Application period: May 18, 2023 to November 8, 2023
Initial internal deadline: Sunday, October 1, 2023
Internal interviews: October 13-15, 2023 (TBD)
Final internal deadline: Thursday, November 2, 2023
National deadline: Wednesday, November 8, 2023 (9:00 a.m. PT)
Watson Foundation interview of Whitman nominees: November 2023 to February 2024 (TBD)
NOTE: Internal nomination process
- Seniors only
- International students eligible
- Nomination by Watson internal (Whitman) committee
Award summary and conditions: The Thomas J. Watson Fellowship program offers college graduates of unusual promise a year of independent, purposeful exploration and travel outside of the United States to enhance their capacity for resourcefulness, imagination, openness, and leadership, and to foster humane and effective participation in the world community. The stipend for the fellowship year is $40,000. The Foundation will also reimburse the equivalent of 12 months of payments on outstanding institutional and federally guaranteed (Perkins, Stafford) loans. Fellows are responsible for payments.
Applicants should seriously consider the following questions before beginning the application process:
- Do I want to carry out an independent project entirely on my own for a year?
- Do I want to be away from home and loved ones for a year?
- Do I have the self-reliance and focus to complete this project?
- Am I self-reflective?
- Am I flexible? Am I willing to leave behind familiar structures and cultures?
- Will my project allow me to delve into a culture other than my own?
- How will a Watson year challenge me?
- Is a Watson year realistic for me?
Application process: online
- Application form
- Project proposal
- Personal statement
- Personal photo
- Transcript(s) uploaded by applicant
- Recommendations (2 only). Watson recommendations are not conventional letters but rather responses to prompts that are provided by the Watson Foundation. Recommendations are due by the internal deadline. At least one recommendation must come from a Whitman faculty member.
Campus liaison: Director for Fellowships and Grants
Internal committee: Yes
Internal interview: Yes
Internal nomination required: Yes, Whitman may nominate up to four nominees
National committee interview: All nominees are interviewed at Whitman (or virtually) by a member of the Watson selection committee. Interviews are one hour.
Announcement date: March