Wadsworth International Fellowship

  • Doctoral Students


This program provides funding for students pursuing a PhD or equivalent doctoral degree at universities where they can receive international-level training in anthropology. Wadsworth International Fellowships are only available to students from countries where anthropology is underrepresented and where there are limited resources to educate students overseas. The program’s goal is to extend and strengthen international ties and deepen anthropological expertise globally. We prioritize applicants who have not yet begun graduate training abroad (or are in the early stages of their program) and who are likely to return to an academic position in their home country upon completion of their degree.

Award Money

The $20,000 annual fellowship can be used toward travel, living expenses, tuition, income taxes, student fees, insurance, books, research costs, and any other relevant expenditures incurred in the course of the doctoral program. Fellows may renew the award for up to two additional years upon successful completion of each preceding year of training. They can apply separately for an additional year of support for dissertation write-up. Wenner-Gren awards do not include funds to cover institutional overhead or any fees related to the administration of our grants and fellowships.

Application Deadline

The application deadline is March 1 for fellowships beginning in the following academic year. The application portal opens 2 months before the deadline. We arrive at a final decision by May 1.

Who Can Apply

Doctoral Students

Applicants must be from countries with limited opportunities for advanced training in anthropology. Applicants wishing to study anthropology at universities in their home country are not eligible.

Candidates must have an application for doctoral admission pending at their chosen host institution at the time they apply for this award. The host institution must provide high-quality training in anthropology and have a strong international reputation. It may be located anywhere in the world. Successful applicants will be in residence at the host institution during the study and training component of their fellowship.

Only two active Wadsworth Fellows can attend a host institution at any given time. Please contact us to see whether your chosen institution is eligible. If the Foundation receives more than one application from a single department, the Foundation will ask that department to rank the candidates.

The applicant must have a host sponsor who holds an academic position in the department where the applicant will be registered. The host sponsor, who must be willing to assume responsibility for overseeing the candidate’s training, cannot sponsor more than one active Wadsworth International Fellow per funding season.

Applicants who hold a relevant master’s degree and who have already begun their doctoral program at their host institution are only eligible to apply if they are currently in the first year of their doctoral studies and if they will not be in a position to begin their fieldwork until the third year of their studies. If applicable, these candidates must explain why they no longer have sufficient funding to complete their degree.

Applicants who do not already hold a relevant master’s degree must demonstrate, both in their application and through their host sponsor’s letter of support, that they will be able to successfully complete their training and advance to doctoral candidacy, or otherwise be prepared to begin their doctoral research, within the 3 years of Wadsworth funding.

In addition to the host sponsor, the applicant must have a home sponsor who is a member of the institution with which the candidate is (or has been) affiliated in their home country. If an applicant has received a master’s degree abroad and has not maintained a strong academic connection in their home country, a faculty member at the institution where the applicant studied can serve as a home sponsor.

Priority is given to applicants who have not earned a prior degree (including at the undergraduate level) from an institution outside of their home country. Applicants who have been residing outside of their home country during the period immediately prior to when they anticipate beginning their doctoral training and who have not been enrolled in full-time higher education are not usually eligible to apply. Applicants who have already earned a doctoral degree in anthropology are not eligible to apply. Applicants exclusively seeking fieldwork or dissertation write-up support are not eligible to apply.

Applicants may submit only one application per funding season. They may not apply through two or more host institutions at the same time. Applicants should show that they have sufficient funds in addition to the Wadsworth International Fellowship to complete their training at the host institution. Where possible, the Foundation expects host institutions to supplement the fellowship by providing financial support.

Fellows are encouraged to seek outside funding to support dissertation research. Although Wadsworth Fellows are eligible to apply for the Foundation’s Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, funding is not guaranteed. After completing their dissertation research, Wadsworth Fellows are also eligible for dissertation write-up support.

Unless they officially withdraw from the program—or fail to comply with the conditions of the award—Fellows are considered active until they have completed their thesis and are awarded a degree.

The Foundation is looking for talented scholars who might not otherwise be able to pursue a doctoral degree. We are eager to support students with the potential to advance anthropology in their home countries and globally.

Successful applicants provide strong evidence of academic excellence in their prior training in anthropology or a related discipline. They have well-developed training and research goals and can show that both their host institution and host sponsor are good fits to help them reach those goals.

The Foundation pays close attention to letters of support from both the home and host sponsors. We strongly encourage applicants to make personal contact with their host sponsor prior to applying for the fellowship; successful applicants work closely with the host sponsor to map out a course of training leading to the doctoral degree. Letters of support should address whether the candidate has the support they need to complete all program requirements within the 3 years of Wadsworth funding and successfully complete their degree.

Successful applicants are able to show how the program they have chosen aligns with the Foundation’s mission to advance anthropological knowledge, amplify its impact, foster inclusivity, and address the precarity of anthropology as a career and a field of study. Applicants interested in policy-making, public health, environmental sustainability, primate conservation, heritage management, or salvage work on endangered languages must make a strong case for how their work will further anthropological conversations.

The Foundation awards about five Wadsworth International Fellowships annually. To present yourself in the best possible light, please follow all instructions for completing your application. Use all the available space to make your case. If you have questions, contact us at applications@wennergren.org or (+1) 212.683.5000.

The application asks for the following:

  • General information about you, the home institution and sponsor, and the host institution and sponsor
  • Answers to three questions about your background and your proposed plan of study, your research interests, and your professional goals or plans
  • A detailed budget
  • Copies of official transcripts from your home institution; please provide a translation if they are not in English
  • Where applicable, evidence of your fluency in the language of the institution at which you will be pursuing training
  • Curricula vitae for the applicant and host sponsor.
  • In addition to your application, you will need to request letters of support from both the home sponsor and the host sponsor, to be sent directly to sent directly to internationalprograms@wennergren.org by the application deadline. Please share these guidelines with your home sponsor and host sponsor so they include the information we need.

Host sponsor guidelines can be downloaded here.

Home sponsor guidelines can be downloaded here.

Applications must be in English. Applicants must submit all forms and other required materials online by March 1. If you don’t have adequate internet access to use our system, please contact us at least 1 week before the deadline and we’ll help arrange an alternative method. The online portal is open for applications 2 months before the application deadline.

Before submitting your application, please refer to the U.S. tax information on our website.

The Foundation requires successful applicants to comply with all U.S. laws. These include but are not limited to regulations governed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which administers U.S. government sanctions programs and regulations relating to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List). Please see the OFAC Guidelines page on our website and consult the U.S. Department of the Treasury for more information.

In compliance with OFAC regulations, the Foundation requires special documentation for projects located in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Crimea (including Sevastopol), the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic regions of Ukraine, and Russia. The Foundation does not require this documentation at the application stage, but we must receive it before we can release funds.

Please do not send any other material, such as letters of reference, computer disks, manuscripts, publications, photographs, or recordings to the Foundation in support of your application. This material will not be used in the review process and cannot be returned.

You may access the application portal here.