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, February 28, 2023 - 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 preliminary application in Middlebury Apply. This is a flexible deadline. Review the Watson preliminary app questions.

September Internal Deadline TBA, Nomination Application Deadline

Complete an abbreviated Watson Foundation online application. Fellowships will give you access to the online system after you submit your preliminary application. Review the Timeline and Checklist document above so you complete the internal application correctly. 

By the nomination deadline, submit your Watson September Deadline tasks in Middlebury Apply. Fellowships will download your draft Watson portal application and add it to Middlebury Apply for committee review.

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, submit a preliminary application to begin the application process. 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 News

  • Two Middlebury Seniors Win Watson Fellowships

    | by Lisa Gates

    Congratulations to Aubrianna Wilson ’23 and Clark O’Bryan ’23 who were recently selected as Watson Fellows by the Thomas J. Watson Foundation! The fellowship provides funding for one year of purposeful exploration through a self-designed project. Clark will travel to Ireland, Rwanda, Bangladesh and Japan to explore how traditional builders and craftspeople are responding to […]

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