About the Program

The goal of the program, sponsored by the Ford Foundation and administered by the National Research Council (NRC), is to increase the presence of underrepresented minorities on the nation's college and university faculties. Predoctoral fellowships are awarded in a nationwide competition to individuals who demonstrate superior scholarship and show the greatest promise for future achievement as scholars, researchers, and teachers in institutions of higher education.


There are approximately 50 three-year predoctoral fellowships awarded each year with and application deadline mid- November. Fellowships are open to U.S. citizens or nationals who are members of one of the following ethnic minority groups:

  • Alaskan Natives (Eskimo or Aleut)
  • Black/African Americans
  • Mexican Americans/Chicanas/Chicanos
  • Native American Indians
  • Native Pacific Islanders (Polynesian or Micronesian)
  • Puerto Ricans


Awards are made only for study in research-based doctoral programs that lead to careers in teaching and research at the university or college level. Applicants must not have completed, at the time of application, more than two years in a current Ph.D. or ScD program in fields supported by this program. If the current program counts previously earned graduate work, credits transferred may not exceed 45 semester/60quarter hours. Fellowships are tenable at any accredited nonprofit United States Institution of higher education offering PhDs or ScDs in the fields eligible for support in this program. Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test scores are required.

Application Deadline

The online application deadline for the Fellowship Application is November. Supplementary materials must be uploaded to the fellowship application by January.

See the Ford Foundation website.