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The Ford Foundation provides two major fellowships for graduate students who are committed to college or university teaching careers and will use diversity as a resource to enrich students’ education.  The Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship provides 3 years of stipend support for Ph.D. or Sc.D. students who are relatively early in their programs (at least 3 years remaining in program by the funding start date).  The Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship provides a stipend for your final dissertation completion year in an eligible Ph.D. or Sc.D. program.

Official Ford Foundation fellowship information is fully described on the organization website

Eligibility

Official Ford Foundation fellowship information is fully described on the organization website.  Briefly, eligibility criteria include:

  • Both Predoctoral and Dissertation:
    • Must be pursuing a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree in an eligible field of study (full list from the Ford Foundation)
      • Eligible disciplines are quite broad, including most fields in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Engineering, Humanities, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences. 
      • Situationally eligible fields:
        • Education-related Ph.D. programs (research-based with a dissertation) can be eligible; please contact the Ford Fellowships program to confirm your specific graduate program's eligibility.  (Ed.D. students are not eligible.)
        • The following fields are eligible if you "can document that the program of study is research-based, requiring a dissertation, and [you plan] to follow a career in teaching and research in academia:"
          • "administration, audiology, business, consumer studies, curriculum development, human resource management, exercise physiology, filmmaking, fine arts, guidance, 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."
      • Ineligible degree programs include: dual-degree programs (such as MD/PhD); terminal master's degrees; EdD., DFA., PsyD.; professional degrees (medicine, law, public health)
      • Please contact the Ford Foundation directly if you have questions about your field’s eligibility.
    • Must be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident; holder of political asylum; refugee; recipient of DACA status; or a Canadian-born Indigenous individual exercising rights from the Jay Treaty of 1794
    • Must be “committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level”
  • Predoctoral Fellowship:  For the Fall 2020 deadline, you must have at least 3 years of your program left to complete as of Fall 2021 (open to both currently enrolled Ph.D. students and applicants who plan to enroll in a Ph.D. program starting no later than Fall 2021.)
  • Dissertation Fellowship: For Fall 2020 applications, you must finish your dissertation during the 2021-2022 academic year (i.e., submit the application at the start of your second-to-last year). 

Key Application Components

  • Personal Statement (2-pages, double-spaced) addressing your:
    • “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 ability to bring this asset to learning, teaching, and scholarship at the college or university level”
    • “likelihood of using the diversity of human experience as an educational resource in teaching and scholarship”
    • If applicable, your membership in a racial or ethnic group historically underrepresented among USA professors (Alaska Native, Black, Mexican American, Native American, Native Pacific Islander, Puerto Rican)
    • Community service activities such as tutoring, mentoring, public service, campus involvement, community involvement (optional)
    • Additional context about your unique perspective, e.g., membership in another underrepresented group, first generation college student, first generation advanced degree student, etc. (optional)
    • Other goals, employment, or activities demonstrating commitment to inclusive teaching and diversity (optional)
  • Statement of Previous Research and Scholarly Productivity (3 pages, double-spaced) that:
    • Describes an previous research (or activities that have prepared you to begin research), including context on the setting (course, internship, summer program, etc.), methods and actual/expected results.
    • Lists publications and presentations for the last five years (this section can be single spaced)
  • Contact Information for 3-5 professors for recommendation letters
  • Proposed Plan of Graduate Study and Research & Long-Range Career Goals (2 pages, double-spaced) that describes:
    • Your area of study and the research issue of interest
    • Why your institution is well-suited to the field and type of study
    • Why your courses will be relevant to the overall plan of study/research
    • Research methods and theoretical framework
    • How the research will be useful and how it related to society as a whole
    • Explanation of your long-term career goals

  • Personal Statement (2-pages, double-spaced) addressing your:
    • “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 ability to bring this asset to learning, teaching, and scholarship at the college or university level”
    • “likelihood of using the diversity of human experience as an educational resource in teaching and scholarship”
    • If applicable, your membership in a racial or ethnic group historically underrepresented among USA professors (Alaska Native, Black, Mexican American, Native American, Native Pacific Islander, Puerto Rican)
    • Community service activities such as tutoring, mentoring, public service, campus involvement, community involvement (optional)
    • Additional context about your unique perspective, e.g., membership in another underrepresented group, first generation college student, first generation advanced degree student, etc. (optional)
    • Other goals, employment, or activities demonstrating commitment to inclusive teaching and diversity (optional)
  • Statement of Previous Research and Scholarly Productivity (3 pages, double-spaced) that:
    • Describes an previous research (or activities that have prepared you to begin research), including context on the setting (course, internship, summer program, etc.), methods and actual/expected results.
    • Lists publications and presentations for the last five years (this section can be single spaced)
  • Contact Information for 3-5 professors for recommendation letters
  • Proposed Plan for Completion of Dissertation describing:
    • Your overall dissertation framework
    • What research remains to be completed for the dissertation, including methods and data sources
    • Timeline for dissertation writing
    • Expected date of dissertation defense
    • How your dissertation work will contribute to your career plans and overall field of study
  • Abstract of Dissertation (1 page, double-spaced)
  • Annotated Bibliography (no page limit)
    • Maximum of 2-4 sentences for each of a maximum of 10 key sources, including both primary and secondary sources