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

See CTLR Events Calendar for Info Sessions- If you were unable to attend, watch the video below.

Watson Fellowship Info Session (recorded March 2021)

Watch a Watson foundation webinar for more about the Watson experience.


Provides $40,000 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.


Preliminary Application: Submit beginning April 15. This is a flexible deadline.

Nomination Application Deadline:  September 5 (noon), 2024

Watson Final Deadline: November TBA, 2024

Application Process

Look at the visual overview of the application process. Review the Watson Application Process and Guidance 

1. Submit a preliminary application in Middlebury Apply to begin the application process. Try to do this by April 15 if possible. We need this information to register you for the Watson online application. Preview the Watson preliminary application questions

2. Complete an abbreviated version of the Watson online application and other required items in Middlebury Apply by the September internal nomination deadline. No late applications will be accepted.

3. Selected applicants will be invited to interview with the committee in late September/early October. Four nominees and one alternate will be selected.

4. Nominees will work with the Fellowships advisor in preparing their final application.  A representative from the Watson Foundation interviews the nominees on campus late fall or winter. Awardees are notified in mid-March.


Lisa Gates, Associate Dean for Fellowships and Research
Davis Family Library 212
(802) 443-3183

Watson News

  • Watson Fellowship Webinar Sept. 14

    | by Lisa Gates

    Hello, Watson (and future Watson) applicants! The Fall Watson Webinar will take place on Thursday, September 14th at 3:30pm ET. You can register via this link. Those applying for the Fall 2024 cycle will have already applied for nomination by this date, but the foundation webinar may still be useful to you. Those who may apply in future cycles should […]

  • Visual Overview of Applying for Watson Nomination

    | by Lisa Gates

    For those applying for Watson nomination and wondering about how to work with the MiddApply and Watson online applications, this is for you! See go/watson for more information.

  • 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
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