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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs
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Supporting Documents

  •  What are the deadlines for the 2018 program year?
Predoctoral application: December 14, 2017
Dissertation application: December 7, 2017
Postdoctoral application: December 7, 2017

Supporting documents (including transcripts, verification forms, letters of recommendation, and host letters): January 9, 2018
  • I am applying to multiple Ph.D./Sc.D. programs. Which institution should I enter in my application? And what if I am accepted to a different institution from what is listed in my application?
Enter your first choice of Ph.D./Sc.D. institution in your application. Reviewers often factor in the suitability of choice of the proposed Ph.D./Sc.D. institution for the proposed area of study. If you are notified that you have been chosen as an awardee and will not be attending the proposed fellowship institution indicated in your fellowship application, it will not be a problem as long as you have been accepted in a similar program at another fully-accredited Ph.D./Sc.D. degree granting institution in the U.S.
  • On the Validate & Submit page there is a yellow symbol in the status column; however, I do not have any information to enter for that section. Can I still submit my application?
The yellow symbol is simply a reminder that this item is recommended. The item is not required. If you cannot provide data for this item, you will still be able to submit your application.
  • Do citations count towards the maximum page limit?
There is no additional page allotment for citations in the fellowship essay uploads. If you choose to include citations in your essay, they will count towards the maximum page limit for the essay document upload.

  •  I am enrolled in a program that awards a doctoral degree other than a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree. Am I eligible to apply? 
The Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs only supports study leading towards a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree.  
  • I already have a doctoral degree. Am I eligible for the predoctoral fellowship?
Candidates who have already obtained any doctoral degree, including Pharm.D. or M.D. degrees, are ineligible to apply for the predoctoral fellowship.
  • My Ph.D./Sc.D. is not from a U.S. institution. Am I eligible to apply for the postdoctoral fellowship?
No, eligible applicants for the postdoctoral fellowship must have received their Ph.D./Sc.D degree from a U.S. institution.
  • I do not see my field of study in the list of eligible fields. Is my program eligible for support?
If you are not able to choose at least one of the fields of study in the Eligible Fields of Study List, it is most likely an indication that your field of study is not supported.
  • I am not a U.S. citizen. Am I eligible to apply?
Eligibility to apply for a 2018 Ford Foundation fellowship is limited to all U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and U.S. permanent residents (holders of a Permanent Resident Card), as well as individuals granted deferred action status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, political asylees, and refugees.
  • What does the term “nationals” refer to?
“Nationals” of the U.S. refers to those born in current or former territories or possessions of the U.S. and who are U.S. citizens by birth.
  • I do not belong to one of the listed underrepresented groups. Am I still eligible to apply?
Membership in one or more of the groups listed in the selection criteria as those whose underrepresentation in the American professoriate has been severe and longstanding is just one of the several factors that will be considered as positive factors in choosing successful candidates. This factor is not a program eligibility requirement.
  • I am enrolled in a for-profit institution. Am I eligible to apply?
No, eligible applicants must be enrolled in a Ph.D./Sc.D. program at a non-proprietary (not for profit) institution of higher education.
  • Must I be interested in pursuing a teaching career to be eligible for the fellowship?
Yes, eligible applicants must aspire to a career in teaching at U.S. colleges or universities once they receive the Ph.D./Sc.D. degree.
  • What are the differences between the eligibility requirements for each fellowship level?
Predoctoral fellowship - Intended for Ph.D./Sc.D. students about to enroll in a Ph.D./Sc.D. program by the following fall term and those who are in the early stages of their Ph.D./Sc.D. study. As of the following fall term, eligible applicants must have at least three years of graduate study remaining.

Dissertation fellowship - Intended to support the final year of graduate school, specifically writing and defense of the dissertation. Applicants must submit the Verification of Doctoral Degree Status Form documenting that they have completed all requirements for a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree, except for writing and defense of the dissertation.

Postdoctoral fellowship - A career-enhancement award for recent Ph.D./Sc.D. recipients (eligible applicants must have received their Ph.D./Sc.D. degree within the past seven years). It is intended to provide an opportunity for recent Ph.D.s/Sc.D.s to take a year off from other responsibilities so they can conduct research at a host institution of their choice.
Supporting Documents
  • What is a host letter? Is submission of a host letter required for all three levels of the fellowship competition (predoctoral, dissertation and postdoctoral)?
Submission of the host letter is a requirement only for postdoctoral fellowship applicants. The host letter must state the willingness of the proposed mentor and the research site to serve as the applicant’s host during their fellowship tenure. This letter is in addition to the required minimum of three letters of recommendation.
  • Whom should I ask to write a letter of recommendation?
It is highly advised that letters be from individuals in academe who are familiar with the applicant’s academic research history and potential. Up to five recommenders can be listed. For additional information, see the Supplementary Materials section on the Application Instructions page (predoctoraldissertationpostdoctoral).
  • How are letters of recommendation or host letters submitted?
Letters of recommendation and host letters are submitted through the online module. Once the applicant enters and saves the required information for each letter writer in the References page of their application, they then click the "Notify" function next to each individual's name. This action sends the letter writer an e-mail notification with a unique link to a webpage where they can submit their letter directly to the applicant's online application. Please note that letters sent via postal mail or e-mail will not be accepted.
  • My letter writers are not receiving the notification. What should they do?
Applicants should ensure that they have correctly entered the letter writer's e-mail address correctly. If the e-mail address was entered incorrectly, the applicant can edit the address and resend the notification by clicking Notify. If the address is correct, letter writers should check their spam or junk folders for the notification since messages sometimes get filtered to these folders. If they cannot locate the notification, they should contact
  • How can I determine if my letters of recommendation or host letter have been received?

    1. Sign in to your application.
    2. Select Data Review in the left navigation.
    3. Scroll down to the References section of the page. 
    4. If the letter has been submitted, the date of submission will appear for the letter writer under the Submitted column. 
  • I am not able to upload my supplementary materials (transcripts or verification forms). What should I do?
Supplementary materials cannot be uploaded until the fellowship application has been submitted. Ensure that you have first submitted your application before you attempt to upload any of these supplementary materials. If you continue to experience difficulties, contact
  • I have already submitted my application, but when I try to upload my transcript, I keep getting an error message. What should I do?
Receipt of the error message most likely means that the transcript file you are attempting to upload exceeds the publishable 4MB file size limit. Try reducing the size of your document. If you continue to experience difficulties, contact
  • Can I upload unofficial transcripts?
Yes, unofficial transcripts are acceptable for the review. If offered a fellowship award, previously submitted unofficial transcripts must be replaced with official transcripts
  • Can I e-mail or mail you my transcript(s) and/or verification form?
No, all transcripts and verification forms must be uploaded directly by the applicant.
  • Can my university e-mail or mail you my transcripts?
No, all transcripts and verification forms must be uploaded by the applicant.
  • How can I determine if my transcript(s) and/or verification form have been properly uploaded and submitted?

    1. Sign in to your application.
    2. Select Data Review in the left navigation.
    3. Go to the Education History section of page.
    4. All successfully uploaded documents will have an Uploaded status as well as the date the document was uploaded under the Supplementary Material column.  
  • If I receive an award, how will the fellowship be funded?
The fellowship stipend award may be made either directly to the fellow in 9-12 monthly installments each fellowship tenure year or via an annual lump sum payment to the institution. This decision is left up to the results of communication between the applicant and the institution at the time of fellowship award. 
  • Does the predoctoral stipend cover the cost of tuition?
No, the predoctoral stipend does not cover the cost of tuition. The stipend is intended to be used for living expenses while on fellowship tenure.