Summer pasture camp, Aragats mountains, Armenia, 2003
Tatiana Grigorenko '03, Watson Fellow 2003-04 

Purpose: The Thomas J. Watson Fellowship Program provides funding for one year of independent research and travel outside of the United States. Fellows create and execute their own unique projects and in the process test their own strengths and abilities. Hear more about Watson proposals and experiences on the Office of Fellowships Video page.

Eligibility: Graduating seniors of unusual promise. The Watson Foundation looks for qualities such as leadership; resourcefulness; imagination or vision; independence; integrity; responsibility and emotional maturity; and courage. US and foreign students may apply. Applicants must be nominated by their undergraduate institution.

Award amount and conditions: A $30,000 stipend to cover one year of travel and related project expenses. The fellowship year must begin no later than August 1. The award may not be deferred.

During the 12-month fellowship, the fellow may not return to the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska. Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are considered foreign territories for the purposes of this fellowship. Fellows who hold a foreign passport may not return to either their home country or the US. Fellows may not travel to countries under travel warnings or under US State Department travel warnings or under US Treasury embargo.

In addition, an amount equal to twelve months' payment of outstanding federally guaranteed and institutional student loans will supplement the stipend.


Number offered: Up to 40 Watson Fellows are selected each year. Amherst can nominate 4 each year.

Deadline: Preliminary applications are due in the Office of Fellowships early in September (see Deadlines and Events).  A personal statement and project proposal, and THREE letters of recommendation, are part of the preliminary application.

Application materials: Preliminary application forms are available on this website in late spring of your junior year (see How to Apply).  If you plan to apply for a Watson, please contact us for complete details and winning examples.

Official website address: www.watsonfellowship.org

For more information:


Denise Gagnon

Director of Fellowship Advising
413-542-2536 Fax: 413-542-8555
The Office is located in
212 Converse Hall.

The mailing address is:

Office of Fellowships
Amherst College
Amherst, MA 01002

    Johannesburg, South Africa 2005. Simphiwe, a volunteer
from CIDA City Campus (a business university in Johannesburg)
reading to a group of children at an after-school program.
I created this program at Cornelius House, a transitional housing
facility in downtown Johannesburg.
Daniel Altschuler '04, Watson Fellow 2004-05

Converse Hall

Office of Fellowships
213 Converse Hall
Amherst College
Amherst, MA  01002

Fax. 413-542-8555

Denise Murphy Gagnon
Director of Fellowship Advising

Suzanne Fogel Spencer
Fellowships Coordinator