The Georgetown Office of Fellowships, Awards, and Research (from 2003-2011 the Gervase Programs) serves ambitious undergraduates interested in pursuing academic excellence in independent and individual ways that transcend the ordinary course curricula and requirements. GOFAR serves four principal functions:
The Research Resources office operates as a central clearing house for information and advice on undergraduate research opportunities across the broad horizon of disciplines, both those opportunities available through Georgetown and those supported outside the university. Increasingly, whatever the field, research is the hallmark of a genuinely outstanding undergraduate career, and all students are encouraged to try to incorporate research into their Georgetown experience.
On campus, GOFAR assists students who wish to participate in the Georgetown Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (GUROP) through which they can receive transcript credit for acting as research assistants to members of the faculty during the fall and spring terms. It also oversees both the GUROP Summer Grants Program which generously supports ten weeks of full time work as a faculty research assistant, and the Lisa J. Raines Summer Grant Program which supports ten weeks of independent research. Both the summer GUROP and the Raines are awarded through competitions judged by faculty panels.
GOFAR's third principal function involves oversight of the Carroll Fellows Initiative (CFI), Georgetown's flagship program for its most academically talented and ambitious undergraduates, Ordinarily limited to no more than 2% of each entering class, the CFI encourages its students to use their time at Georgetown to prepare for futures that live out the program's motto Mentis Vita Pro Vita Mundi (the life of the mind for the life of the world). Beginning with the mandatory two-semester Carroll Forum in the spring of their first year, Carroll Fellows follow a seven-semester path that helps them to define their individual academic goals and to access the programs that best suit those goals. Throughout those three and a half years, Carroll Fellows are both intensively and extensively mentored, both by the directors of the program and by their older peers in and recent alumni of the program. For many Carroll Fellows the CFI functions as the key Georgetown experience, the one that unlocks the most challenging and rewarding opportunities. After graduation Carroll Fellows go on to pursue a wide range of exciting and rewarding careers in fields ranging from consulting and finance, to law and government, to science and medicine, to public service and diplomacy, and to virtually all of the fields of the academy.
The final GOFAR function is situated in the Office of Fellowships and Awards which identifies and recruits highly motivated and accomplished students interested in applying to the most competitive, merit-based national and international fellowships and scholarships. The Office’s website also includes a listing of many other awards that students may pursue independently. Students are encouraged to begin preparation for these competitions as early as the sophomore year, especially if they plan to study abroad as juniors. The Fellowships and Awards professional staff helps students not only to identify graduate programs matched to their undergraduate experience but also to shape that experience in ways that conduce to success in these demanding competitions. Ordinarily, the Georgetown curriculum emphasizes a broad preparation across a range of fields that enables the graduate to function nimbly as an able generalist. The Fellowships, however, emphasize depth of expertise and proven leadership, both innovative and transformative, in a specific and significant area. The Fellowships and Awards Office is designed to help students develop that core specialization even as they successfully fulfill the demands of their ordinary curricular program. For Fellowships that require University endorsement, the Office relies on panels of faculty, administrators and alumni, familiar with the particular demands of the specific competition. The Office itself does not select students for endorsement; it functions to assist those who wish to apply for endorsement and those who have been endorsed.