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How to Apply for the Fellows Scholarship

The 2021 Fellows application deadline has passed. The 2022 Fellows application will be available this fall.

Step 1: Eligibility

To be eligible for consideration as a Davidson Fellow, applicants must:

  • Be 18 or younger as of the application deadline to be eligible.
  • Be a U.S. citizen residing in the United States, or a Permanent Resident of the United States residing in the United States, or be stationed overseas due to active U. S. military duty.
  • There is no minimum age for eligibility.

The Davidson Institute is looking for students whose projects are at, or close to, the college graduate level with a depth of knowledge in their particular area of study. This scholarship is not geared toward students at the novice level. See specific Category Requirements below.

Davidson Fellows must be available to attend, with one parent or guardian, the awards reception and other recognition events to be held in September in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Travel expenses and lodging will be provided by the Institute.)

Step 2: Review Category Requirements and Project Criteria

Scholarship Categories

Categories include Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Literature, Music, Philosophy, and Outside the Box.

See Requirements Checklists Per Category
A group photo of Davidson Institute students
Project Criteria Scholarships are awarded on the basis of significant work. Significant work is an accomplishment that experts in the field recognize as meaningful and has the potential to make a positive contribution to society. Such work may be:
  • an exceptionally creative application of existing knowledge
  • a new idea with high impact an innovative solution with broad-range implications
  • an important advancement that can be replicated and built upon
  • an interdisciplinary discovery
  • a prodigious performance
  • another demonstration of extraordinary accomplishment
Please note: Projects in the arts including photography, sculpture, film, visual, etc. are not eligible for consideration. Positive contributions to society made by past Davidson Fellows include:
  • Developing an approach leading to advancements in understanding gene functions in breast cancer research.
  • Creating a new approach to pharmaceutical drug development using artificial intelligence.
  • Developing a promising therapeutic option for highly aggressive cancers and a way to amplify existing chemotherapies.
  • Creating an inexpensive trap that detects mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus, making it ideal for remote locations and disadvantaged regions.
  • Creating a portfolio that takes an interdisciplinary approach to answer three main questions: What causes atrocities to occur? What can prevent these atrocities from occurring in the future? How do we remember genocide?

Step 3: Application Submission & Deadline

The 2021 application deadline has passed. The 2022 application will be available this fall. Please submit the initial portion of the application as soon as possible. This initial portion will ask you for your project title and description, as well as your nominators’ names and email addresses, if you leave any of these items blank, your application will be sent back to you for completion. Once the initial portion of the application has been submitted, your project will be held for review. When your project is approved, you will receive an email notification, and automatic emails will be sent to your nominators with the Nominating Form link. When the Nominating Form is completed, an email will be sent to the nominator and applicant confirming receipt by the Davidson Fellows program. When you have submitted all of your application materials, the Parent Form email will be automatically sent to your parent(s) SAMPLE Nominating Form (PDF)

Step 4: Review Process and Notification

Each submission is examined for completeness and accuracy. Qualified entries are then sorted by category and evaluated by an independent team of judges comprised of professionals with expertise in related domain areas. The team of judges may, at their sole discretion, consult with additional experts to assist in evaluating the merits of each submission. The independent team of judges will identify which applicants will be named Davidson Fellows and decide whether they will receive a $10,000, $25,000 or $50,000 scholarship. Judges' Project Selection Scale (PDF) All applicants are notified on or before July 15 each year. If you have any questions, please email The Davidson Fellows Scholarship Program does not discriminate based on race, gender, religion, ethnicity or disability.