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The Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs have been administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine since 1979 and the Ford Foundation has invested in fellowships as far back as the early 1960’s. These fellowship awards have made substantial contributions in bringing excellence and diversity to the academic community by supporting the career development of almost 5000 outstanding scholars. Many of these scholars continue to be connected to the fellowship programs, to other Ford Fellows, and to the broader work of the Foundation through their scholarship and service in both public and private spheres.

To further engage Ford Fellows in the important work of the Foundation, we have established a Ford Foundation Senior Fellowship award. The Ford Foundation Senior Fellowship will provide funding for selected Ford Fellow or Fellows to conduct innovative research that advances the mission of the Ford Foundation to "reduce poverty and injustice, strengthen democratic values, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement" as described on the Foundation website

Scope of Award

The Ford Foundation Senior Fellowship award is intended to support research that advances and contributes knowledge to areas that are consistent with the work of the Ford Foundation as described here.  Applicants will be required to describe how their proposed work will contribute to knowledge, or otherwise advance this mission.


The Ford Foundation Senior Fellowship award is open only to individuals who have previously held a Ford Foundation Predoctoral, Dissertation, or Postdoctoral Fellowship administered by the National Academies and currently hold a faculty appointment at an accredited U.S. academic institution. Applicants must have held the Ph.D./Sc.D. for at least seven years by the application deadline.

Award Details

The Ford Foundation Senior Fellowship will be awarded annually to one or more individuals. The term of the award will be for a period of not less than 6 months and not more than 12 months, depending on the work plan submitted.

An annual stipend of $80,000 will be pro-rated according to the length of the approved work plan. An allotment of $5,000 for travel and other research expenses also will be provided. The fellowship may be held during a sabbatical year, but this is not a requirement. The stipend will be paid independent of any sabbatical pay. If necessary, health insurance may be negotiated as part of the award.

The Fellow will be expected to devote full time to the proposed research project during the fellowship period. During the term of the fellowship, the Ford Foundation Senior Fellow will not have any other obligations at their university. If feasible and desirable for the conduct of the research, the Fellow may work full or part-time, in residence, at a location away from their university. Location options include working at the Ford Foundation in New York, at the Academies in Washington, D.C., or at another location suitable for the approved work plan. The rationale for choice of location should be clearly articulated in the applicant’s Technical Work Plan, as described below.

Upon completion, the Fellow will be required to present their research in a plenary talk at the annual Conference of Ford Fellows or approved similar venue.

Application Procedure

Application materials include the following:
  1. A completed application form 
  2. A curriculum vitae (see format below)
  3. A detailed Technical Work Plan (see instructions below)
  4. Letter(s) of cooperation (see specifications below)
  5. Host letter (see specifications below)
The Curriculum Vitae (limit 10 pages) should include the following:
  1. Name and Current Institutional Affiliation
  2. Education (degrees, institutions, dates)
  3. Academic Employment History (dates, institutions, academic rank)
  4. Honors and Awards
  5. University, Professional, Society, and Community Service
  6. Significant Publications/Scholarly Works

The Technical Work Plan (limit 10 pages including references) should include the following:
  1. Statement of the project goals
  2. Details of the work plan (including sources of data and methods of analysis, if applicable)
  3. Relevance of the goals to the mission of the Ford Foundation
  4. Contribution/significance of the work
  5. Expected output or product from the work and dissemination plan (report, publications, etc.)
  6. Timeline
  7. References (literature cited)

Letter(s) of Cooperation (if applicable) written by any cooperators who are essential to the success of the Technical Work Plan

Host Letter (if applicable) indicating agreement to host the Fellow during the fellowship term

Review and Selection

Applications will be reviewed by a panel convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Criteria used in the evaluation will include:
  1. The academic credentials of the applicant.
  2. The relevance of the research proposal to the mission of the Ford Foundation.
  3. The technical quality of the work plan and feasibility for completion.
  4. The qualifications of the applicant to conduct the proposed research.
  5. The plan for dissemination and other use of the output of the research.
  6. The anticipated value of the outcome of the proposed work.


The application module for the Ford Senior Fellowship will open on November 1, 2022 and close on January 31, 2023 at 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST). Awards may begin as early as September 1, 2023 but no later than January 1, 2024.


If you have questions about the Ford Foundation Senior Fellowship application, please contact or 202-334-2872. For browser compatibility questions, please see this webpage.

Apply Now

Enter your name and e-mail address (used in your Ford Fellows online account) to apply. Once you have registered, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with a link that will direct you to the application module where you can complete your Senior Fellowship application. 

Note: If the e-mail address listed in your Ford Fellows online account is no longer active, you will need to sign in to your account to update the address prior to registering an application. If you are unable to use the Forgot your password feature, please contact

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