Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship

Is it for you?

Ford Foundation Fellowships seek to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, maximizing the educational benefits of diversity, and increasing the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students. Those who use pedagogy that incorporates minorities or who are members of an underrepresented group in the American professoriate are preferred. The Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship Program provides fellows with a stipend of $27,000 for three years of study towards a research-based doctoral degree. It also provides funds to attend at least one Conference of Ford Fellows and access to Ford Fellow Regional Liaisons, a network of former Ford Fellows who provide mentoring and support.

What are the key dates?

Information sessions:

Deadline for NFP draft review: December 2, 2021

Official deadline: December 16, 2021, at 5pm ET

Are you eligible?

Candidates for the Ford Fellowship must:

  • be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or granted deferred action status.
  • graduating seniors who will enroll in Fall 2022 or first- or second-year graduate students who are currently enrolled in a research-based (dissertation required) Ph.D. or Sc.D. program in an eligible discipline at a not for profit U.S. institution of higher education. At the start of the fellowship (Fall 2022), the program must require at minimum three years of study to complete the degree.
  • demonstrate evidence of superior academic achievement (such as grade point average, class rank, honors, or other designations).
  • be committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level.
  • have not earned a doctoral degree at any time, in any field.

The following will be considered as positive factors in choosing successful candidates:

  • Evidence of superior academic achievement
  • Promise of continuing achievement as scholars and teachers
  • 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 an ability to bring this asset to learning, teaching, and scholarship at the college and university level
  • Likelihood of using the diversity of human experience as an educational resource in teaching and scholarship
  • Membership in one or more of the following groups whose underrepresentation in the American professoriate has been severe and longstanding:
    • Alaska Natives (Aleut, Eskimo, or other Indigenous People of Alaska)
    • Black/African Americans
    • Mexican Americans/Chicanas/Chicanos
    • Native American Indians
    • Native Pacific Islanders (Hawaiian/Polynesian/Micronesian)
    • Puerto Ricans

How do you work with the NFP?

JHU nomination is not required for the Ford. Applicants submit their own materials to the Ford Foundation, but are encouraged to work with NFP staff, who are available to advise them and read drafts of their essays. *If you would like feedback on your essays, you must email them to NFP by the early December deadline noted above.

The timeline gives an overview of the application process. Your first step is to contact NFP by emailing or attending office hours. In preparation, have a closer look below for more resources to learn about the Ford.

October – November Contact NFP to learn more
late November – early December Submit drafts of application essays to NFP for feedback
mid-December Meet the Ford official deadline

Are you competitive?

About 75 fellowships are awarded each year. Selection decisions are based on the following criteria:

Due at the time of application:

  • Application form: Complete the online application through the online portal.
  • Personal statement: This two-page statement should demonstrate your experience and commitment to the goal of teaching through diversity at a college or university level. Provide examples of your ability to adapt to your students’ needs and diverse backgrounds, how you have engaged with underrepresented communities, and how you would use diversity as an educational tool. If you are a member of an underrepresented group in academia (including Alaska Natives, Black/African Americans, Mexican Americans/Chicanas/Chicanos, Native American Indians, Native Pacific Islanders, or Puerto Ricans), you should include this information in your statement.
  • Statement of previous research: This three-page essay should outline previous research or study that you have undertaken, including any resultant publications or presentations.
  • Study/research plan: In this two-page essay, you propose a plan for your graduate study and research, addressing the relevancy of your chosen institution and the courses you will take, and relate the fellowship to your future goals and impact.

The following documents are due on January 6, 2022 (by 5 PM EST):

  • Minimum 3 letters of recommendation: While you will include the contact information for at least three professors (four letters are highly recommended, up to five are allowed) when you submit your application in December, recommenders have until January 6, 2021 to upload their documents to the online application.
  • Transcripts: Provide transcripts that show all undergraduate and graduate work (as applicable) that has been accomplished or is in progress through Fall 2021.
  • Verification of Doctoral Degree Status (VS) Form: Predoctoral applicants who are already enrolled in a doctoral program as of Fall 2021 must submit this form, signed by an advisor, to confirm that the student has a minimum of three years of study and research toward the PhD/ScD remaining as of the 2022-2023 academic year.

Have a closer look:

Visit the Official Website

Ford Foundation Fellowship Program

Start Your Application

Ford Foundation Application Portal