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

Watson Foundation Info Session, 3-4pm ET on Wed, May 12, 2021; Register through this link: 


Watson Fellowship Info Session (recorded 3/21)


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.

September 8, 2021, Nomination Application Deadline

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 2021, submit a preliminary application to begin the application process for a 2022-2023 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

  • August Notes for Watson and Fulbright

    | by Lisa Gates

     It’s officially August (gasp!) and this is usually that time when I get a lot of questions from students and alumni wanting to apply for a Watson or Fulbright and they’re just thinking about that now. It’s also the time of year when I try to take vacation, since summer is lovely and the fall […]

  • June Notes for Watson and Fulbright Applicants

    | by Lisa Gates

    If you’re thinking about applying for a Fulbright or Watson nomination in the fall, you should start working on those applications. Many of you have already talked with me about your ideas or completed a preliminary application this spring. But yes, you can still apply for these in the fall even if you did not […]

  • Watson Fellowship Webinar, Wed. May 12–Register Now!

    | by Lisa Gates

    Join the Watson Fellowship Webinar on Wednesday, May 12th, from 3 PM to 4 PM ET. Watson Fellows David Johnson ’19 and Sophia Zupanc ’19 will be joining as guest speakers. The Watson Fellowship provides a year of self-directed exploration following graduation. Nomination applications will be due to the Middlebury Fellowships office in mid- September. To learn more about the Watson, visit […]

Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research
Davis Family Library, Suite 225
Middlebury, VT 05753

(802) 443-3131