Applying for the Naughton Fellowship

Author: Mark Roche

Written by current Naughton Fellow, Mark Roche, the following is a breakdown of the Naughton application process from someone who went through the same process only one year ago!  Take a look and let us know if you have any questions!

Mark Roche Headshot  Small

You are an Irish university student applying for a Naughton Fellowship to the ESTEEM Program at the University of Notre Dame -- congratulations on your decision to invest in your future!  Let's look at the process and make it simple for you to complete the application.

First of all, get started as soon as possible. The deadline is Friday, February 26, 2016. The Naughton Fellowship is open to the following participating universities:

  • Trinity College Dublin
  • Dublin City University
  • University College Dublin
  • University College Cork
  • National University of Ireland Galway

Next, let’s take a look at the documents that are required (you definitely will not want to wait until the last minute on this!): 

  • Undergraduate transcripts (and any other third-level transcripts you may have). It is desirable to get official transcripts from your university, which can often take a couple of weeks. Of course, you will not have grades from your final year at this stage, so don’t worry about that. However - if you studied abroad (at a US school for example) don't forget you will also need to acquire and upload those!
  • Resume or CV. The usual advice applies as for a job. You can tailor your Resume/CV to maximise your chance of getting an interview.
  • Statement of Intent. The statement should be 1-2 pages, and should tell your story. Why do you want to join ESTEEM? Why should you be chosen?  What will you do with the skills and experiences you gain? You will also want to consider non-academic achievements, like sports teams or volunteer organisations. Describe why you have chosen your technical degree, and how it has benefitted you. Finally, explain why you want to be a Naughton Fellow and what the Fellowship will do for you.
  • Essay questions. Both have a 250 word limit, so be mindful of this. It can be difficult to describe a project or idea concisely, but being able to do so is a powerful skill, and will help you in describing your work to a colleague or pitching to investors. Given the word count, take some time to brainstorm ideas and select the best one before writing. In the second essay question, be sure to state why people will buy your idea, how it can be made, and the positive societal impact it will have.
  • References. In deciding on whom to ask, you may want to consider an academic supervisor, someone from work experience, and one other person (from a sports team for example). The references are a little different in that you do not submit them with your other documents. Instead, after selecting the people who will vouch for your character and experience, input their email addresses into the online application system. This will autmatically trigger an email to each reference and they will then be able to submit their references directly to the system. Be sure to receive your references' agreement before entering their name into the system!

ESTEEM students hanging out and playing frisbee

There are a few other important points to note about the application:

  • You do not have to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).  This is a standardised test that U.S. students take to apply to graduate school and is not required for Irish students applying to ESTEEM.
  • You also do not have to input your GPA since your grades will not properly convert over to the US system. If you have done particularly well on the Leaving Cert or in your coursework be sure that is noted in your resume!
  • The application fee is waived for Naughton Fellowship applicants. You can obtain a waiver code from Rebekah DeLine at

As a final note, you can continue to add to your application via the online system as you go – it is only finally submitted when you click submit – so get started, and best of luck!  The FAQ for Naughton Fellowship applications can be found here. And If you have any specific questions about applying to ESTEEM, please email the current Naughton Fellows at