APPLICANT FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Deadlines
- What are the deadlines for the 2020 program year?
Predoctoral application: December 17, 2019 at 5 PM Eastern Standard Time
Dissertation application: December 10, 2019 at 5 PM Eastern Standard Time
Postdoctoral application: December 10, 2019 at 5 PM Eastern Standard Time
Supporting documents (including transcripts, verification forms, letters of recommendation, and Postdoctoral host commitment letter): January 7, 2020 at 5 PM Eastern Standard Time
- Will there be any extensions or exceptions made for applicants or letter writers who are not able to meet the deadlines?
No extensions or exceptions will be made for applicants or letter writers for any circumstances. Applicants and letter writers should ensure that they upload all their materials well in advance of the deadline and should be advised that the application system will automatically close at 5 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST) on the specified deadline dates. Applicants and letter writers who attempt to submit materials after this time will not be able to do so and these materials will not be accepted via e-mail or postal mail.
- 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. It is not required to list an Adviser/Mentor if an applicant does not have one at the time of application.
- How should I format citations?
If used, citations may be single-spaced and should be formatted using a standard bibliographic format appropriate to the applicant’s field.
- 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.
- On the Validate & Submit page there is a yellow symbol in the status column; however, I do not have any information to enter for that section. Can I still submit my application?
The yellow symbol is simply a reminder that this item is recommended. The item is not required. If you cannot provide data for this item, you will still be able to submit your application.
- 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 not a U.S. citizen. Am I eligible to apply?
Eligibility to apply for a 2020 Ford Foundation fellowship is limited to all U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and U.S. permanent residents (holders of a Permanent Resident Card), as well as individuals granted deferred action status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program1, Indigenous individuals exercising rights associated with the Jay Treaty of 1794, political asylees, and refugees.
- 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 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 Eligible Fields of Study List
, it is most likely an indication that your field of study is not supported.
- I am a graduate student 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.
- Is there a limit on the number of times an applicant may apply?
There is no limit on re-applying, as long as the applicant continues to meet eligibility requirements.
- 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.
No, eligible applicants must be enrolled in a Ph.D./Sc.D. program at a non-proprietary (not for profit) institution of higher education.
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.
- 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.
What is a host commitment letter? Is submission of a host commitment letter required for all three levels of the fellowship competition (predoctoral, dissertation and postdoctoral)?
Submission of the host commitment letter is a requirement only for postdoctoral fellowship applicants. The host commitment 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 Supplementary Materials section on the Application Instructions page (predoctoral
Letters of recommendation and host commitment letters are submitted through the online module. Once the applicant enters and saves the required information for each letter writer in the References page of their application, they then click the "Notify" function next to each individual's name. This action sends the letter writer an e-mail notification with a unique link to a webpage where they can submit their letter directly to the applicant's online application. Please note that letters sent via postal mail or e-mail will not be accepted.
Applicants should ensure that they have correctly entered the letter writer's e-mail address correctly. If the e-mail address was entered incorrectly, the applicant can edit the address and resend the notification by clicking Notify. If the address is correct, letter writers should check their spam or junk folders for the notification since messages sometimes get filtered to these folders. Notifications are sent from NASEM-FO-NoReply@nas.edu. If they cannot locate the notification, they should contact FordApplications@nas.edu
- Sign in to your application.
- Select Data Review in the left navigation.
- Scroll down to the References section of the page.
- If the letter has been submitted, the date of submission will appear for the letter writer under the Submitted column.
No, GPA’s are not required.
– A signed VS form
is required only if the applicant is already enrolled in a doctoral program as of the 2019 fall semester. Applicants should have at least three years of predoctoral study and research toward the Ph.D./Sc.D. remaining as of the 2020-2021 academic year and will be able to use a full three years of fellowship support.
– A signed VS form
is required of all dissertation applicants.
– A signed VS form
is required only of postdoctoral applicants who have received the Ph.D./Sc.D. degree by December 10, 2019 but whose Ph.D./Sc.D. degree has not been conferred and documented on a transcript.
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 FordApplications@nas.edu
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 FordApplications@nas.edu
Yes, unofficial transcripts are acceptable for the review. If offered a fellowship award, however, you must submit official transcripts to replace previously submitted unofficial transcripts. Please note that postdoctoral awardees must submit an official Ph.D. or Sc.D. transcript showing the degree with the degree receipt date.
No, all transcripts and verification forms must be uploaded directly by the applicant.
No, all transcripts and verification forms must be uploaded by the applicant.
- Sign in to your application.
- Select Data Review in the left navigation.
- Go to the Education History section of page.
- All successfully uploaded documents will have an Uploaded status as well as the date the document was uploaded under the Supplementary Material column.
Review Results and Rater Feedback
- How and when will I learn of the final status of my application?
All applicants will be notified of the status of their application (Awardee, Alternate, Honorable Mention, or No Award) via e-mail by April. Notifications will be sent to the e-mail address associated with your online application.
Once you have been notified via e-mail of the status of your application, you will be able to log in to your application to view your feedback. If you applied in a previous year and did not already request those comments, you may send a request to FordApplications@nas.edu
Reviewers are strongly encouraged but not required to include comments. If comments are not included, then reviewers opted not to enter comments.
Due to the extremely competitive nature of this program, the overall assessment of the application is made in comparison to other applications at the same level in the same discipline, which may vary from year to year. Applicants are encouraged to focus on improving any aspect of the application where it has been indicated there could be room for growth.
Due to the confidential nature of rater feedback, we regret that we cannot offer additional details regarding ratings or comments that were entered.
Alternates are not informed of their placement on the list. Alternates will be notified by the Fellowships Office should an award slot become available for them.
- If I receive an award, how will the fellowship be funded?
For predoctoral and dissertation awardees, this decision is based on the preference of the institution. Postdoctoral awardees can choose between monthly direct deposit and institution-pay.
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.
- If awarded, am I allowed to receive funding from other fellowships, internships, or awards while on Ford Foundation Fellowship tenure?
A Ford Foundation Fellow may not accept remuneration from another major fellowship, internship, or similar internal and external awards while on Ford Foundation Fellowship tenure; however, limited supplementation from institutional funds, educational benefits from the Veterans Administration, or educational incentive funds may be received concurrently with Ford Foundation support.
After the first year of fellowship tenure, Predoctoral Fellows may choose to defer funding for up to two years if they opt to accept full-time employment or remuneration from another major fellowship, internship, or award; however, all three years of support must be used within a five-year period. Dissertation and Postdoctoral awards cannot be deferred.
- Am I allowed to work during my fellowship?
Full-time employment is not permitted while on fellowship tenure since Fellows are expected to devote full-time to their Ph.D./Sc.D. or postdoctoral study. A concurrent TA or RA position may be allowed if 1) it is required by the program, 2) if it is necessary to secure stipend supplementation, benefits, or tuition waivers, or 3) if the assistantship is beneficial to the Fellow’s career development. However, the compensation associated with the assistantship position must be limited to supplementation of the Ford stipend up to a standard assistantship salary at the institution, rather than a separate, full-time stipend in addition to the Ford.
1 Eligibility includes individuals with current status under the DACA Program, as well as individuals whose status may have lapsed but who continue to meet all the USCIS guidelines for DACA available here.