The George J. Mitchell Scholarship

Description: Named to honor the former US Senator's pivotal contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process, the George J. Mitchell Scholarships are intended to familiarize and connect the next generation of American leadership with the island of Ireland. These scholarships support one year of graduate study in any discipline offered by an institution of higher learning in Ireland or Northern Ireland.
Dollar value: The scholarship is non-renewable and covers tuition, room and board and provides a $12,000 stipend to finance other necessary expenses throughout the term of study. The award is for twelve months and can be used toward a one-year MA program in any discipline.
Number of scholarships: Twelve scholarships are being offered this year. There is a five percent acceptance ratio that is similar to other foundations. There are nine universities in Ireland that students can attend.
  • Be a US citizen
  • Be 18 years of age or older but not yet 30
  • Have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university before beginning study as a Mitchell Scholar.
  • While married applicants are accepted, no allowance is made for the expenses of a married applicant's spouse or dependent. It is important to note that spouses who are non-EU citizens are required to obtain a work permit before seeking paid employment in Ireland or Northern Ireland.
Application Procedures: The application consists of 5 sections: Personal Information; Education and Employment; Registration of Recommenders/Institutional Endorser; Awards and Activities; and Personal Statement. All sections must be completed before the applicant can submit the application. The Mitchell Scholarship program only accepts online applications. No printed copies of the application, including letters of recommendation, will be accepted.
Deadline: Midnight, Eastern Daylight Time, October 1, 2013
Trina Vargo, President
yargo @us
Mary Lou Hartman, Director of George Mitchell Scholarship program
2800 Clarendon Blvd. #502 West
Arlington, VA 22201
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the program seek in a George Mitchell Scholar?
We look for persuasive, documented evidence of significant achievement in three areas: academic, leadership, and commitment to community and service. Academic excellence, leadership and community service are equally important criteria.
Does a candidate have to be accepted to the institution of higher learning in Ireland or Northern Ireland prior to applying for the Mitchell Scholarship?
No, the applicant does not have to apply for university admission at any point during the application process. A candidate's assignment to a university in Ireland or Northern Ireland is part of the selection process. We urge candidates to list at least three universities as possible places to study. Although we try to honor the candidate's university rankings, candidates are not guaranteed their first choice. If a candidate is selected to be a Mitchell Scholar, the Mitchell program assigns the Scholar to one of the programs listed by the candidate on his/her application and then forwards the candidate's application to the selected Irish/Northern Ireland University for final review and approval.
Can the candidate pursue a graduate program in Ireland unrelated to an undergraduate major?
An applicant must demonstrate sufficient undergraduate or non-academic preparation to study for the designated graduate degree. Although this may be in a field different than the applicant's undergraduate major, the applicant still should have the necessary academic or professional training for the proposed graduate study.
Is the Mitchell Scholarship only available to those students interested in pursuing a master's degree? What happens if the master's program is a two-year program? Could they still apply for a Mitchell Scholarship?
All Mitchell Scholars must be working in a program offered by a university in Ireland or Northern Ireland. Usually, this will be a one-year Master's degree program, but other options may be considered if the applicant has the undergraduate background required for the proposed field of study. The Scholarship, however, does not support research or independent study outside a regular program. Applicants should closely examine the degree residence requirements because master's programs can be for one or two years. The Mitchell Scholarship provides tuition, housing, and a living expenses stipend for one year only.
Does every applicant need to submit a letter of institutional endorsement?
An applicant who is a full-time student at the time of application must submit an institutional endorsement. The applicant must be endorsed by an institution where he or she will have completed two years of full-time study before October 1, 2008. The applicant must register an Institutional Endorsement contact using the online recommendation system contained with the online application.
If a Finalist is out of the country, is there any arrangement for telephone interviews by the Committee?
A finalist must be present for the Selection Committee interview in Washington, DC, at the appointed time.
Can an unsuccessful candidate reapply?
Yes, as long as the candidate remains eligible, but all required documents must again be submitted.
Can a Mitchell Scholar work during the year in Ireland?
In Ireland, foreign students may work part-time during the academic year and full-time during vacation periods. Because the Mitchel! Scholarship provides an ample stipend to cover living expenses, we strongly encourage Mitchell Scholars to leave enough time in their schedules to participate in Mitchell events, become involved in the communities in which they live and study, and explore the island and travel.