This award is for one year of post-graduate study in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. You must be under the age of 30 and a U.S. citizen. THE AWARD IS NOT BEING OFFERED FOR 2025-26.

What They're Looking For

The Selection Committee's overriding interest is the applicant's record of academic excellence, leadership, and community service. They look for persuasive, documented evidence of achievement in these 3 areas, and all 3 fields are equally important criteria for the Mitchell Scholarship. The committee also looks at personal characteristics of honesty, integrity, fairness, and unselfish service to others, which indicate a potential for future leadership and contribution to society.

Getting Started

Students are encouraged to submit drafts of their online Mitchell Scholarship application well in advance of the campus deadline in order to receive feedback from us. After providing us with a PDF of your online application or providing us with a read-only version of your application through the application system, send an email to our office with a few potential meeting times no earlier than 2 business days after your submission to receive feedback. We are willing to work with students through numerous revisions.

Required Campus Deadline


A complete Mitchell application must be submitted to us in order to be considered for University of Illinois endorsement (a requirement only for current undergraduate students to move forward in the competition -- recent alumni may submit materials for review but are not seeking official endorsement). Based on your submission, including grade reports that we will provide, and an interview, a University of Illinois Scholarships Selection Committee will determine undergraduate's endorsement. The university will endorse those candidates the committee feels have the potential to be Mitchell Scholars; up to a handful of applicants will receive this endorsement (there is no limit on the number of endorsements, but the committee is quite judicious). We may also offer some feedback on portions of your application, based on comments from committee members.

Required information includes:

  1. A signed Scholarship Waiver.
  2. Four letters of recommendation particular to the student's Mitchell application. Letters should be written to the attention of the "Mitchell Scholarship Selection Committee" and must not exceed 750 words. In addition, at least 2 of the letters must be from those you have done academic work with at the university level. Letters should be sent directly to us (via email attachment is fine). Do not provide the email addresses of your recommendation writers on your online application at this time, as they must not submit their letters on the Mitchell application site.
  3. A printout of your complete Mitchell Scholarship application (including application form and personal statement, but no photos or copies of your birth certificate are needed at this time). Do not submit the application online at this time, as you will be unable to make any changes after doing so.
Endorsed Applicant Deadline

Those students who have been endorsed need to submit their application online (with any revisions) and ensure that letter of recommendation writers submit their letters online by this deadline. In addition, an applicant must upload online (in PDF format only!) the following by this date: a copy of your birth certificate or passport, a passport-size photo, your scanned signature, and official transcripts from all colleges (including community colleges where you may have only taken 1 course and study abroad transcripts, unless both the grades and credits of all courses appear on your Illinois transcripts).

Once letter of recommendation writers hear from us that a candidate has been endorsed, they are asked to submit their letters (with any updates) directly to the U.S.-Ireland Alliance online. The letters of recommendation should be specifically tailored toward your application as a Mitchell Scholar and must be submitted online prior to the endorsed applicant deadline. Letters should be written to the attention of the "Mitchell Scholarship Selection Committee." We would appreciate access to your application and a copy of all final materials (including letters) prior to submission.

The Final Stages

We submit an official online University Endorsement Letter of up to 750 words for current undergraduates to the U.S.-Ireland Alliance by September. Shortly thereafter, all endorsed applicants will receive instructions to complete a short video interview in which you will be asked three questions and given 30 seconds to compose your thoughts before providing your answers. Applicants will have a couple of days to complete the interview. A virtual semifinalist interview may or may not be conducted, but in any case, short-listed candidates will participate in a virtual finalist interview the weekend before Thanksgiving. Finalists should have readily available all official transcripts, their birth certificate or passport, and a passport-size photo with their signature on the back. We will coordinate mock interviews for those students called to an interview. The final selection will be announced the day after the interviews.

General Application Tips

Visit our Canvas page for additional tips and samples of winning applications.

Students should have multiple universities in mind, as the Mitchell Scholarship may send no more than 2 scholars to any one institution. Applicants are encouraged to contact their choice departments or potential mentors in Ireland. The Selection Committee is looking for students who have made an impact—those who are difference-makers and engaged.

At least 2 of your letters of recommendation need to be written by people from whom you have received undergraduate or graduate instruction. Please do not have your letter of recommendation writers submit their letters online until after you are endorsed as a candidate. Read our advice on writing letters of recommendation.

Mitchell Website and Application

For official information on the Mitchell Scholarship (which supersedes any information provided here) and access to the online application, please visit their website.