Internal deadline: October 5, 2015
National deadline: November 4, 2015 by 3:00 p.m. Eastern time (12:00 p.m. Pacific time)

Eligibility requirements:

  • Senior
  • international students may apply

Award summary and conditions: The mission of the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship Program is to offer college graduates of unusual promise a year of independent, purposeful exploration and travel outside of the United States in order to enhance their capacity for resourcefulness, imagination, openness, and leadership and to foster their humane and effective participation in the world community. The stipend for the fellowship year is $30,000. The Foundation will reimburse the equivalent of 12-months of payments on outstanding institutional and federally guaranteed (Perkins, Stafford) loans. The fellow is responsible for making the payments.

Application process: Hard copy for internal deadline; electronic submission for national deadline
Application materials:

  • Proposal for a project that is creative, feasible and personally significant
  • Personal statement
  • Fellowship application form
  • Personal photo
  • Transcript(s)
  • Two letters of recommendation (at least one from a faculty member, though the other may come from an off-campus source who knows about you and your proposed project.)

Whitman internal application requirements: Please pick up an internal application packet from the Office of Fellowships and Grants, Reid 231 or 232, 8:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday, or print off a copy from the Watson site on Cleo.

Faculty Representative: Keith Raether

Internal committee: Yes
Internal interview: Yes
Internal nomination required: Yes, Whitman may submit up to four nominees

National committee interview:  All nominees will be interviewed by a member of the Fellowship Program's selection committee for about one hour. The interview will occur between the first week in November and the last week in February and will be held on the Whitman campus. If you are off-campus on the interview day, then an off-campus interview will be scheduled.

Selection process: Following are questions prospective applicants are asked to consider before applying and reflect what the Watson Foundation looks for in prospective Fellows:

  • Do I really want to do this for a year?
  • Do I really want to be there for an entire year?
  • Do I have the strength and the passion to complete this project?
  • Do I like to be alone? Do I like self-reflection?
  • How flexible am I? Am I willing to leave behind familiar structures and cultures?
  • Will this allow me to delve into a culture other than my own?
  • How is this going to be a challenge? Do I like challenges?
  • Is this realistic for me?

Announcement date: March 2015