American Fellowships

Funding: $6,000–$30,000
Opens: August 1
Deadline: November 1

The American Fellowship program began in 1888, a time when women were discouraged from pursuing an education. It is AAUW’s largest fellowship program and the oldest non-institutional source of graduate funding for women in the United States.

AAUW American Fellowships support women scholars who are pursuing full-time study to complete dissertations, conducting postdoctoral research full time, or preparing research for publication for eight consecutive weeks. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Candidates are evaluated 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.

There are three types of American Fellowship opportunities:

Dissertation Fellowships

Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowships

Short-Term Research Publication Grants

For questions or technical support, please email

Meet a Current American Fellow

Sarah Biscarra Dilley’s research is focused on matrifocal and gender-expansive governance from northern villages of yak titʸu titʸu yak tiłhini to Mokupuni o Hawai‘i, rooted in shared land and kinship-based epistemology. Her written, visual and material practice is grounded in collaboration across experiences, peoples and place, connecting extractive industries, absent treaties and enclosure to emphasize movement, embodied protocol and possibility. Her aspirations are toward cultural resurgence and the return of land to her families’ stewardship.


Our Alumnae

head shot of 2010-11 American Fellow Ayana Johnson

Ayana Johnson

2010–11 American Fellow and marine biologist, policy expert and conservation strategist. She is the founder and CEO of Ocean Collectiv and founder of Urban Ocean Lab.

Head shot of 2013 AAUW Alumnae Recognition Awardee Melissa Harris-Perry

Melissa Harris-Perry

2001-02 AAUW American Fellow and Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University, a columnist for the Nation, editor-at-large for ZORA, author of Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, and former host of The Melissa Harris-Perry Show on MSNBC.

Head shot of AAUW 1997-98 American Fellow Kimberly Ennico-Smith

Kimberly Ennico-Smith

1997-98 AAUW American Fellow and staff scientist with NASA who served as deputy project scientist for NASA’s New Horizons Mission, the historic project responsible for capturing unprecedented photos of Pluto.

Read about American Fellows through History