Application Deadline for 2011 Meisinger Fellowship

By SHRM Online staff Dec 20, 2010

You may now submit an application to the Susan R. Meisinger Fellowship for Graduate Study in HR. April 30, 2011, is the deadline. Winners will be announced at the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) 2011 Annual Conference in June in Las Vegas, NV.

At least one new fellowship totaling a maximum of $10,000 is awarded annually to help first-time master’s degree students working toward a degree in human resources. Each fellowship may be renewed for one year, for a total of two years and a maximum of $20,000.

Application is open to SHRM members and persons holding professional certification from the HR Certification Institute. Additionally, the applicant must have earned a minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.5 overall out of a 4-point grading scale; must have a minimum of 10 years work experience, with a minimum of five years in HR; and must have been accepted into a qualified master’s program within or outside the U.S.

Preference will be given to master’s candidates who have been accepted into accredited colleges and universities whose programs have adopted the SHRM HR Curriculum Guidelines, which have been adopted by a number of universities.

“SHRM, the SHRM Foundation and the HR Certification Institute have a strong interest in HR professionals’ education, especially as it prepares one to achieve higher level positions in HR,” said Nancy A. Woolever, SPHR, SHRM’s director of academic initiatives.

“Our on-going work in the area of HR academics,” she added, “underscores how important a broad and deep education in HR is to an HR professional’s preparedness. Coupled with the applicant’s accomplishments and future aspirations, we select fellows whose graduate education focuses equally on learning and research so they will be better equipped to advance to the highest levels of HR.”

The award is intended to cover the costs of tuition, fees and books and, if applicable, room and board. An applicant can be a part-time student if the fellowship helps complete, rather than start, the schooling.

The application package must include the application form; a current resume; proof of acceptance into an HR master’s program; proof of professional certification, if applicable; official transcript from the institution from which the applicant received his or her undergraduate degree; at least two professional references; information about other fellowships applied for or received; and an original essay. The essay, which should be no more than two pages, single-spaced, should address:

  • What the applicant sees as the future of HR, and why business acumen is critical to an HR professional’s effectiveness and/or success.
  • Why the applicant is interested in the HR profession.
  • What goals the applicant will accomplish as a result of earning a graduate degree in HR.
  • How the applicant will use the master’s degree to advance and further his or her HR career.

Fellowship recipients are obligated to retain SHRM membership or professional certification during the period they are in school, and they must maintain a minimum grade-point average of at least 3.5. A fellowship recipient who withdraws from his or her academic program before completing the school year is required to return any unspent funds.

Recipients who complete the program that the fellowship supports are not obligated to pay back the funds. They are expected to work in the HR field for a minimum of one year for every year they received the fellowship award; failure to do so obligates the recipient to pay back all funding awarded.

After receiving the degree, fellows are obligated to contribute to the HR community in various ways, such as—but not limited to—becoming a mentor through the SHRM Volunteer Center for a year after graduating, participating in a study tracking Meisinger Fellows through their career; or serving as a judge for internship sponsorships that SHRM offers.

SHRM Membership Advisory Council (MAC) members will screen applicants from each MAC member’s region and will select the top candidate from each region. These finalists will be evaluated by a selection committee from the SHRM staff. Applicants will be selected on the basis of demonstrated leadership in HR, relevant work experience, community involvement, undergraduate achievements and the essay.

This is the second year for the fellowship, which is named in honor of Susan Meisinger, SPHR, who served SHRM for 21 years until her retirement in July 2008. She was vice president and senior vice president of SHRM’s government and public affairs department, she served six years as SHRM’s president and CEO, and she was a member of the HR Certification Institute Board of Directors.

More information is available at:



Related Article:

Meisinger Honored with Graduate Fellowship Program,HR News, June 24, 2008


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