Predoctoral Fellowship

$27,000–$81,000Award Amount
60Number of Awards
12/16/2022Submission Deadline

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The Ford Foundation is passionate about increasing the diversity of the professoriate in the U.S. The Predoctoral Fellowship supports exceptional scholars who will advance into a career in teaching or research at U.S. universities or colleges. The fellows are from diverse backgrounds and are keen to draw on that diversity to enrich the learning experience of their students.

The scholarship awards 75 scholars pursuing full-time, research-based Ph.D. or Sc.D. programs. Fellows receive $27,000 per year to cover living expenses. The fellowship spans three years and must be used within five years.

The fields of study supported are Humanities, Behavioral & Social Sciences, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Engineering, and Education. Applicants are to submit three essays, at least three recommendation letters, and supplementary documents. The scholarship is administered by the Fellowships Office of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Key Information of Predoctoral Fellowship

Study Details

Area of Study

  • Medicine
  • Biology
  • History
  • Literature
  • Psychology

Country of Study

United States

Specific Schools


Scholarship Details

Intended Level of Study

  • Postgraduate
  • Doctorate

Award Amount


Number of Awards


Predoctoral Fellowship Timeline

September 7, 2022

Application Open Date

The application usually opens on September 7.

December 16, 2022

Application Deadline

The application should be submitted by 5 pm EST.

January 6, 2023

Supplementary Documents Deadline

Supporting documents should be submitted by 5 pm EST.

April 2023

Application Status Notification

All applicants will be informed of their application outcomes by April.

Scholarship Eligibility

To be eligible to apply, applicants must meet the following criteria.

  • Eligible Grade: Graduate – Doctorate
  • Age: 20 – 21
  • Required GPA: Any
  • Geographic Eligibility: United States
  • Gender: Any
  • Race/Ethnicity:

Application Requirements

Here’s what you need to submits besides your application.

  • Standardized Test Scores
  • Grade transcript
  • Essay
  • Special Project
  • Recommendation letters

How to ace the Predoctoral Fellowship


Invest enough time

Writing and perfecting your essays will definitely take more than a week. Plan your time well so you can do at least three reviews of each essay and get feedback from your professors. With each review, you’ll make your writing clearer and eliminate all those slippery typos. Remember that your writing should be clear, concise, and without jargon.


Choose your recommenders wisely

Don’t just go for the big names, rather choose recommenders who have worked with you and supervised you closely. The strength of the recommendation letters depends greatly on how well the recommenders know you. Also, choose recommenders who are willing to invest the time and effort into writing a glowing letter. Remember to share your essays with them so they can have something to refer to.


Adhere to formatting rules

All uploaded files should be in PDF format and less than 4 MB. Double spacing and 12-point font should be used except in the special cases listed in the application instructions. Headers and footers should also be omitted. Make sure to review the full list of instructions on the scholarship page.


Read the helpful resources provided

Some PDF resources have been provided on the scholarship website. These are a gold mine and will go a long way in boosting your application. You’ll be glad you read them.

How the Predoctoral Fellowship is Judged

Applicants must show that they meet all the eligibility criteria. Applications are judged based on exceptional academic accomplishment, a commitment to a career in academia, and the capacity to use diversity to enhance the learning experience of learners. All incomplete applications will not be considered.

Why We Love the Predoctoral Fellowship


Application reviews are provided

Applicants receive feedback on their applications which could help them make a better application in the next round.


It can be deferred for two years

Awardees can defer the scholarship for a maximum of two years after their first fellowship tenure.


Awardees attend the Conference of Ford Fellows

Successful applicants get to attend the conference and meet exemplary scholars dedicated to expanding the diversity of the professoriate.

5 Facts About the Ford Foundation


It was founded in 1936

Edsel Ford, son of Henry Ford, founded the foundation over eight decades ago.


It was one of Sesame Street’s sponsors

Ford funded the National Educational Television Center in 1952 which developed shows like “Sesame Street”.


It supported a revolutionary microfinance idea

The foundation funded the idea that has grown into Grameen Bank which serves more than 8 million lendees in Asia


It has awarded more than 6,000 scholarships

Since the formation of the Ford Foundation Fellowship in 1980, more than 6,000 scholars have received scholarships.


It gives $500M grants annually

The foundation gives $500M in grants annually to various projects that benefit humanity.

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