.  Interested students are advised to arrange a meeting to discuss their application by emailing natschol@umn.edu.  Marshall and Churchill scholarships are limited to U.S. Citizens.  Rhodes Scholarships are available to students from a variety of other countries.  International students should contact ONIS about their options.

Sophomores Creating Change

Truman Scholarships recognize outstanding future leaders with awards of up to $30K to support graduate studies.  Former recipients include many figures in public life, such as Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, and US District Attorney for South Dakota Brendan Johnson.  Sophomores (ie. second-year students who plan to graduate between May ’22 and May ’23) who have substantial records of public and community service, excellent communication and leadership skills, and a commitment to a career government or other public service should consider applying for a campus nomination.  Preliminary applications are due April 1.

Approaching Scholarship Deadlines

Scholarships with a campus deadline listed are ONIS priority scholarships with require a university nomination process.  Students must consult with ONIS and submit a preliminary application for these awards.  Scholarships with only a national deadline listed are ONIS supported scholarships.  Students may apply directly for these awards, but ONIS is willing to support them with writing support and strategic advice.

NIH Undergraduate Scholarship (Students): Up to $20K/year and paid research training at NIH labs for students with exceptional financial need and interests in biomedical, behavioral, or health-related social science research. Deadline: March 17 (national)

Truman Scholarship (Sophomores): $30K for graduate education in a relevant field for students committed to careers in public service. Successful applicants will have demonstrated leadership skills and a substantial record of public service.  Deadline:  April 1 (campus)

Churchill Scholarship (Juniors, Seniors):  All expenses for a one-year Masters degree in a STEM field at Cambridge University in 2022-23.  The University may nominate two students with outstanding academic records and innovative research experience.  Deadline:  April 1 (campus)

Rhodes Scholarship (Juniors, Seniors):  All expenses for two years of graduate studies in any discipline at the University of Oxford starting in fall 2022.  Successful applicants will have outstanding academic records, demonstrated leadership skills, energy and commitment to serve the world’s needs, and a clearly articulated plan for study at Oxford.  Deadline:  April 1 (campus)

Marshall Scholarship (Juniors, Seniors):  All expenses for two years of graduate studies in any discipline at one or more British universities starting in fall 2022. Successful applicants will have outstanding academic records, notable scholarly accomplishments, leadership experience, and a distinct rationale for studying in Britain.  Deadline:  April 1 (campus)