NAEd/ Spencer Dissertation Fellowship Program

National Academy of Education

Suggest an update

Deadline: Oct 8, 2020 2:00pm PDT

Grant amount: US $27,500

Fields of work: Education

Applicant type: Graduate Student

Funding uses: Fellowship

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: United States

View website    Save



Through the dissertation fellowship, the National Academy of Education (NAEd) and Spencer seek to encourage a new generation of scholars from a variety of fields to undertake research relevant to the improvement of education. The NAEd and Spencer believe scholarly insight from many different disciplines can contribute to an understanding of education as a fundamental human endeavor and advance our ability to address significant current issues in education. Therefore, the NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship supports individuals whose dissertations show potential for bringing fresh and constructive perspectives to the history, theory, or practice of formal or informal education anywhere in the world.

Awards and Conditions

The NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellows will award 35 non-renewable fellowships for the 2020 program. Recipients of the fellowships will receive $27,500 to support completion of the dissertation. 

The fellowship is designed to provide fellows with support for the writing phase of the dissertation and to alleviate the need for significant other employment. However, the NAEd recognizes that individuals have unique needs and circumstances, and fellows may have “reasonable” outside employment during the fellowship year. The NAEd suggests no more than 10 hours/week but will work with fellows if more is required. If an applicant intends to work during the fellowship, they must seek approval from the Academy. Additionally, the selection committee must have ample evidence to demonstrate that a candidate will be able to finish the dissertation within the timeframe specified.

Applicants must also notify the NAEd if they are offered another fellowship to discuss the nature and terms of the award. As a ground rule, if an applicant is offered another fellowship in addition to the NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship, they may only accept one of the awards if they are both supporting the same aspect of the research project (i.e., the writing phase). Please contact the NAEd with any questions about this policy.

Funding Priorities

Although the dissertation topic must centrally concern education, graduate study may be in any academic discipline or professional field. Fellowships have been awarded to candidates in anthropology, architecture, art history, communications, economics, education, history, linguistics, literature, philosophy, political science, psychology, public health, religion, and sociology. Eligibility is not restricted to these academic areas. 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Applicants need not be citizens of the United States; however, they must be candidates for a doctoral degree at a graduate institution within the U.S.
  • Candidates should be interested in pursuing research on education once the doctorate is attained.
  • The stipend must be expended within a time limit of up to two years and in accordance with the work plan provided by the candidate.


  • The fellowship is not intended to finance data collection or the completion of doctoral coursework but rather to support the final analysis of the research topic and the writing of the dissertation.
    • For this reason, all applicants must confirm via the online application that they will have completed all pre-dissertation requirements by June 1, 2021 and must provide a clear and specific plan for completing the dissertation within a one or two-year time frame.

This page was last reviewed July 29, 2020 and last updated July 29, 2020