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Content provided by the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
85.300 Woodrow Wilson Center Fellowships in the Humanities and Social Sciences


Woodrow Wilson Memorial Act of 1968, Public Law 90-637, 82 Stat. 1356; 82 Stat. 1357, 20 U.S.C. 80c-80j.
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The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars was established by Congress to symbolize and strengthen "the fruitful relationship between the world of learning and the world of public affairs." It aims, in a strictly nonpartisan fashion, to foster scholarship and to promote the exchange of views between scholars and decision makers. The Center sponsors research, meetings, and publications on history, economics, politics, international relations, the environment, and many other areas. Fellows from around the world are brought to Washington, DC, to encourage discourse among disciplines and professions. The Center enriches the quality of knowledge and debate in the nation's capital and throughout the world.


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Assistance is intended for the use of scholars only. In order to foster a true community of scholars, the Woodrow Wilson Center prefers its fellows to be in residence for the entire U.S. academic year from September through May. A few fellowships are available for shorter periods with a minimum of 4 months.


Applicant Eligibility:   Individuals from any country are welcome to apply. Men and women with outstanding capabilities and experience from a wide variety of backgrounds (including government, the corporate world, and the professions, as well as academia) are eligible for appointment. Successsful fellowship applicants submit outstanding proposals in a broad range of the social sciences and humanities on national and or international issues--topics and scholarship that relate to key public policy challenges or provide the historical and/or cultural framework to illumine policy issues of contemporary importance. Proposals that represent essentially advocacy are not eligible. The Center normally does not consider projects that represent essentially the rewriting of doctoral dissertations; the editing of papers and documents; the preparation of textbooks or miscellaneous papers and reviews; anthologies, memoirs or translations.

Beneficiary Eligibility:   Citizens from all countries will benefit.

Credentials/Documentation:   For academic participants, eligibility is limited to the postdoctoral level, and normally it is expected that academic candidates will have demonstrated their scholarly development by publication beyond the Ph.D. dissertation. For other applicants, an equivalent degree of professional achievement is expected. An applicant working on a degree at the time of application (even if it is to be completed prior to the proposed fellowship year) is not eligible. All applicants should have a very good command of spoken English, since the Center is designed to encourage the exchange of ideas among its fellows.

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Pre-application Coordination:   There is no official preapplication process. Individuals who have questions about their eligibility or the focus of their proposed research should contact the Scholar Selection and Services Office. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure:   Applications may be obtained from the Scholar Selection and Services Office and may be downloaded from A complete application must include the following: 1. a completed two-page fellowship application form; 2. a list of the applicant's publications (not to exceed three pages); 3. two letters of references sent directly to the Center by the application deadline; 4. a project proposal not to exceed five single-spaced pages, and 5. a completed financial information form (included with the application form).

Award Procedure:   Applications are evaluated by peer review panels.

Deadlines:   The Center holds one round of competitive selection per year. The annual application deadline is October 1.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:   

Decisions on appointments are announced by early April.


There is no official appeals process.


There is no official renewal process.

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Formula and Matching Requirements:   

The Woodrow Wilson Center seeks to follow the principle of no gain/no loss in terms of a fellow's previous year's salary. However, limited funds make it essential for most applicants to seek supplementary sources of funding: sabbatical support, other fellowships, or foundation grants. Each fellow is assigned a furnished office available every day around the clock. The Center's main offices are located in the heart of Washington, DC. Professional librarians provide access to the Library of Congress, university and special libraries in the area, and other research facilities. Windows-based personal computers or manuscript-typing services are available, and each fellow is offered a part-time research assistant. Publishing services are available through the Woodrow Wilson Center Press, which co-publishes with Cambridge University Press, the Johns Hopkins University Press, Indiana University Press, and the Stanford University Press.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:   

Stipends cover the length of the residential fellowship.


Reports:   Fellows are asked to provide the Wilson Center with two copies of any publications that result from research undertaken during the fellowship period.

Audits:   None.

Records:   None required.


Account Identification:  


Obligations:   (Grants) FY 07 $1,405,000; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance:  

In 2006-2007, the fellowship stipend, which included travel expenses for Fellows, their spouses, and their dependent children, ranged from $7,000 to $85,000. The Center also covered 3/4 of the cost of health insurance for scholars and their accompanying families who elected to take the insurance offered.

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The Wilson Center has hosted hundreds of scholars working in fields spanning the humanities and the social sciences. Some distinguished scholars of recent years have included Bruce Ackerman, Anatoli Dobrynin, John Lewis Gaddis, Juan Williams, and Gordon Wood. Books written by Fellows at the Center have included David Levering Lewis' W.W. Dubois, Biography of a Race, 1868-1919, and Thomas Friedman's From Beirut to Jerusalem.


Annual reports, current Fellows' listing, and application forms are available.


Regional or Local Office:   None.

Headquarters Office:   Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, One Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004. Contact: Scholar Selection and Services Office. Telephone: (202) 691-4000. E-mail:

Web Site Address:


Listed below are some of the 23 fellows chosen for the academic year 2006-2007: 1) Adams, Gordon. Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. "Buying National Security: Transforming the U.S. Resource Planning Process"; 2)Bilgin, Pinar. Assistant Professor of International Relations, Bilkent University, Turkey. "Globalization and Security in the Developing World: The Case of Turkey"; 3) Connelly, Matthew. Associate Professor of History, Columbia University. "The Problem of Prevision"; 4)Dettke, Dieter. Executive Director, Washington Office, Friedrich Ebert Foundation. "In Search of Normalcy: Germany's Defense and Security Policy Between Realpolitik and the Civilian Power Paradigm."


1) The significance of the proposed research (the importance and originality of the project); 2) the quality of the proposal in definition, organization, clarity, and scope; 3) the capabilities and achievements of the applicant (the likelihood that the applicant will accomplish the proposed project); 4) the relevance of the project to contemporary policy issues. The Center devotes special attention to the exploration of three prominent themes: governance; the U.S. role in the world and issues of partnership and leadership; key long-term future challenges confronting the United States and the world. Projects should involve fresh, critical research, both in terms of the overall field and of the author's previously published work. The Center welcomes projects that transcend narrow specialties and do not represent essentially technical, methodological issues of interest only within a specific academic discipline. Above all, projects should have relevance to the world of public policy, and fellows should want, and be prepared, to interact with policymakers in Washington and with Wilson Center staff who are working on similar issues.

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