A personal statement for a fellowship or graduate school application is your opportunity to express to the selection committee who you are and why you are a great candidate for the program. In particular, an eye-grabbing lead sentence or opening paragraph is your most important tool for maintaining the reader’s attention. Here are some examples of powerful personal statement openings of winners of highly competitive fellowships.
- “My parents are acupuncturists who made the long trip from their tiny cluster of villages in Guangzhou, China, to the quaint suburbs of Northern California, two years before I was born.”
By a winner of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) in Macau. The applicant draws the reader to something memorable – her parents’ unique vocation – paving the way for an interesting story about her childhood and interest in working abroad. Read more.
- “Every morning at 10:00 a.m. I come face to face with the power of language to free; it happens in a classroom. The students I teach at Seattle Central Community College come from night work in an industrial bakery, from a Vietnamese refugee camp, from a 9-to-5 job in a car wash, or from the day care center where they’ve left their children.”
By a graduate fellowship applicant to the University of Washington. This opening paragraph begins to tell a story that reflects on the applicant’s work with a diverse community. Read more.
- “My grandparents have touched many lives: former drug addicts, refugees, neighbors, and my own. They have an uncommon ability to build relationships; they are a paradigm of service— where service is more than what you do and is also defined by who you are.”
By a winner of the Fulbright U.S. Student Grant. The lyrical nature of this stand-alone opening paragraph exhibits an advanced ability to use both words and punctuation to express the applicant’s personal values and how they originated. Read more.
- “Thirty years ago, my dad boarded a one-way flight to the U.S. Unlike the people he left behind, he was coming to a new country filled with educational opportunities his homeland could not provide. He was not limited by his place of birth.”
By a successful applicant to Teach for America. Immediately, the applicant has built a framework to describe his interest in education and equal opportunity, and his personal experience as a child of an American immigrant. Read more.
- “In the sixth grade, I took a test to see if I was left- or right-brained. To my elementary eyes, the result of that quiz would be the truth from on high—a resolute word that would define the man to come as either analytic or artistic.”
By a Marshall Scholar to the U.K. The applicant masterfully opens with a story to describe the early beginnings of his intellectual curiosity, a key characteristic that the selection committee seeks in applicants. Read more.
A common aspect of these opening statements is their ability to draw the reader in to a unique and memorable story that begins to describe why the applicant is applying to the fellowship. You can identify more personal statement samples like these online by Googling “personal statement example pdf” with the name of the fellowship.
For more tips on writing a compelling personal statement, see our Step-by-Step Guide For A Competitive Fellowship Application.
© Victoria Johnson 2016, all rights reserved.
Applications for the 2018-2019 are now closed.
Application deadline was September 1, 2017
The Postgraduate Medical Education Office offers clinical and clinical research fellowship programs (post residency programs) for recognized specialists or family physicians.
A fellowship is a well-defined clinical and/or clinical research program which is not accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Applicants must have satisfactorily completed residency training as well as Royal College or Board Certification. Candidates must be deemed eligible to receive a training card by the Collège des Médecins du Québec.
In order for a physician to be able to be considered for a fellowship (post residency training) they must hold a specialty certificate from a Board or College (eg: in order to be able to apply for the Sleep Medicine Fellowship, applicants should be specialists in Respirology
Residents who have obtained their MD in Québec and who are currently registered in a residency training program in a Québec Faculty of Medicine can apply for fellowship programs via formation complémentaire only. Candidates who are not registered in a residency program in a Québec Faculty of Medicine are not eligible to apply under this category.
Fellows must meet all of the following criteria:
- Be medical doctors who are graduates of medical schools listed in the Faimer Directory
- Be physicians who are recognized as specialists in Canada or abroad.
- Hold a scholarship from their home government, university or Faculty of Medicine (see below for details)
- Obtain a letter of eligibility and satisfy the requirements of the Collège des médecins du Québec (CMQ)
- Sign a written commitment to return to the country of origin at the end of the approved training period
- Hold a valid work permit such as required by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (if applicable)
Below are the 3 categories of applicant profiles, provided they secure acceptable funding:
- International Applicants sponsored by contracts with McGill University: Files for applicants considered under these contracts are channeled through the office of the Associate Dean by the government, embassy or agency concerned. We are unable to consider files sent directly by the applicant or by other physicians on your behalf. Please contact your sponsoring agency for the admissions process.
- International Applicants (not sponsored by contracts with McGill University): You can apply for a fellowship program of a maximum of three years or less
- Graduates of Canadian Medical Schools (Non-Québec)
Candidates who have obtained their medical degree in Québec who are currently completing a residency training program in Québec can apply for fellowship programs (post residency programs) via formation complémentaireonly.
- Apply via theMcGill On-Line Application and pay the application fee (NON REFUNDABLE) which applies for up to two programs. A maximum of two applications per applicant.
- Submit the supporting documents (some forms may be uploaded with your application). Verify the list to see if the documents states ‘Upload’ or ‘Do not upload.’
- Track the status of your application on Minerva under the Applicant menu, using your McGill ID number.
List of documents:
You must provide us with an official translation of documents written in a language other than English or French, that is, a translation bearing the seal of an official translator. Separate translations must be attached to each corresponding document.
- COPY of your medical degree - UPLOAD
- Three signed reference letters on institutional letterhead: These must be sent directly by email to pgcoordinator.med [at] mcgill.ca from the referees to the PGME Office (in PDF format). All reference letters are confidential and cannot be disclosed to candidates. (Do not upload)
- CURRICULUM VITAE/RESUME - UPLOAD
- COPY OF PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP: For information on which documents to submit, see: legal documents. UPLOAD
- COPIES of your certificates: Fhe USMLE exams (steps 1 and 2) and/or the (MCCEE) IF APPLICABLE-UPLOAD
- COPIES of specialty certificates from a Board or College- UPLOAD
- SPONSORSHIP LETTER: Proof of scholarship granted by a government, a scientific/ international organization, a university, or faculty of medicine. The minimum acceptable amount is the equivalent of the R-1 salary (approximately $45,000 per year). Additionally, the scholarship must cover the tuition and any other student services fees. All other scholarships will be refused - DO NOT UPLOAD This letter must be sent directly to the PGME office by the organization that will be providing the funding for this training by email.
- AFFIDAVIT TO RETURN HOME: You must provide a written statement, committing to returning to your country of origin at the end of the approved training period. You must attest to the fact that you do not intend to apply for permanent residency status nor the licensure/certification examinations in the Province of Quebec. You must also confirm that you will maintain this status for the duration of your training at McGill. UPLOAD
- OFFICIAL COPIES of attestations and evaluations of all previous postgraduate training - DO NOT UPLOAD. These will have to be sent directly to the PGME Office by your School by email.
- A PERSONAL STATEMENT clearly outlining why you wish to apply to the program - UPLOAD
- Licence to practice Medicine, if applicable.
***Documents submitted to McGill University in support of an application, including, but not limited to, transcripts, diplomas, letters of reference and test scores (in paper or electronic format), become the property of McGill University and will not be returned to the applicant or forwarded to another institution.
Only offers emanating from the PGME Office are valid and binding.
Extensions of training are not automatic and can be obtained for valid pedagogical reasons only, pending renewal of eligibility. Please contact your Program Director 12 months in advance.
Once a physician is accepted into a Fellowship program, the Postgraduate Medical Education office of the Faculty of Medicine will submit an application for a letter of eligibility for postgraduate training in the Province of Quebec to the Collège des médecins du Québec on his or her behalf; there is a fee for this application, which must be paid by the applicant. In order for the Collège des médecins du Québec to issue a letter of eligibility, admitted fellows will have to open an account with physiciansapply.ca , and to submit a few documents for source verification. There is a fee for each medical credential submitted for source verification.
Final acceptance is conditional upon obtaining this letter of eligibility as well as meeting the Immigration Requirements.