FORD FOUNDATION DISSERTATION FELLOWSHIPS
For Achieving Excellence in College and University Teaching
The 2015 Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship Program competition is NOW CLOSED and no longer accepting applications.
The application deadline date for the 2015 dissertation fellowship was NOVEMBER 14, 2014 (5:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time).
This year the program will award approximately 30 dissertation fellowships. The dissertation fellowships provide one year of support for individuals working to complete a dissertation leading to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree.
Dissertation fellowships will be awarded in a national competition administered by the National Research Council (NRC) on behalf of the Ford Foundation. The awards will be made to individuals who, in the judgment of the review panels, have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level, show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers, and are well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.
Click on the links below to learn more about each aspect of the Dissertation Ford Foundation Fellowship
In addition to the other dissertation program level requirements, eligibility to apply for a dissertation 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, regardless of race, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation,
- Individuals with evidence of superior academic achievement (such as grade point average, class rank, honors or other designations),
- Individuals committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level,
- Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree candidates studying in an eligible research-based discipline in a dissertation-required program at a U.S. non-proprietary (not for profit) educational institution, and
- Individuals who have not earned a doctoral degree at any time, in any field.
Receipt of the fellowship award is conditioned upon each awardee providing satisfactory documentation that he or she meets the eligibility requirements.
Criteria for Selection
The following will be considered as positive factors in choosing successful candidates:
- Evidence of superior academic achievement
- Degree of promise of continuing achievement as scholars and teachers
- Capacity to respond in pedagogically productive ways to the learning needs of students from diverse backgrounds
- Sustained personal engagement with communities that are underrepresented in the academy and an ability to bring this asset to learning, teaching, and scholarship at the college and university level
- Likelihood of using the diversity of human experience as an educational resource in teaching and scholarship
- 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 American/Chicanas/Chicanos
- Native American Indians
- Native Pacific Islanders (Hawaiian/Polynesian/Micronesian)
- Puerto Ricans
Applications will be evaluated by panels of distinguished scholars selected by the National Academies. The panels will use academic records, essays, letters of recommendation, the application itself, and other appropriate materials as the basis for determining the extent to which candidates meet the eligibility requirements and the selection criteria. Review panels may also look at additional factors such as the likelihood that the applicant will fully utilize 9 to 12 months of support prior to receiving the Ph.D. or Sc.D. Review panels may also look at additional factors such as the suitability of the applicant's proposed institution and the likelihood that the applicant will fully utilize 9 to 12 months of support prior to receiving the Ph.D. or Sc.D.
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Eligible Fields of Study
Awards will be made for study in research-based Ph.D. or Sc.D. programs that include the following major disciplines and related interdisciplinary fields: American studies, anthropology, archaeology, art and theater history, astronomy, chemistry, communications, computer science, earth sciences, economics, education, engineering, ethnomusicology, geography, history, international relations, language, life sciences, linguistics, literature, mathematics, performance study, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, religion, sociology, urban planning, and women’s studies. Also eligible are interdisciplinary ethnic studies programs, such as African American studies and Native American studies, and other interdisciplinary programs, such as area studies, peace studies, and social justice. Research-based fields of education are eligible if the major field of study is listed above and is used to describe the Ph.D. or Sc.D. program of the applicant (e.g., sociology of education, anthropology and education).
The complete list of eligible fields of study supported at the dissertation level of the fellowship program is available here: Eligible Fields of Study List.
Individuals enrolled in the following practice-oriented programs will not be supported: business, management, administration, occupational health, nursing, consumer science, library and information science, speech pathology, audiology, personnel, guidance, social work, social welfare, public health, physical education, physical therapy, kinesiology, rehabilitation science, educational administration and leadership, fine arts, filmmaking, and performing arts. In addition, awards will not be made for work leading to terminal master’s degrees, the Ed.D. degree, the degrees of Doctor of Fine Arts (D.F.A.) or Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.), or professional degrees in such areas as medicine, law, and public health, or for study in joint degree programs such as the M.D./Ph.D., J.D./Ph.D., and M.F.A./Ph.D. Interdisciplinary areas of study that have major content in ineligible fields listed above will not be included in the competition.
Fellowships are tenable at any fully accredited, non-proprietary (not for profit) U.S. institution of higher education offering a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree in the eligible fields of study.
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Verification of Doctoral Degree Candidacy
- In order to compete, applicants must have successfully achieved doctoral degree candidacy as defined by this program: applicants must have completed all departmental and institutional requirements for their degree, except for writing and defense of the dissertation. These requirements include, for example, required course work, language requirements, admission to doctoral candidacy and approval of the dissertation proposal. Your application will be declared ineligible unless the official National Academies Verification of Doctoral Degree Candidacy form, signed by the adviser or other authorized official, is uploaded to the fellowship application before 5:00 P.M. EST on January 9, 2015.
- Applicants should expect to complete the dissertation during the 2015-2016 academic year, but no later than fall 2016.
Stipend and Benefits
The tenure of a dissertation fellowship will be no less than 9 months and no more than 12 months, with tenure beginning no earlier than June 1, 2015 and no later than September 1, 2015.
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Evaluation and Selection of Fellows
Applications will be evaluated by panels of distinguished scholars selected by the National Academies. The panels will use academic records, essays, letters of recommendation, the proposed timetable and plan for completion of the doctoral degree, the application itself, and other appropriate materials as the basis for determining the extent to which candidates meet the eligibility requirements and the selection criteria.
Conditions of the Fellowship
Dissertation fellows are expected to be engaged in a full-time program leading to a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree in an eligible field of study. Those who accept a dissertation fellowship must agree to the stipulations in the Terms of Appointment for Ford Foundation Fellows that accompanies the award letter. In addition, Ford Fellows must agree to participate in regular updates of the Directory of Ford Fellows, as well as periodic surveys designed to demonstrate the impact of this program.
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