The Watson Fellowship is a one-year grant for independent exploration and travel outside of the United States in the year following graduation from college.

More information on the Watson Fellowship.

Info Sessions

Tuesday, March 1, 2022 - Watson Info Session at 4:30 pm ET - If you were unable to attend, watch the video below.

Watson Fellowship Info Session (recorded March 2021)


Provides $36,000 to cover one year of travel and related project expenses. It also covers one year of federal and institutional student loans payments. Approximately 40 Watson fellows are selected from 160 candidates nominated by participating institutions.


Seniors, no citizenship restrictions, no GPA restrictions.


See the Watson Applicant Timeline and Checklist for specific details and requirements for the application materials needed for the September internal deadline.

April 15, Preliminary Application Deadline

Submit the Middlebury online preliminary application. This is a flexible deadline.

First Week of September, Nomination Application Deadline (TBA 2022)

Complete an abbreviated Watson Foundation online application (Fellowships needs to give you access to the online system, so contact us well before this deadline). Review the Timeline and Checklist document above so you complete the internal application correctly. 

By the nomination deadline, email fellowships@middlebury.edu with the subject line “Watson nomination application.”  Include recommender names in the body of the message and attach a current transcript to the email. This alerts the Fellowships Office that we can download your application for committee review.

Please also complete a waiver/permission form. If you decide not to proceed with your application, please let us know that also. No late applications will be accepted.

Application Process

Review the Watson Application Guidance.

In the spring of 2022, submit a preliminary application to begin the application process for a 2023-2024 fellowship. Complete the required Middlebury nomination materials and submit by the September internal nomination deadline.

Middlebury Nominee Selection
Selected applicants will be invited to interview with the committee in September. Four nominees and one alternate will be selected by early October.

Watson Foundation Application and Selection
Nominees will work with the Fellowships advisor, and members of the selection committee, to solicit letters of recommendation and prepare an application to submit for the final Watson Foundation deadline in November. A representative from the Watson Foundation interviews the nominees on campus late fall or winter. Nominees must participate in a mock interview prior to the formal interview. Awardees are notified in mid-March.


Lisa Gates, Associate Dean for Fellowships and Research
Davis Family Library 225G
(802) 443-3183

Watson Updates

  • June 2022 Notes for Watson and Fulbright Applicants

    | by Lisa Gates

    If you’re thinking about applying for a Fulbright grant or Watson nomination in the fall, you should start working on these applications. Many of you have already talked with me about your ideas or completed a preliminary application this spring–which is a great way to get started! And yes, you can absolutely still apply for […]

  • Join Watson’s Spring Webinar on May 12! Registration Link Below.

    | by Lisa Gates

    Thinking about a Watson Fellowship? Whether you’re a rising senior or just want to learn more about what the Watson Fellowship is, check out the Spring Watson Webinar on Thursday, May 12th, from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM ET. Watson Fellows Momi Afelin ’19 and Jacob Fontaine ’21 will be joining as guest speakers. The webinar will be led by Watson Executive Director (and […]

  • Justin Morande ‘21.5 Wins Watson Fellowship

    | by Lisa Gates

    Congratulations to Justin Morande ‘21.5, Middlebury’s newest Watson Fellow! Justin was selected as part of the 54th Class of Thomas J. Watson Fellows. Fellows come from 21 states and 8 countries and exhibit a broad range of academic specialties, socio-economic backgrounds, and project diversity. Read more about Justin’s project “Place and Placelessness: Architecture at a […]

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