PREDOCTORAL APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS
Application: December 13, 2018 at 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST)
Supplementary Materials: January 8, 2019 at 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST)
PLEASE NOTE: 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 by the Supplementary Materials deadline.
- Confirm the minimum Supplementary Materials required for complete application submission.
- Save as .pdf files 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.
- 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
Note: Contact and demographic information will not be shared with application reviewers.
- 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 background
- 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
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 must be single-spaced)
Applicants should outline any previous research undertaken. If formal research has not been carried out, applicants should describe any activities they believe have prepared them to begin research.
- Description of research as part of coursework or outside of class in an internship or summer research program
- Explanation of methods used and expected results of current research
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
Proposed Plan of Graduate Study and Research and the applicant's long-range career goals (maximum two pages, 12-point font, double-spaced)
Applicants should prepare a document describing the proposed plan of graduate study. In general, the more academic experience the applicant has, the more sophisticated the proposal should be.
- Description of the chosen area of study and the research issue of interest
- Explanation of why the chosen institution is especially suited to the field of study and the type of study to be undertaken
- Explanation of the relevancy of courses to be taken and how they relate to the proposed plan of study and research
- Description of the research to be conducted including general methods and a timeline
- Explanation of how proposed research relates to a larger community and society as a whole and why study will be useful
- Explanation of long-range career goals
Applicants may wish to ask their adviser or a professor in their discipline to review the proposed plan (especially for substance, clarity, and organization) prior to submission.
- 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.
- While it is at the discretion of the applicant to select individuals to write letters on their behalf, it is recommended (not required) that the following letter writers be included in the application if applicable:
- At least one letter writer should be a faculty member whom the applicant has worked with in their present (or most recent) department.
- If the applicant has entered a new graduate program in fall 2018, at least one letter writer should be the applicant's faculty adviser or other faculty member in the applicant's current department.
- If the applicant has participated in an undergraduate or summer research program, a letter from the adviser or mentor could be particularly valuable.
- Letters of recommendation from faculty members who know the applicant well are the most useful.
- 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.
- 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 NASEM-Ford-NoReply@nas.edu 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.
Transcripts and GPAs Additional Information
- Baccalaureate degree transcript(s) showing all undergraduate coursework completed prior to fall 2018, grades, and baccalaureate degree award date 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.)
- Graduate school transcript(s) showing all graduate coursework completed or in progress as of fall 2018 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 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.
Verification of Doctoral Degree Status (VS) Form
The VS Form is required for all predoctoral applicants who are already enrolled in a doctoral program as of fall 2018. The applicant's adviser must sign the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Verification of Doctoral Degree Status Form confirming that the applicant has a minimum of three years of predoctoral study and research toward the Ph.D./Sc.D. remaining as of the 2019-2020 academic year and will be able to use a full three years of fellowship support.
- 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 FordApplications@nas.edu.