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NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

The National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship Program supports early career scholars working in critical areas of education research. This non-residential postdoctoral fellowship funds proposals that make significant scholarly contributions to the field of education. The program also develops the careers of its recipients through professional development activities involving National Academy of Education members.

Applications for the 2017 fellowship are open! 


Previous Fellowship Recipients

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
2006 2005 2004 2003 2002
2001 2000 1999 1998  

The Award

  • Fellows receive $70,000 for one academic year of research, or $35,000 for each of two contiguous years, working half-time.
  • The terms of the fellowship provide for no institutional support, i.e., overhead or indirect costs
  • Fellowships must begin during the 2017-2018 academic year.
  • Fellows take the equivalent of one year's teaching leave during the fellowship term.
  • Fellows attend three professional development retreats with other fellows and NAEd members.
  • Up to thirty postdoctoral fellowships will be awarded in 2017.
  • Selection is made by a committee of NAEd members.

Qualifications and Guidelines

The NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is open to all eligible applicants regardless of race, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation.

  • Applicants must have received their PhD, EdD, or equivalent research degree between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2015. Please note, if you defended your dissertation in 2015, but did not receive your diploma, or were not conferred, until 2016, then you will not be eligible to apply for the fellowship this year. Do please consider applying next year however.
  • Applicant should have a demonstrated record of research experience in education.
  • Proposed project must be an education research project. NAEd funds studies that examine the efficacy of curriculum and teaching methods, however, we do not fund the initial development of curriculum or instructional programs.
  • Applications will be judged on the applicant's past research record, career trajectory in education research, and the quality of the project described in the application.
  • Applications must be made by the individual applying for the fellowship; group applications will not be accepted.
  • Non-US citizens are welcome to apply.
  • Concurrent funding for the proposed project is not permitted. You may not hold a grant from the Spencer Foundation at the same time as this fellowship.


The application deadline for the 2017 program is November 3, 2016 at 5pm Eastern Time. Awardees are notified by May 2017.

To Apply and Important Information/Links

Applicants are encouraged to readThe Art of Writing Proposals. Applicants are also encouraged to seek feedback from respected colleagues prior to submission.

Application Components:

  • Application form
  • Abstract of proposed research project
  • Project description
  • Career history
  • Example of past research relevant to education
  • Curriculum vitae/resume
  • Reference letters

If you have questions or are unable to visit the online application, please contact us:
National Academy of Education, 500 Fifth Street NW, Washington, DC 20001; E-mail: