Thomas J. Watson Fellowship
2012-13 Applicant Information
The internal deadline is midnight on September 28.
The Watson Fellowship Program each year gives approximately 50 exceptional college graduates the freedom to engage in a year of independent study and travel abroad in order to thoroughly explore a particular interest, test aspirations and abilities, view their lives and American society in greater perspective, and develop a more informed sense of international concern.
The Fellowship provides $25,000 to each recipient ($35,000 if traveling with spouse or dependents), plus twelve months' payment for outstanding federally guaranteed student loans. Proposed projects should reflect a genuine interest in, and long-standing commitment to, a specific concern. The project need not be related to academic experience or plans. Formal study or affiliation with an organization is not permitted. Watson Fellows may not return to the U.S. at any time during their travel year. Violating this rule incurs a severe penalty to the individual: the award is cancelled and funds must be returned. The home institution may be removed from the eligibility list.
All graduating seniors at approximately 50 participating colleges are eligible for nomination by their institutions.
The Foundation seeks individuals who are able to carry out a year-long independent study project without the infrastructure and support found in study abroad programs. Applicants should demonstrate integrity, strong ethical character, intelligence, the capacity for vision and leadership, and potential for effective participation in the world community. Feasibility of the project and language ability are important.
Interested seniors should submit project proposals through the Portal Link below. The internal deadline is September 28, 2012. Please note that you do not need to have complete letters of recommendation by this date, but that you should have contacted potential recommenders and shared your project with them. Letters of recommendation will need to be ready by October 8, 2012 in case you are a semi-finalist. Semi-finalists will be interviewed in mid-October. In November the Pomona selection committee recommends four nominees to the Foundation, who must then complete the official Watson online application. A representative of the Foundation visits each campus during the winter to interview nominees. Awards are announced in mid-March.