FORD FOUNDATION DISSERTATION FELLOWSHIPS
For Achieving Excellence in College and University Teaching
The 2013 Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship competition is CLOSED and no longer accepting applications.
This year the program will award approximately 35 dissertation fellowships. The dissertation fellowships provide one year of support for individuals working to complete a dissertation leading to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree.
Dissertation fellowships will be awarded in a national competition administered by the National Research Council (NRC) 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.
Click on the links below to learn more about each aspect of the Dissertation Ford Foundation Fellowship
In addition to the general eligibility requirements, eligibility to apply for a dissertation fellowship is limited to:
All citizens or nationals* of the United States regardless of race, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation (must have become a U.S. citizen by November 19, 2012),
- Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree candidates studying in an eligible research-based discipline at a U.S. educational institution, and
- Individuals who have not earned a doctoral degree at any time, in any field.
(The term “national of the United States” designates a citizen of the United States or a native resident of a possession of the United States. It does not refer to a U.S. permanent resident who is a citizen of another country.)
Criteria for Selection
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 American/Chicanas/Chicanos
- Native American Indians
- Native Pacific Islanders (Hawaiian/Polynesian/Micronesian)
- Puerto Ricans
Review panels may also look at additional factors such as the suitability of the applicant's proposed institution and the likelihood that the applicant will fully utilize 9 to 12 months of support prior to receiving the Ph.D. or Sc.D.
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Eligible Fields of Study
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, earth sciences, economics, education, engineering, ethnomusicology, geography, history, international relations, language, life sciences, linguistics, literature, mathematics, performance study, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, religion, 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. The complete list of eligible fields of study supported at the dissertation level of the fellowship program is available here: Dissertation Fields (.pdf).
Individuals enrolled in the following practice-oriented programs will not be supported: business, management, administration, occupational health, nursing, consumer science, library and information science, speech pathology, audiology, personnel, guidance, social work, social welfare, public health, physical education, physical therapy, kinesiology, rehabilitation science, educational administration and leadership, fine arts, filmmaking, and performing arts. In addition, awards will not be made for work leading to terminal master’s degrees, the Ed.D. degree, the degrees of Doctor of Fine Arts (D.F.A.) or Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.), or professional degrees in such areas as medicine, law, and public health, or for study in joint degree programs such as the M.D./Ph.D., J.D./Ph.D., and M.F.A./Ph.D.
Fellowships are tenable at any fully accredited, nonprofit U.S. institution of higher education offering a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree in the eligible fields of study.
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Verification of Doctoral Degree Candidacy
- A valid National Academies Verification of Doctoral Degree Candidacy Form, signed by the adviser or other authorized official, must be received by the Fellowships Office of the National Academies by January 9, 2013 to confirm that an applicant has advanced to doctoral candidacy.
- Applicants should expect to complete the dissertation during the 2013-2014 academic year, but no later than fall 2014.
Stipend and Benefits
- One-year stipend: $21,000
- Expenses paid to attend one Conference of Ford Fellows
- Access to Ford Fellow Regional Liaisons, a network of former Ford Fellows who have volunteered to provide mentoring and support to current fellows.
The tenure of a dissertation fellowship will be no less than 9 months and no more than 12 months, with tenure beginning no earlier than June 1, 2013 and no later than September 1, 2013.
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Evaluation and Selection of Fellows
Applications will be evaluated by panels of distinguished scholars selected by the National Academies. The panels will use academic records, essays, letters of recommendation, the proposed timetable and plan for completion of the doctoral degree, 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.
Conditions of the Fellowship
Dissertation fellows are expected to be engaged in a full-time program leading to a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree in an eligible field of study. Those who accept a dissertation fellowship must agree to the stipulations in the Terms of Appointment for Ford Foundation Fellows that accompanies the award letter. In addition, Ford Fellows must agree to participate in regular updates of the Directory of Ford Fellows, as well as periodic surveys designed to demonstrate the impact of this program.
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