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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
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Application: December 7, 2017 at 5:00 PM Eastern Time
Supplementary Materials: January 9, 2018 at 5:00 PM Eastern Time

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.
  • 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.

  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 2017), employment history, honors, and awards  
Note: Contact and demographic information will not be shared with application reviewers.

  1. Application Materials 
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
    Note: Citations, if used, may be single-spaced and will be included in the total page count. Applicants should use a standard bibliographic format appropriate to their field.

    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)

  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 9, 2018 will not be reviewed.
    • Each letter writer should have the current knowledge of the applicant's academic and professional experience and ability. They should be familiar with the applicant's specialized field of research and proposed research plan.
    • 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 ability.
    • Other letter writers may be selected 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.
    • 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.
    Host Letter

    Applicants should request that their proposed host institution submit a letter endorsing their prospective affiliation. The letter should demonstrate 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. If possible, the letter should provide information on the advantages that the site will provide in facilitating the completion of the applicant's work.

    Note: If a representative of the host institution is writing both a host letter and a letter of recommendation, the representative must submit separate letters for each.

    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.
    • 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.
    • 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.

    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 met all requirements for the Ph.D./Sc.D. degree including successful defense of the dissertation by December 7, 2017. The signed form must be uploaded to the application as a .pdf document before the deadline of 5:00 PM Eastern Time on January 9, 2018.

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