The Center awards approximately 20-25 residential fellowships annually to individuals with outstanding project proposals in a broad range of the social sciences and humanities on national and/or international issues. Topics and scholarship should relate to key public policy challenges or provide the historical and/or cultural framework to illuminate policy issues of contemporary importance.

  • Citizens or permanent residents from any country (foreign nationals must be able to hold a valid passport and obtain a J1 Visa)

  • Men and women with outstanding capabilities and experience from a wide variety of -backgrounds (including government, the corporate world, professions, and academia)

  • Academic candidates holding a Ph.D. (Ph.D. must be received by the application deadline of October 1)

  • Academic candidates demonstrating scholarly achievement by publications beyond their doctoral dissertations

  • Practitioners or policymakers with an equivalent level of professional achievement

  • English proficiency as the Center is designed to encourage the exchange of ideas among its fellows

  • Applicants working on a degree (even if the degree is to be awarded prior to the proposed fellowship year)

  • Proposals of a partisan or advocacy nature

  • Primary research in the natural sciences

  • Projects that create musical composition or dance

  • Projects in the visual arts

  • Projects that are the rewriting of doctoral dissertations

  • The editing of texts, papers, or documents

  • The preparation of textbooks, anthologies, translations, and memoirs
Notes on Eligibility
You do not need an institutional affiliation to apply. For most academic candidates, a book or monograph is required. Scholars and practitioners who previously held research awards or fellowships at the Wilson Center are not precluded from applying for a fellowship. However, the nature and recency of the prior award may be among the factors considered during the selection process, and by the Fellowships Committee of the Board of Trustees.
If you have questions regarding your eligibility or the suitability of your project, please email the Scholar Administration Office at fellowships@wilsoncenter.org.
Selection Process
Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis. External interdisciplinary panels of distinguished scholars and practitioners assess the applications. The panels’ recommendations are presented to the Center’s Fellowships Committee of the Board of Trustees, composed of public officials who serve ex officio, citizens appointed by the President of the United States, and citizens from the private sector. The Fellowships Committee of the Board of Trustees makes the final decisions on selection.
The basic criteria for selection are:
a) significance of the proposed research, including the importance and originality of the project;
b) quality of the proposal in definition, organization, clarity, and scope;
c) capabilities and achievements of the applicant and the likelihood that the applicant will accomplish the proposed project;
d) the relevance of the project to contemporary policy issues.
The Center welcomes in particular those projects that transcend narrow specialties and methodological issues of interest only within a specific academic discipline. Projects should involve fresh research-—in terms of both the overall field and the author’s previous work. It is essential that projects have relevance to the world of public policy, and fellows should want, and be prepared, to interact with policymakers in Washington and with Wilson Center staff who are working on similar issues.
The Center devotes significant attention to the exploration of broad thematic areas. Primary themes are:

  1. governance, including such issues as the key features of the development of democratic institutions, democratic society, civil society, and citizen participation;

  2. the U.S. role in the world and issues of partnership and leadership—military, political, and economic dimensions; and

  3. key long-term future challenges confronting the United States and the world.
While the Center does not engage in formulating actual policy, priority will be given to proposals related to these themes and intersecting with crucial public policy issues. Within this framework, the Center also welcomes projects that provide the historical and/or cultural context for some of today’s significant public policy debates.
Fellows’ Responsibilities
The Center’s “scholars in residence” are so in both name and fact. Fellows are expected to work from their offices at the Center and to participate in appropriate meetings organized by the Center. Fellows are also expected to present their research at our informal internal Work-in-Progress seminars, and to attend the Work-in-Progress presentations given by their colleagues. In addition, fellows are encouraged to make a more formal presentation to the public such as a colloquium, seminar, workshop, or other form of meeting. The Center expects all fellows to seek ways to share their expertise with the Washington policy community. The form of such interaction could range from a deep background briefing for an executive branch agency to an informal roundtable discussion with members of Congress and their staffs.
Affiliation at the Center
Fellows in residence will be affiliated with one of the Center’s programs/projects. Program and project directors often collaborate with scholars in designing seminars, conferences, and/or meetings related to scholars’ research. As of April 2008, these include the United States Studies Division and the International Security Studies Division and programs on Africa, Argentina, Asia, Brazil, Canada, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Mexico, the Middle East, Russia and the former Soviet Union, Southeast Europe, and Western Europe; and the program on Science, Technology, America, and the Global Economy and projects on Comparative Urban Studies, Congress, Emerging Nanotechnologies, Energy, Environmental Change and Security, Foresight and Governance, Global Health, History and Public Policy (which includes the Cold War International History Project and the North Korea International Documentation Project), and Leadership and Building State Capacity.
Woodrow Wilson Center Press
Once awarded a fellowship, fellows who do not already have book contracts for the project they wish to pursue at the Center are encouraged to seek out the Woodrow Wilson Center Press. The Center’s Press, often in collaboration with the Cambridge University Press, Johns Hopkins University Press, or Stanford University Press, reaches a worldwide English-language readership. For titles with special audiences, the Press seeks out other major copublishers, such as Oxford University Press, M.E. Sharpe, and Columbia University Press. The Woodrow Wilson Center Press has published more than 120 books based on fellows’ research and other writing at the Center.
Facilities and Services
Each fellow is assigned an office available to him or her every day around the clock. The Center is located in the heart of Washington, D.C., and includes conference rooms, a reference library, and a dining room. The building is a smoke-free environment. Professional librarians provide access to the Library of Congress, university and special libraries in the area, and other research facilities. Windows-based personal computers are provided, and each fellow is offered a part-time research assistant. Although fellows are responsible for locating their own housing in the Washington, D.C. area, the Center provides written materials to help facilitate the search process.
The Center tries to ensure that the stipend provided under the fellowship, together with the fellow’s other sources of funding (e.g., grants secured by the applicant and sabbatical allowances), approximate a fellow’s regular salary. Stipends provided in recent years have ranged from $26,000 to $85,000 (the maximum possible). Stipends include round trip travel for fellows. If spouses and/or dependent children will reside with the fellow for the entire fellowship period, money for their travel will also be included in the stipend. In addition to stipends, the Center provides 75 percent of health insurance premiums for fellows who elect Center coverage and for their accompanying family members.
Length of Appointment
Fellows are expected to be in residence for the entire U.S. academic year (early September through May, i.e., nine months), although a few fellowships are occasionally awarded for shorter periods with a minimum of four months. The Center does not award fellowships for the summer months (June, July, August). Fellowships cannot be deferred, and extensions into the summer months have not been possible in recent years.
Conditions of Award
Fellows must devote full time to the fellowship study and may not accept a teaching assignment, another residential fellowship, or undertake any other major activities that require absence from the Center during the tenure of their fellowship. In order to foster a true community of scholars, fellows must devote a proportionate amount of time to the daily life of the Center. Applicants must notify the Center when they receive other sources of support, including other fellowships or foundation grants, which may affect their request for financial support from the Center. Once fellowships are awarded and at the Center’s (or fellow’s) discretion, project titles may be modified to reflect the Center’s mandate to serve as a bridge between the world of learning and the world of public affairs.
Deadline for Applications
The Center holds one round of competitive selection per year. Fellowship applications must be postmarked or submitted online by October 1. *The online application will be available here soon.* Applicants are notified of the results of the selection process by March of the following year.

Instructions for Applicants
The Application
A complete application must include the following:
1. the two-page, single-sided Fellowship Application Form (We strongly recommend typing the application form. You may also complete this form online at www.wilsoncenter.org, but will need to print it out and send it using regular postal mail. Special Note: For the 2010 - 2011 Fellowship (application) year, we will also accept the application via email at fellowships@wilsoncenter.org. Please submit your complete application in one email. If applying using email, your references must be sent separately and can be done so via regular mail or email.;
2. a list of your publications that includes exact titles, names of publishers, dates of publication and status of forthcoming publications (not to exceed three pages);
3. a Project Proposal (not to exceed five single-spaced typed pages, using 12-point type); The Center reserves the right to omit from review applications that are longer than the requested page length;
4. a bibliography for the project that includes primary sources and relevant secondary sources (not to exceed three pages);
5. the one-page Financial Information Form.

If you are mailing your application, in addition to the original, please submit ten collated and unstapled copies of items #1, 2, 3, and 4. Pages must be one sided. Please do not send sample publications.

All application materials must be submitted in English. Applications submitted via fax machine will not be considered.

The Project Proposal
It is essential to make your project clear to individuals outside your own field and to explain its broader implications. The elements requested below should be incorporated into the text:

1. a detailed description of the topic and its importance beyond the interests of the specific field of study;
2. the originality of the proposed study (explain what makes the project distinctive);
3. the basic ideas and hypotheses;
4. the methodology to be used (including the activities you will undertake to gather the data you need for your project and the techniques that you will use to analyze the data in order to prove your thesis);
5. the present status of your research, including how much has already been done in relevant collections and archives, and what you would hope to accomplish at the Center;
6. the materials that will be used, the importance of Washington-area resources, and the need for residency at the Center;
7. the relevance of the project to contemporary policy issues. (It is essential to include this element.)

Letters of Recommendation
Two letters of reference must be postmarked by October 1. Your referees should be familiar with you and your work, and you should send them a copy of your project description so that they can comment specifically upon your proposed study, your qualifications for undertaking it, and how you and/or your work would contribute to the Center’s goal of bridging the gap between the world of learning and the world of public affairs. The letters should follow the guidelines for referees outlined in the Reference Letter Form included in this booklet. Reference letters must be written in English. Do not send letters written for another purpose, such as those for a job application. Applicants are strongly encouraged to follow up with their referees to confirm that they have sent their letters to the Center. To expedite the process, applicants are encouraged to include their reference letters with their application.

Application Checklist

* The application:
a. the two-page, single-sided Fellowship Application Form
b. a list of your publications (not to exceed three pages)
c. a Project Proposal (not to exceed five single-spaced pages, using 12-point type)
d. a bibliography for the project that includes primary sources and relevant secondary sources (not to exceed three pages)
* ten collated, unstapled, and one sided copies of the application materials listed in the order above (if applying by mail)
* the one-page Financial Information Form
* two reference letters, to be submitted directly to the Center by the referees or mailed with the application.


Moreinfo: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Fellowships.welcome

The Woodrow Wilson Center Fellowships