International Fellowships

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

International Fellowships are awarded for full-time study or research in the United States to women who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents. 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. 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.

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.

For questions or technical support, please email aauw@applyists.com.

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

November 15, 2020, by 11:59 p.m. Central Time
Deadline for online submission of application, recommendations, and supporting documents.

April 15, 2021
Notification of decisions emailed to all applicants. AAUW is not able to honor requests for earlier notification.

July 1, 2021–June 30, 2022
Fellowship year

When a deadline or notification date falls on a weekend, 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.
  • 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, 2020.
    • 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 and confirm proficiency by submitting a valid Educational Testing Service’s Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score, International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score or other verification accepted by AAUW. Applicants planning to take the TOEFL or IELTS 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, 2020, 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. Fellows must provide official confirmation from the institution with their 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.
    • 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., D.M.) or an M.F.A. by November 15, 2020; 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.

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 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 applications. 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, as long as it does not exceed 10% 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 statuses and treaties, the fellowship stipend is subject to a 14 or 30 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–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 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 20 hours a week or teach one course, with prior written approval of AAUW.
  • Stipends are made payable to fellows only, not to institutions.

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

  • Eligibility.
    Applicants must pass the eligibility quiz to be reviewed by the selection panel.
  • Applicant.
  • 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.
  • Academics.
  • Narratives.
  • Budget.
  • Uploads.
    • Proof of highest degree: Upload transcripts** from the college or university where the highest degree (not a certificate) was obtained.
      • 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 2020 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 bachelor’s degree: Upload one of the following:
      • Transcript** showing degree and date received (must be on or before November 15, 2020).
      • Copy of diploma showing date degree was received (must be on or before November 15, 2020).
      • Copy of acceptance letter to, or current enrollment in, a graduate-level program at a U.S. institution.
    • 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, 2020).
      • 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, 2020).
    • 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
          • Revised TOEFL Paper-Delivered Test: 60
          • IELTS: 6.5
        • Verification the applicant’s native language is English (written statement required).
        • Confirmation secondary diploma or undergraduate degree is from an English-speaking institution (transcript required).
        • Confirmation of one semester of full-time study in the applicant’s discipline at an English-speaking college or university between November 2018 and November 2020 (transcript required).
  • C.V./Résumé

*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.

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

AAUW 2020-21 International Fellow Adela Habib

Adela Habib’s work focuses on predictions of design parameters through modeling and simulation of quantum-mechanical processes, including charge-carrier transport in metals and their injection into semiconductors or molecules for efficient and clean solar-energy conversion devices. Her goal is to obtain tenure and establish a computational-research group at a university in Afghanistan.

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.