Subscribe to our mailing list  |  Search:  
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs
Fellowships Office
Policy and Global Affairs
Home Applicants Fellows Educational Institutions Networking & Mentoring Contact Fellowships Home


Terms of Appointment - Postdoctoral Fellowships

The goals of the Ford Foundation Fellowships are to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, to maximize the educational benefits of diversity, and to increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.

The Ford Foundation Fellowships at the postdoctoral level are intended to identify and facilitate the academic, intellectual, and professional development of individuals who have demonstrated superior scholarship, 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.

Postdoctoral fellowships are intended for individuals awarded a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree in an eligible research-based discipline (the fields of behavioral and social sciences, humanities, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, and life sciences) no earlier than seven (7) years prior to the Ford Fellowship application deadline.

Conditions of Awards

Career Goals: By accepting this award, individuals are affirming that their career goals include teaching and research at the college or university level.

Fellowship Institution: By accepting this award, Fellows are confirming that they will work full-time on the study plan or research for which the fellowship was awarded at the fellowship institution specified in the application. Funds accepted and used for purposes other than those stated in the postdoctoral fellowship application must be returned to the Fellowships Office.

Prior to the start of fellowship tenure, the Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow must provide the Fellowships Office with a letter from the proposed host, affirming that the postdoctoral Fellow plans to complete the work as outlined in the Proposed Plan of Study with the host’s collaboration during the academic year for which the award is made. The letter should be uploaded to the Ford Fellows web module or may be sent electronically to

Acceptance of the fellowship affirms that the information contained in the fellowship application and supporting documents is true and accurate to the best of the individual’s knowledge.

Fellowship Institution

Each Fellow is expected to choose for affiliation an institution different from the one with which he or she is presently affiliated, unless the reason for maintaining current affiliation was specified in the application at the time of the award. Any Fellow who changes his or her plans with regard to the host institution should consult the Fellowships Office prior to accepting the award.

Major Changes

Major changes in the research or study plans or a change of fellowship institution require prior approval by the Fellowships Office. Failure to notify the Fellowships Office of an intended change may result in the forfeiture of the fellowship.

Tenure and Stipend

Tenure and stipend information is entered when a Fellow accepts the Ford Foundation Fellowship award. The information entered may be changed up until the 15th day of the month prior to the start date (e.g., August 15 for a September 1 start). To change tenure and stipend information, contact

Tenure: Each postdoctoral Fellow is expected to begin tenure on June 1 (for 12 months) or September 1 (for 9 or 12 months) of the year in which the award is received. Any Fellow having difficulty in meeting this stipulation should consult the Fellowships Office prior to accepting the award.

Stipend: The stipend for Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellows is $45,000. No dependency allowance is available.  Fellows should determine whether payments will be disbursed directly to the Fellow, to the fellowship institution, or to their home institution.

In cases where the institution disburses the fellowship funds, stipends must be distributed within the Fellow's stated tenure period. Institutions must return to the Fellowships Office any funds that remain after the tenure period has concluded.

Supplemental funding from home institutions or fellowship institutions, including continued health insurance and benefits, is encouraged. Such funding, however, must not carry with it teaching or other similar responsibilities. The intent of the Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship is to provide support to advance the career of the Fellow, which would not be otherwise possible based on existing resources. Fellows who are eligible for full institutional salary during a fellowship year are not eligible for Ford support.

Concurrent Fellowships and Appointments

A Ford Foundation Fellow may not accept remuneration from another major fellowship 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 For Foundation support. Fellows receiving support from multiple sources are urged to discuss and negotiate the terms of the funding with all funding agencies, including the Fellowships Office and their university.

Leave of Absence

A Ford Fellow may need to request a "leave of absence" from the Fellowship for personal or family medical events which prevent the Fellow from pursuing their program of study. uring an approved leave of absence, and at the request of the Fellow, the fellowship stipend may be continued for a period of up to six weeks from the beginning of the medical event. For any additional time required away from the fellowship, stipend payments will be suspended until the Fellow is able to resume their program of study.

Health Insurance

No health insurance is provided through the fellowship grant.


A Ford Foundation Fellowship award is considered income from a non-compensatory fellowship or scholarship. The Fellowships Office is not required to report payments on IRS Form W-2 or 1099-MISC and will not send Fellows an official tax form. Fellows should contact a tax professional or a local Internal Revenue Service office to determine their individual tax liability.

Reporting Requirements

Each Fellow is required to submit a progress report to the Fellowships Office at mid-year and a final report at the end of tenure. Fellows are encouraged to contact the Fellowships Office before submitting a mid-year report if they encounter any difficulties at the fellowship institution or in receiving fellowship funds. Failure to submit required reports may result in stipend payment suspension until the requirements are fulfilled.

Fellows are required to maintain up-to-date contact information during and after the term of their fellowship to allow the Ford Foundation to track progress and facilitate professional interaction, enrichment and participation among Fellows. In addition, Fellows may be asked to complete periodic surveys which assist the Ford Foundation in evaluating the effectiveness of this program.

Conference of Ford Fellows

The Conference of Ford Fellows brings together newly awarded predoctoral, dissertation, and postdoctoral Fellows, along with a group of past Fellows who plan and lead the Conference. The conference provides opportunities for an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and opportunities to identify mentors and peers from across the country. The Fellowships Office also invites representatives from a selection of university and commercial publishers as well as from other funding sources.

New Fellows will be invited to attend the Conference of Ford Fellows in the fall of their award year. Pending the availability of funds, support may be provided for a second annual Conference the following year. The Ford Foundation will cover domestic travel, hotel accommodations, and other travel expenses.

Regional Liaisons

Regional Liaisons, who are past Ford Fellows, volunteer to serve as sounding boards and senior mentors to Fellows. For contact information, visit the Regional Liaisons webpage. In particular, new Fellows are encouraged to avail themselves of this valuable resource.


Neither the Fellowships Office nor the Ford Foundation assumes any liability or responsibility whatsoever for the payment of any compensation with regard to a Fellow's possible involvement in any accident or incident causing injury to other persons or damage to property. These institutions also assume no responsibility to the Fellow or his or her dependents for any compensation for injury, disability, or death of the Fellow during the tenure of the fellowship or travel to and from the host institution.

Program and Award Administration

The Fellowships Office administers the program and follows the progress of Fellows' work. Inquiries concerning all aspects of program and award administration should be directed to:

The Fellowships Office

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth Street, N.W. Keck 576
Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel: (202) 334 2860