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.

Applicants should seriously consider their honest answers to the following questions before beginning the application process:

  • 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?

Application process: online submission for internal and national deadline

Application materials:

  • Proposal for a project that is creative, feasible and personally significant
  • Personal statement
  • Fellowship application form
  • Personal photo
  • Transcript(s) - uploaded by applicant
  • Respones to prompts from qualified recommenders Due by internal deadline (at least one from a faculty member, though the other may come from an off-campus source who knows you well and understands your proposed project.)

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.

Announcement date: March 2015