Strategies for Attracting Diverse Fellowship Applicants


Diversity is a core value in many fellowship programs seeking to support and nurture talent. Yet, attracting a diverse pool of applicants can be a challenging task. In this article, we explore strategies to maximize the impact of your fellowship program by effectively attracting diverse applicants. By understanding the unique needs and barriers faced by underrepresented groups and implementing inclusive practices, your fellowship program can not only become more representative but also more successful in nurturing a vibrant community of fellows.

1. Define Inclusive Objective

Before you embark on attracting diverse applicants, it’s essential that you define clear and inclusive program objectives. Consider how diversity aligns with your program’s mission and values, and set specific diversity-related goals.

2. Reach Out to Diverse Networks

Cast a wider net by connecting with diverse networks, organizations, and communities relevant to your field. Engage in partnerships or collaborations with institutions or groups that have established connections with underrepresented talent.

3. Tailor Your Outreach

Recognize that different communities have different needs and preferences. Tailor your outreach materials and strategies to effectively engage with diverse audiences. This may involve offering information in multiple languages or using culturally sensitive communication.

4. Target Your Audience with Marketing Tools

Once you have defined your inclusive objectives, utilize various marketing tools to help you reach those audiences.  Social media channels, online advertising, email marketing and job boards can help you connect with your specific audience.

5. Foster an Inclusive Environment

Applicants are more likely to be attracted to your program if they see evidence of inclusivity within your organization. Showcase your commitment to diversity through your website, communications, and, most importantly, through your team and selection committees.

6. Provide Supportive Resources

Offer support to applicants at various stages of the application process. This might include providing clear guidance, hosting information sessions and webinars, or offering mentorship opportunities for potential fellows.  Include all of these resources on your Fellowship home page for easy access.

7. Eliminate Barriers

Identify and eliminate any barriers in the application process that may deter diverse candidates. Simplify the application process by providing an easy way for your applicants to apply and submit their supporting documents.  This is where a software system that manages fellowship applications, reviews and administration can be a great help.

8. Alumni Testimonials

Share the success stories of diverse alumni who have thrived in your program. Stories can be powerful motivators and can help prospective applicants see themselves as part of your fellowship community.

9. Continuous Learning and Improvement

Regularly evaluate the success of your diversity initiatives. Gather feedback from applicants, fellows, and your team to identify areas for improvement and refinement in your strategies.


A fellowship program that truly values diversity is not only inclusive but also forward-thinking and responsive to the changing landscape of talent. Attracting a diverse pool of applicants requires intention, effort, and a genuine commitment to creating an environment where all voices are heard and celebrated.  As your organizations embarks on this journey of inclusion, you contribute not only to the success of your program but also to the broader goal of creating a more diverse and equitable world for future generations of leaders.

Ready to take your Fellowship program to the next level? Contact us to learn how RQ Awards Management System can simplify your fellowship program. Our marketing team can help you target your audience and reach the quality applicants you are looking for. 

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