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Fellowships to USA Doctoral Candidates to Complete Their Dissertations in Eligible Fields of Study

Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship

GrantWatch ID# 199673
Agency: Foundation

Funding Source
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Array ( )

Geographic Focus

Important Dates
Deadline: 12/08/22 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

Grant Description
Fellowships to USA doctoral candidates to complete their dissertations in eligible fields of study. The fellowships are intended for individuals who demonstrate a commitment to a career in research and teaching at the college or university level. Dissertation fellows must be enrolled in a full-time Ph.D. or Sc.D. program in an eligible field of study. It is expected that fellows will be spending the majority of their time writing and defending the dissertation during the fellowship year.

Dissertation fellowships will be awarded in a national competition administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 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.

Awards will be made for study in research-based Ph.D. or Sc.D. programs. Examples include American studies, anthropology, archaeology, art and theater history, astronomy, chemistry, communications, computer science, cultural studies, earth sciences, economics, education, engineering, ethnic studies, ethnomusicology, geography, history, international relations, language, life sciences, linguistics, literature, mathematics, performance study, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, religious studies, 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).

In addition to the fellowship award, new Ford Fellows are invited to attend the Conference of Ford Fellows, a unique national conference of a select group of high-achieving scholars committed to diversifying the professoriate and using diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students. For more details on the Conference of Ford Fellows, see:


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Criteria for Eligibility
Eligibility to apply for a dissertation fellowship is limited to:
- All U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and U.S. permanent residents (holders of a Permanent Resident Card); individuals granted deferred action status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program;* Indigenous individuals exercising rights associated with the Jay Treaty of 1794; individuals granted Temporary Protected Status; asylees; and refugees, 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 in the U.S.;
- Individuals enrolled in an eligible research-based (dissertation-required) program ( leading to a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree at a non-proprietary (not for profit) U.S. institution of higher education who will complete the dissertation in a period of 9-12 months during the 2023-2024 academic year, but no later than Fall 2024;
- Individuals who, by December 8, 2022, have completed all departmental and institutional requirements for their degree, except for writing and defense of the dissertation; and
- Individuals who have not earned a doctoral degree at any time, in any field.

*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.

Fellowship Institution:
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 an eligible field of study.

Verification of Doctoral Degree Status:
- Applicants must have completed all departmental and institutional requirements for their degree, except for writing and defense of the dissertation, by the application deadline. The National Academies’ Verification of Doctoral Degree Status form, signed by the graduate Adviser or department Chair, must be uploaded to the fellowship application by the supplementary materials deadline. No other form or letter will be accepted for this purpose.
- Applicants should expect to complete their dissertation during the 2023-2024 academic year.

Individuals enrolled in the following programs will not be supported unless the applicant can document that the program of study is research-based, requiring a dissertation, and the applicant plans to follow a career in teaching and research in academia: administration, audiology, business, consumer studies, curriculum development, exercise physiology, filmmaking, fine arts, guidance, human resource management, kinesiology, leadership, library and information science, management, nursing, occupational health, performing arts, personnel, physical education, physical therapy, public health, rehabilitation science, social welfare, social work, speech pathology, and teacher education. 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. This program does not support the Ph.D. portion of a joint/concurrent/articulated degree program.

Pre-Application Information
Important Dates:
- Application Open Date: September 6, 2022
- Application Deadline: December 8, 2022, at 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST)
- Supplementary Materials Deadline: January 5, 2023, at 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs Homepage:

Dissertation Fellowship Fact Sheet:

Application instructions:

Navigating the Online Application:


Number of Grants
This year, the program will award approximately 36 dissertation fellowships.

Estimated Size of Grant
Stipend and Benefits:
- A one-year stipend of $28,000
- An invitation to attend the annual Conference of Ford Fellows
- Access to Ford Fellow Regional Liaisons – a network of former Ford Fellows who have volunteered to provide mentoring and support to current Fellows – and access to other networking resources

Term of Contract
Each 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. Dissertation fellowships may not be deferred or delayed.

Contact Information
Online Application:

For additional information or questions, contact or call 202-334-2872.

The Fellowships Office
Attn: Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

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