International Fellowships Application Instructions

Program Purpose

The International Fellowship program has been in existence since 1917. The program provides support for women pursuing full-time graduate or postdoctoral study in the United States who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents. A limited number of awards are available for study outside of the United States (excluding the applicant’s home country) to women who are members of Graduate Women International (see the list of GWI affiliates). Preference is given to women who show prior commitment to the advancement of women and girls through civic, community, or professional work.

Up to five International Fellowships for master’s/first professional degrees will be renewable for a second year; renewal instructions will be provided to fellows during their fellowship year.


Applications for AAUW International Fellowships are open August 1–December 1.
For questions or technical support,
please e-mail aauw@applyists.com.

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Award Amounts

  • Master’s/first professional degree: $18,000
  • Doctoral: $20,000
  • Postdoctoral: $30,000

Time Line

December 1, 2015, by 11:59 p.m. Central Time
Deadline for online submission of application and supporting documents.April 15, 2016
Notification of decisions e-mailed to all applicants. AAUW is not able to honor requests for earlier notification.

July 1, 2016–June 30, 2017
Fellowship year

Eligibility

  • International Fellowships are not open to previous recipients of any AAUW national fellowship or grant (not including branch or local awards or Community Action Grants). Members and officers of the AAUW Board of Directors are not eligible to apply for fellowships and grant awards. AAUW staff or volunteers with decision-making authority who wish to apply for an award must recuse themselves from the decision-making process.
  • Unsuccessful applicants may reapply.

To be eligible for an International Fellowship, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Have citizenship in a country other than the United States or possession of a nonimmigrant visa if residing in the United States. Women holding dual citizenship in the United States and another country are not eligible.
  • Hold an academic degree (earned in the United States or abroad) equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree completed by September 30, 2015.
  • Intend to devote herself full-time to the proposed academic plan during the fellowship year
  • Intend to return to her home country to pursue a professional career
  • Be proficient in English. Unless the applicant can verify that her native language is English, that she received her secondary diploma or undergraduate degree from an English-speaking institution, or that she will have completed one semester of full-time study in her discipline at an English-speaking college or university between October 2013 and September 30, 2015 (transcript required for validation), she must upload a recent score (no older than October 2013) on the ETS TOEFL* (Test of English as a Foreign Language). Institutional TOEFL scores and other English proficiency test scores (such as IELTS) will not be accepted. Minimum score acceptable: 550 for paper-based tests; 213 for computer-based tests; 79 for Internet-based tests. Test scores must be provided in the online application by the December 1, 2015, deadline, and score reports must be uploaded by December 1, 2015. Either originals or copies of score reports may be uploaded.
  • Master’s/first professional degree and doctoral applicants must have applied by December 1, 2015, to an accredited institution of study for the period of the fellowship year and must indicate the name of the institution in the International Fellowship application.
  • Master’s/first professional degree fellowships are intended for master’s or professional degree-level programs such as J.D., M.F.A., L.L.M., M.Arch., or medical degrees such as M.D., D.D.S., etc.
  • Doctoral fellowships are intended for doctorate degrees, such as Ph.D. or Ed.D.
  • Postdoctoral applicants must provide proof of their doctorate degree; hold a doctorate classified as a research degree (e.g., Ph.D., Ed.D., D.B.A., M.D.) or an M.F.A. by December 1, 2015; and indicate where they will conduct their research.
  • Master’s/first professional degree and doctoral applicants must be enrolled in a U.S. accredited institution located in the United States during the fellowship year.
  • A limited number of awards are available to GWI members for study or research in any country other than their own. Note that foreign branches of U.S. institutions are considered outside of the United States.
  • Applicants must be conducting a full year of study or research. International Fellowships do not provide funding for a partial year of study or research. Programs ending prior to April of the fellowship year are not eligible.
  • Master’s/first professional degree and doctoral fellowships support traditional classroom-based courses of study at colleges or universities. This fellowship program does not provide funding for distance-learning or online programs or for degrees heavily dependent on distance-learning components. Final decisions about what constitutes distance learning under these fellowships will be made by AAUW.

* TOEFL is given at designated test centers throughout the world. AAUW International Fellowship applicants should take the test as early as possible. The code for AAUW is 9231. This code must be written on the test registration form so that the scores will be reported directly to AAUW. Code 9231 should also be entered on the score report request form for tests previously taken. Please be advised that the TOEFL is changing to a computer-based test and will be administered on computers in most countries. Applicants planning to take the TOEFL should check test administration locations, dates, and format immediately. For information about test dates and registration procedures, consult the United States Embassy in the applicant’s country or write to: TOEFL Services, Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ 08541-6151 USA. You can also visit their website, ets.org/toefl; fax 610.290.8972; call 609.771.7100; or e-mail toefl@ets.org.

Criteria for Selection and Application Review

The International Fellowships Panel meets once a year to review applications for funding. Awards are based on the selection criteria outlined on this page. Recommendations by the panel are subject to final approval by the AAUW Board of Directors. Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis according to funds available in a given fiscal year.To ensure a fair and objective review process, it is the policy of AAUW not to comment on the deliberations of its award panels. No provisions exist for reconsideration of grant proposals after the board has acted. AAUW does not provide evaluations of successful or unsuccessful applications.

Applications and supporting documents become the sole property of AAUW and will neither be returned nor held for another year.

The following criteria apply to the selection of International Fellowships:

Acceptable TOEFL score yes/no
Residing in home country at time of application yes/no
Position on return to home country don’t know/planned/confirmed
Academic and/or professional qualifications 20 points
Applicant’s commitment to the advancement of women and girls in her home country 15 points
Proposed time schedule 10 points
Quality and feasibility of proposed plan of study or research 10 points
Demonstrated evidence of prior community and/or civic service in home country 15 points
Applicant’s country’s need for the specialized knowledge or skill 10 points
Financial need 10 points
Motivation for graduate study or research 10 points
Total 100 points

Regulations

International Fellowship funds are available for

  • Educational expenses
  • Living expenses
  • Dependent child care
  • Travel to professional meetings, conferences, or seminars, as long as it does not exceed 10 percent of the fellowship

International Fellowship funds are NOT available for

  • Purchase of equipment
  • Indirect costs
  • Research assistants
  • Previous expenditures, deficits, or repayment of loans
  • Publication costs
  • Institutional (overhead) costs
  • Tuition for dependent’s education
  • Grants-in-aid for less than a full academic year or travel grants
  • Travel to or from a fellow’s home country
  • Travel to or from the fellow’s research location, if abroad (does not apply to fellows who are GWI members with AAUW approval to study or research in a country other than their own)

With some exceptions based on relevant tax treaties, the fellowship stipend is subject to a 14 percent tax. AAUW will withhold these funds for payment to the U.S. IRS.

AAUW regards the acceptance of a fellowship as a contract requiring fulfillment of the following terms:

  • All International Fellowship recipients are required to sign a contract as acceptance of the award. Retain these instructions as they will become part of the fellowship contract if the applicant is awarded a fellowship.
  • An International Fellow is expected to pursue her project full time during the fellowship year (July 1, 2016–June 30, 2017). No partial fellowships are awarded. Fellowships may not be deferred.
  • The International Fellowship dollar amount must be larger than any other single award or paying position (excluding sabbatical support or support from a program that is the functional equivalent of sabbatical leave) received during the fellowship year and must be acknowledged as the major award. Acceptance of concurrent funds of a lesser amount than the AAUW award is permitted but requires prior written approval of AAUW.
  • Any changes in plans for the fellowship year must have the prior written approval of AAUW. AAUW must be notified promptly of any change in the status of an application resulting from acceptance of another award.
  • Fellows may spend up to two months travelling abroad for research related to their project plan with prior written approval of AAUW.
  • Fellows may work up to 15 hours a week or teach one section of one course, with prior written approval of AAUW.
  • Stipend checks are made payable to fellows only, not to institutions.

Application Components and Instructions

Please follow the directions carefully and complete all sections of the application for successful submission of your application. Only complete online applications will be reviewed by the selection panel.

Required Components*

  1. Eligibility
    • Applicants must pass the eligibility quiz to be reviewed by the selection panel.
  1. Applicant
  1. Recommendations
    • Provide three recommenders who are professors or professional colleagues. When possible, recommenders should be professors or professional colleagues in the applicant’s home country who can speak about the applicant’s qualifications and about the country’s need for the specialized skill or knowledge she plans to acquire with her proposed study or research.
  1. Academics
    • Transcript(s)* — applicant will upload official transcripts from the college or university where the highest degree (not a certificate) was obtained and from the college or university in which the applicant is currently enrolled, if she is enrolled.
      • Transcripts must include a list of courses taken and grades received.
      • Many transcripts do not include current coursework. If fall 2015 semester grades are not available and are not on your transcript, a list of courses taken that semester must be provided by the institution’s Office of the Registrar.
      • If the institution does not provide a transcript or a list of courses taken and grades received or the degree did not require coursework, an official letter* from the institution where the degree was received that includes the degree completion date must be uploaded.
      • Do not upload copies of additional certificates or other documents the applicant may have received during her education. Upload transcripts from only the college or university where the highest degree (not a certificate) was obtained and from the institution in which the applicant is currently enrolled.
    • Proof of bachelor’s degree* — applicant will upload any one of the following:
      • Transcript* showing degree and date received (must be on or before September 30, 2015
      • Copy of diploma* showing date degree was received (must be on or before September 30, 2015)
      • Copy of acceptance letter* to, or current enrollment in, a graduate-level program at a U.S. institution
    • Proof of doctorate degree* (postdoctoral applicants only) — applicant will upload any of the following:
      • Transcript* showing degree and date received (must be on or before December 1, 2015)
      • Official letter* from institution where degree was received that includes the degree completion date
      • Copy of diploma* showing date degree was received (must be on or before December 1, 2015)
    • Official report of TOEFL test scores or waiver request — applicant will upload report or request waiver and, if applicable, upload transcript based on criteria described above.
    • Letter of admission*— applicant will upload a letter of admission* from the proposed institution of study or research.
      • If the applicant has not been accepted at the time of application, she must list the name of at least one institution to which she has applied.
      • Fellows must provide official confirmation from the institution with their acceptance materials.
  1. C.V./Résumé
  1. Narratives
  1. Budget
  1. Payment
    • The filing fee is required to cover the cost of administering the application process. Payment will be accepted through PayPal. Applicants not residing in the United States at the time of application may request a waiver of the filing fee if they are unable to obtain U.S. dollars or if it is a hardship for them to pay the fee. Requests must be submitted in the online application. Applicants already residing in the United States may not request a waiver.

* A certified English translation is required for all documents provided in a foreign language, including transcripts, letters, and diplomas. Translations must bear a mark of certification or official signature that the translation is true and complete.

Tips for Proposal Preparation

  1. Read and follow all guidelines.
    Many proposals are disqualified each year because applicants omit a key step in the guidelines or ignore instructions. If the applicant is unsure whether she is qualified to apply, e-mail aauw@applyists.com for assistance.
  1. Proofread all work thoroughly.
    Proposals that are unclear or contain numerous mistakes distract the reviewer from focusing on the content and reflect poorly on the author’s ability to produce a high-quality product. Check to be sure that sentences are complete, clear, and grammatically correct.
  1. Have someone else read the completed proposal.
    An objective reader can often identify areas that need more explanation and may find errors the applicant has overlooked.
  1. Be concise.
    Reviewers must read dozens of proposals. Proposals that are clear and concise are more compelling.


Applications for AAUW International Fellowships are open August 1–December 1.
For questions or technical support,
please e-mail aauw@applyists.com.