Are you an aspiring scholar with a passion for promoting diversity in academia? The Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship might be your key to unlocking a world of opportunities. In this brief journey, let’s explore the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship and discover how it can empower your academic pursuits.

Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship


About Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship

The Ford Foundation Fellowships aim to enhance the variety of faculty members in the country’s colleges and universities by promoting greater ethnic and racial representation.

They also seek to optimize the educational advantages that come with diversity and boost the count of educators capable of leveraging diversity to enhance the learning experiences of all students.

Ford accomplishes these objectives through a range of fellowships that cover various phases of an academic career, alongside mentorship, career growth opportunities, and a wide-reaching alumni network that facilitates peer assistance and community development.

Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship Eligibility Criteria

All applicants must:

1. Confirm holding a previous Ford Foundation Fellowship;

2. Regardless of race, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation, confirm being one of the following:

3. U.S. citizen or U.S. national

4. U.S. permanent resident (holder of a Permanent Resident Card)

5. Individual granted deferred action status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program,1 Indigenous individual exercising rights associated with the Jay Treaty of 1794, individual granted Temporary Protected Status, asylee, or refugee

6. Demonstrate an intent to pursue a career that includes teaching and research at a U.S. institution of higher education;

7. Have completed all departmental and institutional requirements for their degree, including successful defense of the dissertation, no earlier than December 12, 2016, and no later than December 12, 2023, in a research-based field from a U.S. institution of higher education; and

8. Provide evidence of superior academic achievement (such as grade point average, class rank, honors, or other designations).

9. Receipt of the fellowship award is conditioned upon each awardee providing satisfactory documentation that they meet all the eligibility requirements.

10. 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.

Conditions of the Fellowship:  Those who accept a postdoctoral fellowship must agree to the stipulations in the Terms of Appointment for Ford Foundation Fellows that accompany the award notification.

How to Apply/ Application Process

The deadline for online application submissions is December 12, 2023 at 5 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST).

To ensure a complete application, applicants should carefully follow the Application Instructions (PDF, 202 KB).

Applicants can also follow step-by-step instructions for navigating the online application (PDF, 435 KB).

Applicants will receive a confirmation e-mail once their application has been successfully submitted.

Required Supplementary Materials

The deadline for the online submission of required supplementary materials is January 9, 2024 at 5 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Applicants will be able to upload their Ph.D. or Sc.D. transcript and (if applicable) a verification form (PDF, 115 KB) only after they have submitted the main portion of their online application. Letter writers will be able to upload letters as soon as they have received the notification link sent by the applicant up until the Supplementary Materials deadline.

To ensure their application will be considered for review, applicants should carefully follow the instructions for required supplementary materials (PDF, 205 KB).

All postdoctoral applicants must request a host commitment letter in addition to the minimum number of required letters of recommendation.

Applicants may share the instructions for the expected content of letters (PDF, 171 KB) with their letter writers. These instructions will also be available to letter writers once they gain access to the online application. Applicants must send request notifications to their letter writers through the online application.

Applicants will not be required to re-submit their application by the Supplementary Materials deadline. After the deadline has passed, applications will be checked for completeness to determine if they can be forwarded to the review panel.

All application materials become the property of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and will not be returned. Applicants should retain copies of all submitted application materials for their personal records.


 Fellowship Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated by review panels of distinguished scholars selected by the National Academies.

The review panels will use all materials included in the application as the basis for determining the extent to which applicants meet the eligibility requirements and selection criteria.

The following will be considered in choosing successful applicants:

1. Evidence of superior academic achievement

2. Degree of promise of continuing achievement as scholars and teachers

3. Capacity to respond in pedagogically productive ways to the learning needs of students from diverse backgrounds

4. 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

5. Likelihood of using the diversity of human experience as an educational resource in teaching and scholarship

6. If applicable, how experience as a member of an underrepresented group through discrimination, inspiration, resilience, etc. may inform participation in the fellowship


The Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship isn’t just a financial aid program; it’s a pathway to a more inclusive and vibrant academic landscape.

By supporting promising scholars like yourself, it strives to foster diversity and innovation in higher education. So, if you’re committed to making a difference in academia, seize this chance and embark on your journey toward a brighter future.

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