AAUW Awards $4 Million in Fellowships and Grants

Funding Promotes Equity for Women and Girls

WASHINGTON — The American Association of University Women (AAUW) has awarded more than $4 million in fellowships and grants to 259 recipients for the 2019–20 academic year. The goal of the funding is to advance educational and professional opportunities for women in the United States and around the globe.

“In the 130 years that AAUW has been providing funding, our fellows and grantees have contributed so much to their schools, their communities and to society at large,” said Kim Churches, chief executive officer of AAUW. “We know that this year’s recipients will continue in that esteemed tradition, and we are honored to provide the resources they need to excel in their academic work – and to ultimately make a difference in the world.”

AAUW is one of the world’s leading supporters of graduate women’s education. Since 1888, it has awarded more than $115 million in fellowships, grants and awards to 13,000 recipients from 145 countries. Candidates are selected on the basis of scholarly excellence, quality and originality of project design and active commitment to helping women and girls through service in their communities, professions or fields of research.

The program’s roster of notable alumnae includes such women as astronaut Judith Resnik, Ph.D.; writer, professor and television host Melissa Harris-Perry, Ph.D.; and scholar and author Patricia Bell-Scott, Ph.D., to name just a few.

“It’s pretty extraordinary how many things [the fellowship] made possible for me,” said Harris-Perry, now a tenured professor at Wake Forest University, who was an AAUW American Fellow in 2001-2002. “It’s hard to express what it meant—what a difference one year can make in the life of a junior faculty woman. I don’t think the rest of my career could have happened without that time.”

“I was at a crossroads in my career and was deciding whether to continue pursuing a career in academia,” said Bell-Scott, professor emerita at the University of Georgia and a 1985-1985 American Fellow. “Receiving the AAUW fellowship gave me the support I needed to continue … and I have never looked back.”

For many recipients, AAUW fellowship funding helps manage the growing burden of student debt, which  disproportionately affects women. And the ability to pay off that debt is hampered by a lifelong pay gap that affects women in nearly every profession. AAUW’s awards alleviate student debt so women can focus on developing their skills and experience. In a feature unique to the AAUW program, the funding can often be used for expenses outside of those traditionally associated with academic study, including child care and transportation, which can help recipients continue, return to and successfully complete graduate programs.

Applications open August 1 each year. Deadlines vary by program. To find out more about this year’s awardees, visit AAUW’s online directory.


The American Association of University Women (AAUW) empowers women and girls through research, education, and advocacy. Our nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and more than 800 college and university members. Since AAUW’s founding in 1881, our members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political. AAUW’s fellowships and grants have helped scholars and activists overcome barriers to education and advancement for 130 years. Learn more and join us at www.aauw.org.