Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship

Please consult the program website to confirm details, including applicable deadlines.

Visit Program Website Here

Program Purpose and Description: 

The Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation's college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, to maximize educational benefits of diversity, and to increase the number of professors who use diversity as a resource for enriching student education.

Predoctoral Fellowships are awarded to individuals with superior academic achievement who are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level, show promise of achievement as scholars and teachers, and are prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.

Each year the program awards approximately 70 predoctoral fellowships. These fellowships provide three years of support for individuals engaged in graduate study leading to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree.

Supported Fields: 

Awards will be made for study in research-based Ph.D. or Sc.D. program.

Eligible fields include: American studies, anthropology, archaeology, art and theater history, astronomy, chemistry, communications, computer science, earth sciences, economics, engineering, ethnomusicology, geography, history, international relations, language, life sciences, linguistics, literature, mathematics, performance study, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, religion, sociology, urban planning, and women's studies. Also eligible are interdisciplinary ethnic studies programs, such as African American studies and Native American studies, and other interdisciplinary programs, such as area studies, peace studies, and social justice.

See "More Information" below for a link to all "Eligible Fields of Study."

INELIGIBLE FIELDS of Study: Individuals enrolled in the following programs will not be supported unless the applicant can document that the program of study is research-based, requiring a dissertation, and the applicant plans follow a career in teaching and research in academia:

Administration, audiology, business, consumer studies, curriculum development, exercise physiology, filmmaking, fine arts, guidance, human resource management, kinesiology, leadership, library and information science, management, nursing, occupational health, performing arts, personnel, physical education, physical therapy, public health, rehabilitation science, social welfare, social work, speech pathology, and teacher education.

INELIGIBLE DEGREES. In addition, awards will not be made for work leading to terminal master’s degrees:

The Ed.D. degree, the degrees of Doctor of Fine Arts (D.F.A.) or Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.), Professional degrees in such areas as medicine, law, and public health, Joint degree programs such as the M.D./Ph.D., J.D./Ph.D., and M.F.A./Ph.D. The program does not support the Ph.D. portion of a joint/concurrent/articulated program.

Tenable Institutions: 

Fellowships are tenable at any fully accredited, not-for-profit U.S. institution of higher education offering a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree in an eligible field of study.

Program Benefits: 

Three years of support are provided to graduate students studying for a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree in the humanities, sciences, or social sciences. Fellowship provides a $27,000 annual stipend, $2,000 in tuition, paid expenses to the annual Conference of Ford Fellows Access to Ford Fellow Regional Liaisons -- a network of former Ford Fellows who have volunteered to provide mentoring and support to current Fellows -- and access to other networking resources

Application Process: 

All arrangements for acceptance into a doctoral program at the chosen institution are the responsibility of the applicant.

An applicant need not be accepted by the chosen institution nor have a chosen adviser at the time of application.

Applicant Profile: 

Successful applicants will be committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level in the U.S. and:

1. show promise of continuing achievement as scholars and teachers,

2. the capacity to respond to learning needs of students from diverse backgrounds, 

3. sustained engagement with communities underrepresented in the academy.

Positive Factors for Selection. The following will be considered as positive factors in choosing successful candidates:

Evidence of superior academic achievement (such as grade point average, class rank, honors, and other designations)

Degree of promise of continuing achievement as scholars and teachers

Capacity to respond in pedagogically productive ways to the learning needs of students from diverse backgrounds

Sustained personal engagement with communities that are underrepresented in the academy and an ability to bring this asset to learning, teaching, and scholarship at the college and university level

Likelihood of using the diversity of human experience as an educational resource in teaching and scholarship

Membership in one or more of the following groups whose underrepresentation in the American professoriate has been severe and longstanding: (A) Alaska Natives (Aleut, Eskimo, or other Indigenous People of Alaska); (B) Black/African Americans; (C) Mexican Americans/Chicanas/Chicanos; (D) Native American Indians; (E) Native Pacific Islanders (Hawaiian/Polynesian/Micronesian); (F) Puerto Ricans


Graduating seniors or graduating master's level students entering a doctoral program. Doctoral students with at minimum of three years remaining to complete their Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree.

Must be enrolled full-time and may not accept full-time teaching or research assistantships, other major fellowships, internships, or similar internal or external awards during fellowship tenure.

May not be concurrently enrolled in other degree granting programs. 

Must not have already earned a doctoral degree at any time, in any field.


By accepting the award, fellowship recipients affirm that they plan to use a total of three years of support from the Ford Predoctoral Fellowship.

After the first year of fellowship tenure, Fellows may choose to defer funding for one or two years but must use all three years of support within the five-year period of eligibility.

During Ford Fellowship tenure years, Fellows must remain on tenure full-time for the academic year.


U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents, as well as those granted Deferred Action under DACA (see "More Information" below), Indigenous persons exercising rights under the 1794 Jay Treaty, political asylees, and refugees.

Program Deadline: 

Usually in early December.

More information: 

Eligible Fields of Study

Consult this complete list of fields of study supported by the Ford Predoctoral Fellowship.

Additional Information on DACA Eligiblity

Eligibility includes those with current status under the DACA Program, as well as those whose status may have lapsed but who continue to meet all the USCIS guidelines for DACA.

How To Apply: 

SF State students and alumni may apply directly to this program.

Eligible SF State students and undergraduate alumni who have not yet enrolled in a graduate program elsewhere may seek the support of the Fellowships Office well in advance of the program deadline for feedback on the application essays and other materials.

Applicants should be prepared to devote significant time to developing and revising the application essays, and should consider beginning the application process six months before the application deadline.

Resources for Applicants

Why Should You Apply for a Fulbright?

Quick Links

Fellowships Office

Dr. Joy Viveros

Phone: 415.405.2128
Reception: Grad Stop, ADM 250 
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132