PREDOCTORAL APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS
Application: December 14, 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 by the Supplementary Materials deadline.
- Confirm the minimum Supplementary Materials required for complete application submission.
- Save as .pdf files 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.
- 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.
- 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 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 research methods and theoretical framework to be used
- 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
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 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 9, 2018 will not be reviewed.
- 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 2017, 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 attended more than one educational institution, one letter from each institution should be included.
- Letters of recommendation from undergraduate or summer research programs can be particularly valuable.
- The most useful letters of recommendation are from faculty members who know the applicant well.
- 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.
Transcripts and GPAs Additional Information
- Baccalaureate degree transcript(s) showing all undergraduate coursework completed prior to fall 2017, grades, and baccalaureate degree award date as well as GPA.
- Graduate school transcript(s) showing all graduate coursework completed or in progress as of fall 2017 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 and One-page (maximum) Statement
If the VS form is required of the applicant, 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 requires a minimum of three years of full-time study to complete the Ph.D./Sc.D. degree as of the fall 2018 semester. In addition, applicants must verify with a one-page (maximum) statement that they still require a minimum of three years of full-time study to complete the Ph.D./Sc.D. as of the fall 2018 semester. The applicant must attach the one-page statement to the verification form and upload it to the fellowship application as a single .pdf document before the deadline of 5:00 PM Eastern Time on January 9, 2018.
- 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.