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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
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Supporting Documents

  • Do citations count towards the maximum page limit?
There is no additional page allotment for citations in the fellowship essay uploads. If you choose to include citations in your essay, they will count towards the maximum page limit for the essay document upload.
  • I am applying to multiple Ph.D./Sc.D. programs. Which institution should I enter in my application? And what if I am accepted to a different institution from what is listed in my application?
Enter your first choice of Ph.D./Sc.D. institution in your application. Reviewers often factor in the suitability of choice of the proposed Ph.D./Sc.D. institution for the proposed area of study. If you are notified that you have been chosen as an awardee and will not be attending the proposed fellowship institution indicated in your fellowship application, it will not be a problem as long as you have been accepted in a similar program at another fully-accredited Ph.D./Sc.D. degree granting institution in the U.S.
  • The Program Announcement for the Postdoctoral Fellowship indicates that an Abstract of Proposed Plan of Study or Research is a component of the application; however, I do not see an upload section for this document. Where should this document be included?
The Abstract of Proposed Plan of Study or Research is no longer a required upload for the postdoctoral application. There is no need to upload this document.
  • On the Data Validation page there is a yellow symbol for Verification Form. Do I have to upload this form before I can submit my application?
The yellow symbol in the validation is simply a reminder that you must submit the signed Verification Form by the Jan. 9, 2018 supplementary materials deadline. This will not interfere with your application submission. In fact, you must upload the form after you have submitted your application.
  • I have listed my Fellowship Institution; however, I am not able to validate this section of my application? How can I validate this section?
If you are currently enrolled in a Ph.D./Sc.D. program, you must add a Fellowship Institution as well as your Doctoral Institution—even if they are the same institution. Both entries must be listed; otherwise, you will not be able to validate your application. 

  •  What are the deadlines for the 2018 program year?
Predoctoral application: December 14, 2017
Dissertation application: December 7, 2017
Postdoctoral application: December 7, 2017

Supporting documents (including transcripts, verification forms, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and host letters): January 9, 2018
  •  I am enrolled in a program that awards a doctoral degree other than a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree. Am I eligible to apply? 
The Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs only supports study leading towards a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree.  
  • I already have a doctoral degree. Am I eligible for the predoctoral fellowship?
Candidates who have already obtained any doctoral degree, including Pharm.D. or M.D. degrees, are ineligible to apply for the predoctoral fellowship.
  • My Ph.D./Sc.D. is not from a U.S. institution. Am I eligible to apply for the postdoctoral fellowship?
No, eligible applicants for the postdoctoral fellowship must have received their Ph.D./Sc.D degree from a U.S. institution.
  • I do not see my field of study in the list of eligible fields. Is my program eligible for support?
If you are not able to choose at least one of the fields of study in the PredoctoralDissertation, or Postdoctoral list, it is most likely an indication that your field of study is not supported.
  • I am not a U.S. citizen. Am I eligible to apply?
Eligibility to apply for a 2018 Ford Foundation fellowship is limited to all citizens, nationals and permanent residents (holders of a Permanent Resident Card) of the United States, and individuals granted deferred action status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program.
  • What does the term “nationals” refer to?
“Nationals” of the U.S. refers to those born in current or former territories or possessions of the U.S. and who are U.S. citizens by birth.
  • I hold Temporary Protection Status. Am I eligible to apply?
Eligible fellowship applicants must, as of the application submission deadline, be a U.S. citizen, a U.S Permanent Resident (green card holder) or have been accorded DACA status. Individuals having Temporary Protection Status are not eligible to apply for the fellowship.
  • I do not belong to one of the listed underrepresented groups. Am I still eligible to apply?
Membership in one or more of the groups listed in the selection criteria as those whose underrepresentation in the American professoriate has been severe and longstanding is just one of the several factors that will be considered as positive factors in choosing successful candidates. This factor is not a program eligibility requirement.
  • I am enrolled in a for-profit institution. Am I eligible to apply?
No, eligible applicants must be enrolled in a Ph.D./Sc.D. program at a non-proprietary (not for profit) institution of higher education.
  • Must I be interested in pursuing a teaching career to be eligible for the fellowship?
Yes, eligible applicants must aspire to a career in teaching at U.S. colleges or universities once they receive the Ph.D./Sc.D. degree.
  • What are the differences between the eligibility requirements for each fellowship level?
Predoctoral fellowship - Intended for Ph.D./Sc.D. students about to enroll in a Ph.D./Sc.D. program by the following fall term and those who are in the early stages of their Ph.D./Sc.D. study. As of the following fall term, eligible applicants must have at least three years of graduate study remaining.

Dissertation fellowship - Intended to support the final year of graduate school, specifically writing and defense of the dissertation. Applicants must submit the Verification of Doctoral Degree Status Form documenting that they have completed all requirements for a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree, except for writing and defense of the dissertation.

Postdoctoral fellowship - A career-enhancement award for recent Ph.D./Sc.D. recipients (eligible applicants must have received their Ph.D./Sc.D. degree within the past seven years). It is intended to provide an opportunity for recent Ph.D.s/Sc.D.s to take a year off from other responsibilities so they can conduct research at a host institution of their choice.
  • If I receive an award, how will the fellowship be funded?
The fellowship stipend award may be made either directly to the fellow in 9-12 monthly installments each fellowship tenure year or via an annual lump sum payment to the institution. This decision is left up to the results of communication between the applicant and the institution at the time of fellowship award. 
  • Does the predoctoral stipend cover the cost of tuition?
No, the predoctoral stipend does not cover the cost of tuition. The stipend is intended to be used for living expenses while on fellowship tenure. 
Supporting Documents
  • What is a host letter? Is submission of a host letter required for all three levels of the fellowship competition (predoctoral, dissertation and postdoctoral)?
Submission of the host letter is a requirement only for postdoctoral fellowship applicants. The host letter must state the willingness of the proposed mentor and the research site to serve as the applicant’s host during their fellowship tenure. This letter is in addition to the required minimum of three letters of recommendation.
  • Whom should I ask to write a letter of recommendation?
It is highly advised that letters be from individuals in academe who are familiar with the applicant’s academic research history and potential. Up to five recommenders can be listed. For additional information, see the section regarding Letters of Recommendation on the Application Instructions page (predoctoraldissertationpostdoctoral).
  • How are letters of recommendation or host letters submitted?
Letters of recommendation and host letters are submitted using the notification tool in the online application. Once the applicant enters and saves the required information for each recommender or the host mentor in the Letters of Recommendation page of their application, they then click on the "Notify" function next to each individual's name. This action sends the recommender or host mentor an e-mail notification with a unique login ID and password required to log in to the system and submit their letter directly to the applicant's online application. The recommender or host mentor then uploads a .pdf document, views it, then selects Submit.
  • My recommenders/host mentor is not receiving the notification. What should they do?
Applicants should ensure that they have correctly entered the recommender's or host mentor's e-mail address. If the address is correct, recommenders or host mentors should check their spam or junk folders for the notification since messages sometimes get filtered to these folders. If they cannot locate the notification, they should contact
  • How can I determine if my letters of recommendation or host letter have been received?

    1. Log in to your application.
    2. Select Letters of Recommendation on the Main page.
    3. If the letter has been submitted, the date of submission will appear next to the Submitted field. 
  • I am not able to upload my supplementary materials (e.g. GRE scores, transcripts, or verification forms). What should I do?
Supplementary materials cannot be uploaded until the fellowship application has been submitted. Ensure that you have first submitted your application before you attempt to upload any of these supplementary materials. If you continue to experience difficulties, contact
  • I have already submitted my application, but when I try to upload my transcript, I keep getting an error message. What should I do?
Receipt of the error message most likely means that the transcript file you are attempting to upload exceeds the publishable 4MB file size limit. Try reducing the size of your document. If you continue to experience difficulties, contact
  • Can I upload unofficial transcripts?
Yes, unofficial transcripts are acceptable for the review. if offered a fellowship award, previously submitted unofficial transcripts must be replaced with official transcripts
  • Can I e-mail or mail you my supplementary materials?
No, all supplementary materials must be uploaded directly by the applicant.
  • Can my university e-mail or mail you my transcripts?
No, all supplementary materials must be uploaded by the applicant.
  • How can I determine if my transcripts have been properly uploaded and received?

    1. Log in to your application.
    2. Select Data Review on the Main page.
    3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to view Item Status under the Supplementary Material from Other Sources table. 
    4. If the letter has been submitted, the date of submission will appear next to the Submitted field.