Ford  Foundation Fellowship Programs

For Achieving Excellence in College and University Teaching

Through its program of Fellowships, the Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, to maximize the educational benefits of diversity, and to increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.

This year the program will award approximately 60 predoctoral fellowships. These fellowships provide three years of support for individuals engaged in graduate study leading to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree. Predoctoral fellowships will be awarded in a national competition administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the Academies) on behalf of the Ford Foundation. The awards will be made to individuals who, in the judgment of the review panels, have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level, show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers, and are well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.


Eligibility to apply for a predoctoral fellowship is limited to:

• All citizens, nationals, and permanent residents (holders of a Permanent Resident Card) of the United States, and individuals granted deferred action status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, regardless of race, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation;

• Individuals with evidence of superior academic achievement (such as grade point average, class rank, honors, or other designations);

• Individuals committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level;

• Individuals enrolled in or planning to enroll in an eligible research-based (dissertation-required) program leading to aPh.D. or Sc.D. degree at a non-proprietary (not for profit) U.S. institution of higher education;

• Individuals who as of the 2017 fall semester require a minimum of three years study to complete their Ph.D./Sc.D. degree;

• Individuals who have not earned a doctoral degree at any time, in any field.

Receipt of the fellowship award is conditioned upon each awardee providing satisfactory documentation that he or she meets the eligibility requirements.


The following will be considered as positive factors in choosing successful candidates:

• Evidence of superior academic achievement

• Degree of promise of continuing achievement as scholars and teachers

• Capacity to respond in pedagogically productive ways to the learning needs of students from diverse backgrounds

• Sustained personal engagement with communities that are underrepresented in the academy and an ability to bring this asset to learning, teaching, and scholarship at the college and university level

• Likelihood of using the diversity of human experience as an educational resource in teaching and scholarship

• Membership in one or more of the following groups whose underrepresentation in the American professoriate has been severe and longstanding:

• Alaska Natives (Aleut, Eskimo or other Indigenous People of Alaska)
• Black/African Americans
• Mexican Americans/Chicanas/Chicanos
• Native American Indians
• Native Pacific Islanders (Hawaiian/Polynesian/Micronesian)
• Puerto Ricans

Applications will be evaluated by panels of distinguished scholars selected by the Academies. The panels will use academic records, essays, letters of recommendation, the application itself, and other appropriate materials as the basis for determining the extent to which candidates meet the eligibility requirements and the selection criteria. Review panels may also look at additional factors such as the suitability of the proposed institution for the applicant’s plan of graduate study and the likelihood that they will require a minimum of three years to complete their Ph.D./Sc.D. study as of the 2017 fall semester.


Awards will be made for study in research-based Ph.D. or Sc.D. programs that include the following major disciplines and related interdisciplinary fields: American studies, anthropology, archaeology, art and theater history, astronomy, chemistry, communications, computer science, cultural studies, earth sciences, economics, engineering, ethnic studies, ethnomusicology, geography, history, international relations, language, life sciences, linguistics, literature, mathematics, performance study, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, religious studies, sociology, urban planning, and women’s studies. Also eligible are interdisciplinary ethnic studies programs, such as African American studies and Native American studies, and other interdisciplinary programs, such as area studies, peace studies, and social justice. Research based fields of education are eligible if the major field of study is listed above and is used to describe the Ph.D. or Sc.D. program of the applicant (e.g., sociology of education, anthropology and education).



• Expenses paid to attend at least one Conference of Ford Fellows (see below)

• Access to Ford Fellow Regional Liaisons, a network of former Ford Fellows who have volunteered to provide mentoring and support to current fellows


Application is now closed

• Personal information, contact information, educational background (names of all post-secondary institutions attended, years attended, degrees received), undergraduate and graduate GPAs for all degrees earned or in progress, as of fall 2016

• List of any honors, awards, fellowships, and employment

• Personal statement (maximum two pages, 12-point font, double-spaced) describing the applicant’s background and experience and commitment to the goals of the Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs by addressing all of the following that apply:

• The applicant’s capacity to respond in pedagogically productive ways to the learning needs of students from diverse backgrounds

• The applicant’s sustained personal engagement with communities that are underrepresented in the academy and ability to bring this asset to learning, teaching, and scholarship at the college or university level

• The applicant’s likelihood of using the diversity of human experience as an educational resource in teaching and scholarship

• The applicant’s membership in one or more of the following groups whose underrepresentation in the American professoriate has been severe and longstanding:

• Alaska Natives (Aleut, Eskimo or other Indigenous People of Alaska)

• Black/African Americans

• Mexican Americans/Chicanas/Chicanos

• Native American Indians

• Native Pacific Islanders (Hawaiian/Polynesian/Micronesian)

• Puerto Ricans

• Statement of previous research and scholarly productivity (maximum three pages, 12-point font, double-spaced) including a list of publications and presentations

• Proposed plan of graduate study and research and the applicant’s long-range career goals (maximum two pages, 12-point font, double-spaced)

• Names and contact information of a minimum of three professors who will upload a letter of recommendation on the applicant’s behalf (four letters are highly recommended) Applications with fewer than three letters of recommendation submitted by January 10, 2017 will not be reviewed.

If you have any questions regarding the application contact:

For More Information call:

Fellowship Office

500 Fifth Street, NW

Washington, DC 20001

Phone: (202) 334-2872