Background: The Thomas J. Watson Foundation in 1968 inaugurated the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship Program to enable college graduates of exceptional promise to engage in a year of independent study and travel abroad following graduation. Each year, the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship sends 60 exceptional liberal arts college graduates to travel and study abroad for 12 months. Students have an opportunity for a focused and disciplined Wandarjahr of their own devising--time in which to explore with thoroughness a particular interest, test their aspirations and abilities, view their lives and American society in greater perspective and, concomitantly, to develop a more informed sense of international concern.
The Scholarship: Administered in cooperation with forty outstanding private colleges and universities throughout the United States, the Watson Fellowship provides a grant of $25,000 to each recipient. Fellows whose spouse or dependent child will accompany them may be eligible for additional funds.
The Application: Two essays, a personal statement (max 1500 words) and a proposal (max 1500 words), Details here.
Who Should Apply: Individuals who demonstrate integrity, strong ethical character, intelligence, the capacity for vision and leadership, and potential for humane and effective participation in the world community. A candidate's academic record, while not of primary importance, is considered together with those extracurricular activities which reflect both initiative and a commitment to the candidate's particular area of interest.
Campus Procedure: Interested students should attend the Watson information meetings each fall and spring (usually early Sept and April). The Gradaute Fellowships Committee reviews applications and invites between 12 and 18 applicants for a fifteen minute interview. Those are held in mid-October to select four seniors to be nominated to the Watson Foundation.The nominations and four applications go to the Watson foundation from the college in early November. The four nominees interview on campus for an hour one on one with a representative of the Watson Foundation in December or January.
Campus deadline: (2012) Applications are due before October 5 at noon. Proposals should be sent to email@example.com.
Recommendations: Applicants need to have two letters of reference, at least one from a faculty member, and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with the student's name in the subject line. Please see this form for instructions.
Some blogs (links not maintained): Bates; Temmink; Evitt.
Watson Interviews: In late fall or early winter term a Watson Foundation representative will come to campus to interview the four nominees. Applicants are notified in mid-March of the foundation's decision.
For More Information: Contact the Dean of Students Office. Also, write to: The Thomas J. Watson Foundation, 293 South Main Street, Providence, RI 02903. Telephone: 401/274-1952. Fax: 401/274-1954. Email: TJW@watsonfellowship.org Visit the website: http://www.watsonfellowship.org.
Recent Davidson Watson Fellows: 2013 Nitya Rao (declined); 2012 Audrey Gyurgyik, Alexis Valauri-Orton; 2011 Sara Bates, Annie Temmink; 2010 Blake Evitt; 2009 Laura Bergner; 2007 Omer Hasmi, Amy Reid; 2006 Chris Clunie; 2005 Benjamin Nelson; 2004 Gray Lyons; 2003 Sara E. Romeis; 2003 William Neville, Kristine Grayson; 2002 Danielle Dillard; Amber Hartman; Jason Hollis; Adam Norris; 2001 Elizabeth Neiheisel; Ben Carter; 2000 Michael Griffen; 1999 Emily Setina; 1998 Kenneth Howard; Kathryn Palmer; 1997 Patrick Montoya; 1996 Amanda R. Curtis; Jennifer A. Hankins; 1995 Rachel C. Newcomb; 1994 David Tweedie; 1993 Heather L. Tarpley; Reid R. French; Sara E. Carlson Tavernise; 1992 John C. Patton; Thomas K. Johnson; 1991 Margaret Hoyle; Douglas H. Jobe; 1990 Jonathan P. Darsey; Katherine A. MacDonald