Starting this year, Yale’s Center for International and Professional Experience will offer two new fellowships to graduating seniors.

The new programs — the Robert C. Bates Postgraduate Fellowship and Yale Glee Club Service Through Music Fellowship — increase the total number of fellowships offered by the CIPE to seven. Among other functions, the fellowships — which allow graduating seniors to spend three months to a year pursuing independent projects, internships and research after the students depart Yale — support public service endeavors and fund English majors who wish to spend a year writing poetry.

“These are amazing opportunities for students to spend some time really cementing what it is they want to go on to do next,” said Rebekah Westphal, director of the Yale Office of Fellowship Programs. “Yale is particularly unique in that we offer these fellowships to students post-graduation and not just while you are enrolled as an undergraduate.”

According to Westphal, the new Bates fellowship is the first in the office’s history to offer students the opportunity to work on projects that last as little as three months. The fellowship is designed to help students build on their Yale experience through further research, an internship or other creative projects that “contribute to society” outside the United States, according to the fellowship’s webpage. The fellowship, Westphal said, is “purposefully broad,” as the Fellowships Office wants to encourage students with varied interests and goals to consider it.

The Yale Glee Club Associates, the alumni of the club, established the Yale Glee Club Service Through Music fellowship to allow students to conduct public service through music, Westphal said. For instance, students could set up a youth chorus in an economically disadvantaged area or create a new community engagement program for existing choral organizations, according to the fellowship’s description.

All seven fellowships were established and funded by alumni donors.

“Some of the fellowships were set up quite a while ago and some more recently, but all with the intent of supporting the next stage after graduation,” Westphal said. “Sometimes it is difficult to make these decisions when you are still in college. It helps to have time to develop ideas and thoughts about what your next step will actually be.”

Paul Holden ’17, one of the current recipients of the Charles P. Howland fellowship, is working as an intern at DB Perú, a Peruvian public health organization. Holden works in Amazonia, in the remote lower Napo River with 28 communities, most of which do not have access to health care.

His main project there is to evaluate the impact of DB Perú’s education programs on local midwifery and community health leaders.

“I’ve seen incredible poverty, and as a future physician I believe grappling with inequality in health care is just as important as learning which drugs to prescribe,” Holden said “After this year, I’ll have a better idea of what I want to do in the future with my career and public health.”

William Drexel ’16, a 2016-17 Gordon Grand fellow, said the fellowship allowed him to conduct independent research across India on environmentalism and religion and contribute to emergency maritime search and rescue activities off the coasts of Greece and Libya.

Drexel added that doing research gave him a chance to “get on the ground” with issues he has been studying at a distance throughout his time at Yale.

“I feel pretty indebted to the fellowships,” Drexel said. “It really was one of the most formative and interesting years of my life. Having the freedom to really dig into projects in a hands-on manner straight from your studies is deeply valuable.”

This academic year, the deadline to apply for a postgraduate fellowship is January 31.

Anastasiia Posnova | anastasiia.posnova@yale.edu