Subscribe to our mailing list  |  Search:  
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs
Fellowships Office
Policy and Global Affairs
Home Applicants Fellows Networking & Mentoring Contact Fellowships Home



Application: December 6, 2018 at 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST)
Supplementary Materials: January 8, 2019 at 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST)

The application system will close promptly at 5 PM EST on the deadlines listed above. Please take the time zone into account if you or your letter writers will be submitting your application or supplementary materials from a different time zone. Please also be advised that due to a large number of applications, as the deadline approaches, server traffic may slow the ability to upload and submit files. For that reason, we strongly recommend that you and your letter writers submit your materials well in advance of the deadline. We cannot consider requests for extensions for anyone (applicants or letter writers) who is unable to submit by the deadlines stated above.

General Guidelines and Advance Preparation
  • Provide all information requested on the application web pages. Follow the instructions carefully.
  • Prepare and upload essay documents.
    • Essays must be the applicant's original work.
    • Get feedback from advisers, mentors, and colleagues.
    • Carefully proofread all documents.
    • Avoid technical jargon.
  • Contact potential letter writers to submit letters of recommendation and a host letter by the Supplementary Materials deadline.
  • Confirm the minimum Supplementary Materials required for complete application submission.
Formatting Documents
  • Save in .pdf file format prior to upload.
  • Do not use long file names or special characters in file names.
  • Double-space using a standard 12-point font.
  • Set margins at 1" (top and bottom) and .5" (left and right sides)
  • Do not exceed the maximum page limits.
  • Do not exceed the maximum file size limit (4 MB).
  • Do not include headers or footers.
  • Write all materials in English.

Each application will be reviewed by two to five reviewers. Not all reviewers will have specific technical expertise; therefore, applications should be written to provide informative detail without jargon and highly technical content.

Application Components (items in bold are required)

A complete application includes the materials described below. Failure to complete any part of the application, including essays and all requested supplemental materials, will result in removal of the application from the competition. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all uploaded documents are accurate, legible, and complete and that they comply to the formatting requirements listed above.

  1. Profile Information 

    Contact information, demographic information, education history (name, location, enrolled date, degree received, and research field for all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended or currently attending as of fall 2018), employment history, honors, and awards  
Education history entered here will determine requirements for transcript uploads and verification forms. Please confirm that your education history and graduate school experience listed under the Eligibility section are correct. Information entered incorrectly may result in missing documents (transcripts and verification forms) which will result in the application being considered incomplete.

Note: Contact and demographic information will not be shared with application reviewers.

  1. Application Materials (Citations are not required, but if used, they may be single-spaced and will be included in the total page count. Applicants should use a standard bibliographic format appropriate to their field.)
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, and
  • 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 
Applicants should describe their past and ongoing community service efforts such as: 
    • Tutoring and mentoring students in challenging environments
    • Participation in housing or public service projects
    • Leadership and organizational skills that benefit a larger community
      • Campus-based student activities
      • Language teaching
      • Involvement in professional organizations that serve the community
Applicants should note anything in their background that speaks to their unique perspective:
    • Membership of a group designated by the Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs as currently underrepresented in the American professoriate
    • Membership of another underserved group
    • First person or generation in family to achieve college degree or seek advanced degree
Applicants may also cite the following:
    • Teaching methods and academic interests that are inclusive and sensitive to diversity
    • Any successes that can be attributed to using new techniques to create an inclusive and respectful teaching and learning environment
    • Personal goals, both long-standing and future-focused, that involve increasing understanding in the college or university setting and are in the broader context
    • Employment that demonstrates a long-standing commitment to diversity and depth of understanding of a multicultural society
    • Efforts to improve access and opportunity for all, particularly in one's local community (neighborhood, place of worship, geographic region)

    Statement of Previous Research and Scholarly Productivity, including a list of publications and presentations (maximum three pages, 12-point font, double-spaced; publications/presentations may be single-spaced)

    • Previous Research

    • Description of any research activities, including:
      • Research undertaken as an undergraduate and graduate student
      • Research undertaken in academic and other job-related activities since receipt of the doctoral degree
      • Include goals, major results, and impacts of the research

    • Scholarly Productivity
      List of publications and presentations for the last five years. Items should be listed in the following order:
      • Publications in reverse chronological order
      • Presentations in reverse chronological order

    Abstract of Dissertation (maximum one page, 12-point font, double-spaced)

    Proposed Plan of Study or Research and long-range career goals (maximum three pages, 12-point font, double-spaced)

    Applicants should prepare a document describing the study or research they expect to undertake if awarded a fellowship.

    • Statement of hypothesis and how proposed study relates to the current body of research, providing any context that will add to a better appreciation of the project and its significance
    • Description of the applicant's proposed methodology, providing (if appropriate to the field of study) information about sampling, instrumentation, data sources and collection, and analyses
    • A timeline for the completion of the project, including a description of expected results of research
    • Explanation for choice of fellowship institution and how it will enhance the applicant's plan, the kind of assistance and support expected, and the networks and professional associations to be established
    • If required for research, indication that the applicant has received specific permissions from the host institution
    • Description of how the proposed research will facilitate and enhance the applicant's career plans and contribute to the field of study
    • Explanation of how the proposed research relates to a larger academic community and society as a whole, as well as why the study is useful
    Applicants may wish to ask a trusted colleague to review the proposed plan (especially for substance, clarity, and organization) prior to submission.
    Annotated Bibliography: Two to four sentences each for no more than ten key sources, including primary and secondary sources, which are the most important in shaping the current status of the problem which the applicant will be studying (no maximum page limit beyond the limit of the ten key sources, 12-point font, entries may be single-spaced)
  1. Supplementary Materials
References: Names and contact information of a minimum of three (maximum of five) individuals who will upload a letter of recommendation on the applicant's behalf (four letters are highly recommended). Applications with fewer than three letters submitted by letter writers by January 8, 2019 at 5 PM EST will not be reviewed.
    • One letter writer must be the proposed host mentor (see below for host mentor letter instructions).
    • While it is at the discretion of the applicant to select other individuals to write letters on their behalf, it is recommended that the following letter writers be included in the application:
      • At least one letter writer should be a colleague (e.g. department chair, division chair, or dean) in the applicant's current institution who has had an opportunity to observe the applicant's teaching and research abilities.
      • Other letter writers may be selected from within or outside the applicant's institution (e.g. recognized authorities in the applicant's field with whom the applicant is well acquainted, individuals in closely allied fields, or the applicant's thesis adviser).
      • Letters of recommendation from personal friends, clergy, medical doctors, and family members are not appropriate.
    • Each letter writer should have current knowledge of the applicant's academic and professional experience and abilities. They should be familiar with the applicant's specialized field of research and proposed research plan.
    • Applicants should provide each letter writer a copy of their essays and any other relevant information which will enable the writer to submit a strong letter on their behalf.
    • It is the responsibility of the applicant to notify their letter writers through the online application system. Once applicants take this action, letter writers will receive an e-mail notification from with a link to instructions on the content of their letters. Letter writers must upload their letters via the online application module. The Fellowships Office will not accept hard copy letters or letters sent as e-mail attachments.
    It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the minimum number of letters are submitted by the deadline. Applications with fewer than three letters submitted by letter writers by January 8, 2019 at 5 PM EST will not be reviewed.

    Host Letter

    Applicants should request that the proposed host mentor submit a letter endorsing the fellowship plan. The letter should describe how the host mentor will support the applicant’s plan both intellectually and logistically. The letter should provide information on the advantages that the site will provide in facilitating the completion of the applicant's work and confirm that the applicant has made the necessary contacts that will enable them to take advantage of the proposed research site, including any formal permission necessary to conduct the research. The letter should also state whether the institution will provide the necessary facilities (including any requirements for space, equipment, etc.) or materials to assist the postdoctoral Fellow in the successful completion of his/her proposed project.

    Host letter writers will receive instructions on the content of their letters and they must upload their letters via the online application module. The Fellowships Office will not accept hard copy letters or letters sent as e-mail attachments. Postdoctoral applications missing a host letter by January 8, 2019 at 5 PM EST will not be reviewed.

    and GPAs
    • Ph.D. or Sc.D. transcript showing all Ph.D. or Sc.D. courses taken, final grades for each course, and date of award of the Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree as well as GPA. (Note: If any institution does not calculate a GPA or the applicant prefers not to enter it, it is not required.)
    • Transcripts issued in a language other than English must be accompanied by a certified translation into English and must include a description of the institution’s grading system.
    • Unofficial transcripts or grade reports are acceptable for the review; however, if offered an award, applicants will be required to submit official transcripts to verify the accuracy of the uploaded transcripts or grade reports.
    • Uploaded transcripts should not be secured, password protected, or encrypted files as reviewers will not be able view these documents.
    • Transcripts should not include Personal Identifying Information (PII) such as a Social Security number and date of birth. Staff may delete transcripts from your application if these data are present. Applicants should redact, cover, or remove this information prior to uploading the document.
    • Transcripts from non-degree programs (including Associate degree programs) are not required.
    • It is the responsibility of the applicant to upload all transcripts and to ensure transcript legibility and degree attainment dates after each document has been uploaded. Transcripts sent via postal mail or e-mail will not be accepted.

    Applicants must ensure that the Education History section is accurate, at the time of application, to ensure that all required transcript upload fields are available in the application.

    Verification of Doctoral Degree Status (VS) Form 

    The applicant's department chair or dissertation adviser must sign the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Verification of Doctoral Degree Status Form for applicants whose Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree is not shown as completed on the Ph.D./Sc.D. transcript. The Verification of Doctoral Degree Status Form confirms that the applicant has completed all requirements for the Ph.D./Sc.D. degree, including successful defense of the dissertation, by December 6, 2018. The signed form must be uploaded to the application as a .pdf document before the deadline of 5:00 PM Eastern Time on January 8, 2019.

    Applicants must ensure that the Eligibility section is accurate, at the time of application, to ensure that a verification form upload field is available on the Supplementary Materials section of the application.  
Additional Information
  • All application materials become the property of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and will not be returned. Applicants should retain copies of all submitted application materials for their personal records.
  • Visit the Helpful Resources page for more information regarding preparing an application.
  • For additional information or questions, contact