The Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship

The Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program was able to reduce administrative burden, save time, create a seamless experience for all stakeholders involved and increase the awareness and overall 180X increase in total applications.

180%

Increase in Total Applications (Draft and Final)

145%

Increase in Final Applications

244%

Increase in visits to Fellowship Page

Introduction

Industry: STEM

Location: United States

Launched in 1997, the Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program is a full-time, hands-on training and educational program that provides early career individuals with the opportunity to spend 12 weeks at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, DC learning about science and technology policy and the role that scientists and engineers play in advising the nation.

Objective

The primary objectives were to increase applicant numbers, simplify form submission process, and alleviate the manual workload of program administrators.

Challenges

The end-to-end process of managing Fellowships from the application process to post-program follow-ups had become difficult to manage.

Administrative Overload

The existing application system burdened administrators with managing incomplete applications, handling submission complaints, and aggregating scores and comments from reviewers.

Eligibility Criteria Complexity

Verifying eligibility criteria for each application added layers of complexity to the process, demanding meticulous attention to detail.

Committee Review Struggles

The review process was cumbersome, involving manual review of folders, reference letters, and attachments, leading to subjective evaluations.

Data Reporting Difficulty

Efficient reporting and ensuring data accuracy from various sources posed a significant challenge.

Low Number of Applicants

Although the Fellowship had been established for several years, the number of final applications submitted was low.

Solution

RQ Fellowships introduced a centralized platform, streamlining application processes, review, and post-selection support, addressing manual challenges and fostering efficient management across all fellowship stages.

User-Friendly Application Process

Introduced an online form with organisation-branded simplicity, streamlining the application process and enhancing applicant awareness of their status.

Customized Review Process

Simplified reviewer access to applications with a side-by-side view, integrating reference letters, uploaded content, and a scoresheet based on program review rubrics.

Automated Email Scheduler

Enabled automated reminder emails to recommenders and applicants, improving communication and deadline adherence.

Enhanced Reporting

Introduced easy reporting and tracking of incomplete applications, identification of draft applications, streamlined follow-ups, along with charts for easy access to analytics and key metrics

Integrated Reporting Tools

Integrated the Fellowship system with Google Analytics helped to understand the source of web traffic and whether marketing efforts were working

Social Media Outreach

Created a dedicated Twitter account along with the organisation’s LinkedIn account help to broaden the awareness of the program to its target audience in STEM.

Results

Increased Number of Applications

Achieved an increase of 180% in final applications submitted by the end of the application cycle as compared to the previous year.

Quality Applicant Pool

Ensured a quality applicant pool by utilizing the RQ Fellowship eligibility filtering automation.

Improved Applicant Experience

Enhanced the applicant experience and retention based on insights from withdrawn applications.

Increase in Website Visitors

Exponentially increased program outreach and awareness through social media, resulting in a 244% increase in visitors, engagement from potential applicants, and support from Fellowship alumni.

The RhythmQ system was user friendly and streamlined, which saved us a lot of time in comparison to other platforms or manual processes we were using previously. We also loved how easy it was to get in touch with the RhythmQ team anytime issues arose, so that we didn’t have to burn our staff’s time doing technical troubleshooting on our own.
Alison Boland-Reeves
Program Manager

RQ Features Used

Customized Home Page

Custom Form with Logic

Multi-Phased Reviews

Custom Reports

Email Scheduler

Follow-up Tracking

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