Watson Fellowship

The Watson Fellowship Program seeks to give exceptional college graduates the freedom to engage in a year of independent study and travel abroad in order to thoroughly explore a particular interest, test aspirations and abilities, view their lives and American society in greater perspective, and develop a more informed sense of international concern.

Funding: The Fellowship provides $28,000 to each recipient ($38,000 if traveling with spouse or dependents).

Eligibility: All graduating seniors at 40 participating institutions, which includes Carleton College, are eligible for nomination by their institutions.

Selection Criteria: The Foundation seeks to identify 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. Feasibility of the project and language ability are also taken into account.

Application Process

For seniors graduating in 2015

Information meeting: 7:00 PM on Thursday, September 18, 2014, in Laird 211

Application deadline: 12:00 Noon on Monday, October 6.  Five copies of your materials submitted to Karen in the Dean of the College Office, Laird 131


At Carleton, the Watson application process occurs in four stages:

STAGE 1: Submission of proposal and related materials (see details above)

  1. Cover Sheet (click here)
  2. Personal statement: Five typewritten pages that outline your personal and academic background, state why this project is important to you, and describe how the project will contribute to your personal and intellectual growth (not longer than 1,500 words)
  3. Project proposal: Five typewritten, double-spaced pages that set forth your project, outline your methodology, and offer details on the locations you will visit (not longer than 1,500 words)
  4. Recommendations: Names of two or three recommenders; at least one must be a Carleton faculty member who can speak directly to the project.  NOTE:  Finalists must ask their recommenders to have letters written prior to the deadline below.
  5. Unofficial Transcript (printed from the Hub).  NOTEFinalists must request an official transcript via The Hub and have it in hand prior to the deadline below.
  6. Photo: A recent photograph/snapshot of yourself

STAGE  2: Reading of proposals by Carleton committee, selection of four nominees:

  • A faculty committee will read all completed application folders, interview some of the candidates, and make up to four nominations.

STAGE 3: Revision of proposals, submission to Watson Foundation by November 5, 2014  (3:00 p.m. EDT):

  • The four nominees will work for two weeks with Professor Hecker on their proposal and personal statement, and should expect several rewrites. The revised application folders will be submitted to Watson by the deadline noted above.

STAGE 4: Interviews of nominees by Watson Foundation representatives.

  • Each of the four nominees will be interviewed at Carleton by representative(s) of the Watson Foundation at the end of Fall Term or beginning of Winter Term.

Watson website: http://www.watsonfellowship.org/
** Each applicant should thoroughly read the materials on the Foundation's website!

On-campus Faculty AdvisersPierre Hecker, English Department, Laird 201, x4489 and Mike Flynn, Linguistics Department, Goodsell 101-C, x4020

Past Carleton Recipients

2013: Charlie Bentley '13, and Robin Wonsley '13

2012: Niki Tomita '12, and Gracie Ogilby '12

2011: Kai Knutson '11; Matthew Fink '11; Adam Karas '11

2010: Andrew Terwilliger '10.  Check out Andrew's blog.

2009: Edward Allaire Falk '09

2008: Sean Michael Noonan '08

2005: Philip Daniel O'Hara '05, Katherine Anne Sammons '05

2004: Maria Elizabeth Coryell-Martin '04, Lesanna Lyn Dobrahner '04, Nathan Robert Senner '04

2003: Molly Jean Bruder '03

1996: Julie Ann Siple '96, YouaPa Susan Yang '96