International Fellowships

Funding: $18,000–$30,000
Opens: August 1
Deadline: November 15

International Fellowships have been in existence since 1917. The program provides support for women pursuing full-time graduate or postdoctoral study in the United States to women who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and who intend to return to their home country to pursue a professional career. A limited number of awards are available for study outside of the U.S. (excluding the applicant’s home country) to women who are members of Graduate Women International (see the list of GWI affiliates). Both graduate and postgraduate studies at accredited U.S. institutions are supported.

Applicants must have earned the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree by the application deadline and must have applied to their proposed institutions of study by the time of the application. Recipients are selected for academic achievement and demonstrated commitment to women and girls.

Recipients return to their home countries to become leaders in business, government, academia, community activism, the arts or scientific fields.

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

August 1, 2021
Application opens.

November 15, 2021, by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time
Deadline for online submission of application, recommendations, and supporting documents.

April 15, 2022
Notification of decisions emailed to all applicants. AAUW is not able to honor requests for earlier notification.

July 1, 2022–June 30, 2023
Fellowship year

When a date falls on a weekend or holiday, the date will be observed on the following business day.

  • 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 of the AAUW board of directors, committees, panels, task forces and staff, including current interns, are not eligible to apply for AAUW’s fellowships and grants. A person holding a current award is eligible for election or appointment to boards, committees, panels and task forces.
  • International Fellowships are open to scholars who identify as women, in all fields of study at an accredited institution of higher education or, for postdoctoral fellows, research. AAUW will make final decisions about what constitutes eligible institutions.
  • 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 U.S. or possession of a nonimmigrant visa if residing in the U.S. Women who are currently, or expect to be during the fellowship year, a U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident, or dual citizen with the U.S. and another country are not eligible.
    • Hold an academic degree (earned in the U.S. or abroad) equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree completed by November 15, 2021.
    • Intend to devote themself full-time to the proposed academic plan during the fellowship year.
    • Intend to return to their home country to pursue a professional career and upon completion of their studies.
    • Be proficient in English and confirm proficiency by submitting one of the Required Components (see below), which include certain English proficiency exams, transcripts from English-speaking institutions, or a written statement verifying English is the applicant’s native language. Applicants planning to take one of the accepted English proficiency exams should plan for and take the test as early as possible. Please direct questions about the tests to the test provider.
    • Master’s/first professional degree and doctoral applicants must have applied by November 15, 2021, 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. While acceptance is not required at the time of application, fellows must provide official confirmation from the institution with their award acceptance materials.
    • 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. Certificates, associate degrees, and undergraduate degrees are ineligible.
    • Doctoral fellowships are intended for doctorate degrees classified as research 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., D.M.) or an M.F.A. by November 15, 2021; 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 U.S. during the fellowship year.
    • A limited number of awards are available to Graduate Women International 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 U.S.
    • Applicants can apply for the fellowship for any year of their program, but 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.
  • Distance learning/online programs: 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. AAUW will accept applications from applicants who are temporarily studying remotely due to COVID-19 precautions at their institution.

The panel meets once a year to review applications for funding. Awards are based on the criteria outlined here. Recommendations by the panel are subject to final approval by AAUW. Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis according to funds available in a given fiscal year.

To ensure a fair review process, AAUW does not comment on the deliberations of its award panels. AAUW does not provide evaluations of applications. No provisions exist for reconsideration of fellowship proposals. Applications and supporting documents become the sole property of AAUW and will neither be returned nor held for another year.

  • Applicants residing in their home country at time of application, from developing/emerging countries, or from an underrepresented group in any region, will receive special consideration.
  • Position on return to home country.
  • Academic and/or professional qualifications.
  • Applicant’s commitment to the advancement of women and girls in her home country.
  • Proposed time schedule.
  • Quality and feasibility of proposed plan of study or research.
  • Demonstrated evidence of prior community and/or civic service in home country.
  • Applicant’s country’s need for the specialized knowledge or skill.
  • Financial need.
  • Motivation for graduate study or research.

International Fellowship funds are available for:

  • Educational expenses.
  • Living expenses.
  • Dependent child care.
  • Travel to professional meetings, conferences or seminars that does not exceed 10% of the fellowship total.

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).

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–June 30). 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 tuition or fee waivers, as well as 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 traveling abroad for research related to their project plan with prior written approval of AAUW.
  • Fellows may work up to 20 hours a week or teach one course, with prior written approval of AAUW.
  • Postdoctoral fellows cannot pursue a degree during the fellowship year.
  • Up to five International Master’s/First Professional Degree Fellowships are renewable for a second year. Fellows will receive application information for this competitive program during their fellowship year.
  • Stipends are made payable to fellows, not to institutions.
  • With some exceptions based on relevant tax statuses and treaties, the fellowship stipend is subject to a 14 or 30 percent tax. AAUW will withhold these funds for payment to the Internal Revenue Service.
  • The determination of whether there is a tax obligation associated with the receipt of an AAUW award is the sole responsibility of the applicant. Specific questions regarding income tax matters should be addressed with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the applicant’s financial aid office or a personal tax adviser. AAUW cannot provide tax advice. AAUW is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) public charity founded for educational purposes.

Start the application process by clicking the Apply Now button below to access the application and create an account through our vendor site. Complete all required components in the following areas.

  • Start
  • Background
  • Proposal
  • Recommendations, Documents & Review
    • Recommendations:
      • Provide three recommendations from professors or professional colleagues well acquainted with you, your work, and your academic background, in striving towards scholarly pursuits. 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. AAUW does not accept references from dossier services, such as Parment or Interfolio.
    • Documents:
      • Proof of highest degree: Upload transcripts** from the college or university where the highest degree (not a certificate) was obtained. Highest degree must be at least a bachelor’s degree (must be earned on or before November 15, 2021).
        • Transcripts** must include a list of courses taken and grades received.
        • 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.
      • Proof of current enrollment (currently enrolled applicants only): Upload transcripts**/lists of courses/institution letters 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 2021 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.
      • Proof of a doctorate or M.F.A. degree (postdoctoral applicants only): Upload any one of the following:
        • Transcript showing degree and date received (must be on or before November 15, 2021).
        • 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 November 15, 2021).
      • Proof of English proficiency: Upload one of the following:
        • Official report of an acceptable and valid TOEFL or IELTS score. Scores are valid for two years. Institutional TOEFL scores and other English proficiency test scores will not be accepted.
          • Minimum acceptable scores are as follows:
            • TOEFL iBT (Internet-Based Test): 79
            • TOEFL Essentials: 8.5
            • Revised TOEFL Paper-Delivered Test: 60
            • IELTS: 6.5
        • Written statement verifying the applicant’s native language is English.
        • Academic transcript or diploma confirming one of the following:
          • Secondary diploma or undergraduate degree is from an English-speaking institution.
          • One semester of full-time study in the applicant’s discipline at an English-speaking institution between November 2019 and November 2021.

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

**All transcripts provided must include the applicant’s full name, the school’s name, all courses, and all grades, as well as any other information requested in the application instructions.

See More Fellowship and Grant Opportunities

APPLY NOW

For questions or technical support from ISTS, our technical consultant, please email aauw@applyists.com. Enter AAUW-IF if the website prompts you for a program key. We encourage applicants not to opt out of communications from ISTS, to ensure you receive important communications from AAUW.

Thanks to AAUW’s International Fellowship (1992-93), I graduated Harvard Kennedy School … then joined the UN working for democracy and gender equality. I really want to thank you.”

Mikiko Sawanishi, deputy executive head, United Nations Democracy Fund and 1992-3 International Fellow

Meet a Current International Fellow

Alexandra Semma Tamayo has worked as a forensic anthropologist at the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences in Villavicencio, Colombia. Her multidisciplinary approach to the identification of missing persons from enforced disappearance has helped bring justice to the families in armed conflict contexts. As an international fellow, her research in fracture patterns observed in gunshot wounds will be extremely helpful in improving the accuracy in trauma interpretation when working with human-rights violations.

Meet Our Alumnae

2017 AAUW Alumnae Recognition Awardee Tererai Trent, Ph.D.

Tererai Trent

2001–02 International Fellow and scholar, motivational speaker and humanitarian. She founded Tererai Trent International, whose mission is to provide quality education in rural Africa. Oprah Winfrey named Trent as her all-time favorite guest. In 2017, Trent received the AAUW Alumnae Recognition Award.

Head shot of 2015-16 International Fellow Mahnaz Rezaie

Mahnaz Rezaie

2014–16 International Fellow and photojournalist, filmmaker and writer who advocates for the rights of Afghan women. She was honored at the 2014 Women in the World Summit for her short film exploring how wearing a hijab in the U.S. affected her relationships.

Head shot of 2013-14 International Fellow Sofia Espinoza Sanchez

Sofia Espinoza Sanchez

2013–14 International Fellow and Peruvian molecular biochemist researching cancer and neurological disorders. She also co-directs the Research Experience for Peruvian Undergraduates program.