DATE: 1st October, 2021
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars aims to unite the world of ideas to the world of policy by supporting pre-eminent scholarship and linking that scholarship to issues of concern to officials in Washington.
The Wilson Center invites scholars, practitioners, journalists and public intellectuals to take part in its flagship international Fellowship Program and to take advantage of the opportunity to engage actively in the Center’s national mission. The Center awards approximately 15-20 residential fellowships each year. Fellows will be affiliated with one or more of the Wilson Center programs/projects and are encouraged to interact with policymakers in Washington, D.C., with Wilson Center staff, and other scholars who are working on similar research and topics.
Applications that satisfy the eligibility requirements are subsequently subjected to a multi-stage review process involving both internal evaluations by Wilson Center experts and external evaluations by specialists with relevant expertise. Final decisions about all grant awards are contingent on the approval of the Center’s Fellowship Committee of the Board of Trustees and subject to available funding.
The basic criteria for selection are:
a) significance of the proposed research, including the importance and originality of the project;
b) the relevance of the project to contemporary policy issues; try to convince the reader that there is some urgency or importance in your work that can resolve a larger problem.
c) the relevance of the project to the programmatic work of the Center;
d) quality of the proposal in definition, organization, clarity, and scope; describe what the reviewers will learn from your project, why it is important, and how the reviewer will know your conclusions are valid. A clear hypothesis or step-by-step argument of a central problem helps capture the essence of your work for the reviewer. Also describe your methodology, i.e. how and why your approach is the best way to deal with such a problem. Since each field has different methodologies that the reviewer may not know, tell the reader what archives, sources, and techniques you plan to employ.
e) capabilities and achievements of the applicant and the likelihood that the applicant will accomplish the proposed project; not only should your proposal demonstrate how you have the technical know-how and ability to reach some conclusion, but that the conclusion is not preconceived. The proposal should convince the reviewer that there is something genuinely at stake with your inquiry and that your project will yield interesting results.
f) potential of a candidate to actively contribute to the life, priorities, and mission of the Center by making expert research accessible to a broader audience; remember that one of the Center’s main goals is to help inform policymakers to make well-informed decisions.
The Center welcomes in particular those projects that transcend narrow specialties and methodological issues of interest only within a specific academic discipline. Projects should involve fresh research-—in terms of both the overall field and the author’s previous work. It is essential that projects have relevance to public policy, and fellows should want, and be prepared, to interact with policymakers in Washington, Wilson Center staff, and other scholars who are working on similar issues.
Some final tips–start your proposal early, and have friends or colleagues review it. Debate over your proposal will help you answer questions reviewers may have. Sharpen your language and style, especially your opening paragraph. Be to the point so that the reviewer knows exactly what you mean–the Center does not conduct interviews, so make sure that your proposal is clear and concise.
You do not need an institutional affiliation to apply. For most academic candidates, a book or monograph is required. Scholars and practitioners who previously held research awards or fellowships at the Wilson Center are not precluded from applying for a fellowship. However, the nature and recency of the prior award may be among the factors considered during the selection process, and by the Fellowship Committee of the Board of Trustees.
If you have questions regarding your eligibility or the suitability of your project, please e-mail the Scholars and Academic Relations Office at [email protected].
The Center offers a stipend of $90,000 for a nine-month fellowship. Fellows are responsible for their own health insurance and travel expenses.
For more information of the Fellowship, please feel free to check these guidelines.