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P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans

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Frequently Asked Questions

Technical Questions

If you don't find the answer to your question on this page, please email 


I’m having trouble logging into the application. My password is no longer working, and when I click to reset the password, there is an error. 

We launched a new website in October of 2016, which has a “Login” option for our Fellows. This is not the "Login" for applicants. The online application for the Fellowship is here: If you have additional challenges logging in, please contact the Embark help desk. 

I want to create a new account, but only see a log in screen asking for a password. How do I start an application?

To the right of the orange "Go" button on the application login page, there should be text that says "New User? Register Here". If you click on that text, you will go to the page that lets you register a new account. If you do not see the "New User" text, try opening the application login page using another browser. The application works best in Chrome and Firefox, and works in the latest version of Safari. Check your browser to make sure it is up to date, and that should solve the problem.

If you applied before, and are using the same email, you will not be able to register a new account with the same email. Instead, use the 'forgot password' link to reset your password. 

Where may I find the "Optional Exhibits" portion of the application?  

Once you log into the application, after filling out the eligibility page, just click through the entire application using the ‘next’ button. Doing this will open up all of the pages so that when you log in again, you can navigate using the right-hand navigation pane where all the pages are listed. The optional exhibits page comes after the survey page. 


Recommendation Questions

What should a recommender do if they have not received the Embark registration e-mail? 

The applicant and recommender should confirm what e-mail the registration e-mail would have been sent to. Applicants, should also verify that they have clicked 'save' after registering each of their recommenders. Recommenders check their junk mail folders, since the email is from a address that sometimes gets filtered out. 

What should a recommender do if they can login but cannot upload their letter? 

For recommenders to upload their letters, applicants must have first filled out the eligibility page of the application. If a recommender uploads their letter but gets stuck on the processing page, they should click the 'previous' button to force a refresh, then upload the file again. Also note that the file name cannot have any special characters. If the file name contains special characters, the upload will not complete.

Can I submit my application before my recommendations have been submitted?

Yes, you can submit your application before your recommendations have been submitted. Once you submit, you'll still be able to login into the system to check on the status of your recommenders. You will also still be able to send them reminder e-mails through the system. In order for your application to be considered complete it must have a minimum of three recommendations submitted as of the November 1, 2016 deadline.

Is the deadline for recommenders the same as applicants?

Yes. All recommendations must be submitted by November 1, 2016 at 11:59 pm EST. 

I applied last year. Is there a way for one of my recommendations from last year to be transferred to this year's application?

We cannot forward a letter of recommendation from a previous application to a current one. All recommendations must be submitted to the current application. 

Would it be possible to upload recommendation letters using Interfolio? 

Interfolio had a process for uploading letters to an online application system. The support article can be found here:

My recommender is being asked for a verification code on Embark, but the code never comes. What should they do?

Please ask your recommender to try and open the link that they received in the original e-mail using a different web browser. The security settings on their current web browser are blocking scripts from running on the website. That is why they are being prompted to wait for a verification email. There is no verification email for recommenders. The normally process is that your recommender fills out the online form and is then allowed to immediately access the recommendation form.

For additional information about recommenders and recommendations, please visit Guidance for Recommenders


Application Questions


There are only spaces for four graduate programs on the application. What should I do if I'm applying to more than four?

You should list the 4 schools/programs you are most likely going to attend in the spaces available. You can then upload a full list of your programs and schools as an exhibit. 

I will not have taken my graduate school entry exam before the November 1, 2016 PDSoros deadline. What should I do?

You can select the option that says you will be taking your test after the deadline, and upload your official scores when you have them, or a screenshot of your online account when the scores are posted. 

I am a first-year graduate student and currently have no grades to report on my transcript. Do you request that my transcript be submitted anyway?

Yes. Your transcript will show the courses that you are enrolled in and it will also validate your attendance. 

Can recommendations or application materials be submitted by mail?

No, we accept no materials by mail or e-mail. All materials must be submitted through the online application system.

What standardized test scores are required?

Please note that we only require the test scores that you needed for the program you would like the Fellowship to fund. So if you are applying to fund medical school and your medical school only needed the MCAT, you only need to upload the MCAT scores to your application. If you are applying to fund another program, and that program only requires the GREs, you only need to include your GRE scores. If your program requires both exams, you can upload the scores you have with a second page that says you will be taking the GREs on x date and will send in your scores when you have them. 

How should I upload my test scores?

The examinee score report is what you should upload. If you don’t have a PDF of that, a screenshot of your account would be fine. We just don’t want applicants to type up their scores in a word doc and self-report them. 

I'm having trouble with the naturalization documentation part of the application. What should I do?

If you were naturalized under your parents, enter one of your parents' naturalization certificate numbers. If you don't have access to your naturalization documentation, enter your passport number for now. You will be asked for supporting documentation if you reach the finalist stage.

Do you grant extensions?

No, in order to be fair to all applicants we do not grant any extensions. 

If I don’t get selected as a Fellow this year, am I able to re-apply for the scholarship? If yes, how soon can I re-apply? 

Yes, you can re-apply as long as you still fit the eligibility requirements. You can re-apply as soon as the next cycle of the application opens, which will be in mid-April when we announce the Fellows. There is no disadvantage to re-applying, and many of our Fellows have applied multiple times before being awarded the Fellowship.

If I use special formatting in my resume or essays, will the application preserve the formatting?

The application will preserve formatting, since it will convert  uploaded documents into PDF format. If you would like to be sure about how your essays will appear, you should save your essay as a PDF and upload that PDF to the application. 

Can I submit an exhibit if it's something I made with other people? 

Yes, but you should provide some context on why you are including the exhibit and what your contribution was to the project.

There is a news article written about a public hearing I testified at. The article features my boss and she highlights some of the comments I made. It does not have my name in it but can I still submit it?  

Sure, if you think it demonstrates some of your strengths.

For technical works, such as research papers or comment letters, should I submit just the front page? 

You can submit an abstract or summary of your research papers, or an excerpt of your work, the whole paper, or a link to the paper.

Do I need to explain why the exhibit is important? Can I use one of the exhibit slots to write up a brief document explaining the importance of the other exhibits? 

It is sometimes helpful to include a sentence or two about why you are including an exhibit, and what it shows about you. If it is obvious why you included it, this may not be necessary. You can upload the brief descriptions as a separate document, or on each exhibit. 

Are applications reviewed on a rolling basis? Is there an advantage to applying before November 1?

No. Applications are not reviewed until after the application deadline.


Eligibility Questions

Age: Eligibility Questions
Do you make exceptions to the age requirement?
No. In order to be fair to all applicants we make no exceptions. Eligible applicants must be 30 or younger as of the application deadline.
Academic Status: Eligibility Questions
I have not been accepted to a graduate school program. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes! Many of our applicants apply to graduate school at the same time that they are applying for graduate school. 
I will be in my third, fourth, fifth or sixth year of graduate school as of November 1, 2016. Am I eligible?
No, in order to be eligible, applicants must be applying to graduate school or in their first two years of graduate school as of the November 1, 2016 deadline. 

I’m in a PhD program that includes a master’s degree. If I completed my master’s and am now in the first two years of the PhD portion of the degree am I eligible?

That would depend on your program. Many applicants are in PhD programs in which the first two years are spent completing a Master’s degree, then after a qualifying exam, they continue into a PhD program. In that case, the Master’s and PhD are considered one program, so year one of the PhD would be year three of their graduate program. If your PhD and Master’s programs are not related, and the applicant had to complete an entire application process for both separately, then the programs might be considered separate. But if you are in the second year of your Master’s by the November 1, 2016 application deadline, then you’d be eligible for the PD Soros Fellowship in this selection round in either case.

I may receive another fellowship or award that would overlap with the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships. How would that work?

PD Soros does not limit the number of awards a student can receive simultaneously. Many of our Fellows also receive awards like NSF, NDSEG and NIH while receiving the PD Soros fellowship. We work with other awards to try and get Fellows the maximum benefit from all their sources of funding, and will work within the limits of other awards. The only limitations the PD Soros award has are the following:

  1. The first year of the Fellowship cannot be deferred. For this application cycle, Fellows must be enrolled full time in their graduate programs for the entire 2017-18 academic year. Year two of the funding may be deferred up to one calendar year.
  2. PD Soros pays 50% of tuition and fees, not including health and housing fees, up to $10,000 per semester, or $6,667 per quarter. If a Fellow is receiving other funding for tuition, or if 50% of tuition is less than the maximum amount, the Fellow will not receive the maximum amount of tuition funding for the semester. PD Soros cannot exceed the tuition and fees cost, and tuition funds cannot be reallocated as stipend.
  3. The maximum PD Soros stipend is $25,000 per year, capping all stipend awards at $40,000 per year. This means that a Fellow can receive up to $15,000 in stipend per year from sources other than the Fellowship. If the Fellow receives over $15,000 in stipend from other sources, then PD Soros will reduce their stipend payment to fall within the $40,000 cap.