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NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship on Educational Research

The National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship Program supports 30 early career scholars working in critical areas of education research. These $70,000 fellowships support non-residential postdoctoral 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.


The National Academy of Education (NAEd)/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship supports early-career scholars working in critical areas of education research. This nonresidential 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.


  • Applicants must have received their PhD, EdD, or equivalent research degree between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2017.
  • Applications must be made by the individual applying for the fellowship. Group applications will not be accepted.
  • The proposed project must be a research project.
  • Applicants may not be employees of the Spencer Foundation or the National Academy of Education.
  • This is a non-residential fellowship, and international applicants are encouraged.


  • Fellows may not receive other concurrent funding for their project during the tenure of the fellowship. Fellows may not hold a separate grant from the Spencer Foundation during their fellowship period.
  • Fellows must receive approval for their project from a human subjects review board prior to release of fellowship funds.


The fellowship of $70,000 will be awarded to 30 scholars. Fellows may elect to take the fellowship full-time over one year or half-time over two years. This is a non- residential fellowship. Scholars may conduct their research at their home institution or at another research site that they have arranged. During their fellowship tenure, fellows are required to attend three professional development retreats hosted by the NAEd and to make a formal presentation of their research to the Academy. The NAEd provides additional travel funds for fellows to attend these meetings.

Preparing the Application

All applications must be submitted through the NAEd online application. The NAEd will not accept any hard copy applications.

All materials must be received no later than 5 PM Eastern Time on November 1, 2018. Please account for time zone differences.

For any uploaded documents, please adhere to the following guidelines:

  • All applications must use 11 point Times New Roman font, double-spaced with one- inch margins. Do not reduce your font size—reviewers must be able to read all documents.
  • All applications and documents must be submitted in English.
  • All uploaded documents must be in pdf format. (NAEd staff will not support any document conversion to pdf.)
  • Do not include cover letters, a table of contents, or any additional materials.

The selection committee has recommended that the National Academy of Education reject, upon arrival, any application that does not conform to these guidelines. Please read and follow the application instructions carefully to ensure that your application is not rejected prior to review.

The final selection committee is comprised of scholars with varying backgrounds. Because the proposal is reviewed by a multidisciplinary committee, it must be compelling to scholars who do not have expertise in the given area. Getting feedback from colleagues and others who can provide constructive criticism is strongly encouraged. It may be especially helpful to enlist the help of a colleague with a different focus to ensure that the proposal is easily understood by the selection committee members with different disciplinary backgrounds. The NAEd also recommends reading “The Art of Writing Proposals”, an article published by the Social Science Research Council, for guidance on writing a strong proposal.

Please note, due to the volume of applications received, NAEd cannot confirm receipt of applications via telephone. Applicants will receive an automated e-mail upon submission of a complete application.

Application date
1 Nov 2018
1 year
America United States Great Lakes Mid-Atlantic
Social sciences Pedagogic & Education Research
Required post-doc experience: 
between 1 and 6 years
Grants available
Award granted
US$ 70.000