The Thomas J. Watson Fellowship is a one-year grant for purposeful, independent exploration outside the United States, awarded to graduating seniors nominated by one of 41 partner colleges. The Watson Fellowship provides a grant of $36,000.  

Watson Fellowship candidates are required to be nominated by their institution. To be considered for Davidson College nomination, graduating seniors must apply to Davidson’s campus process. Davidson will select up to four students to nominate. No direct student applications will be considered by the Watson Foundation.

Campus Nomination Application Deadline: 12 p.m. (noon) EDT on Thursday, October 7, 2021

Important Dates

  • ASAP: Register with Davidson and open application
  • Thursday, October 7, 2021 at 12 p.m. (noon) EDT: Campus application and recommendation deadline
  • Week of October 18, 2021: Candidate interviews with campus committee (tentative; only certain applicants will be invited to interview.)

Register with Davidson & Open Application

All candidates must enter, upload, and save all materials to Watson’s application portal. Applications must be saved by the campus deadline to be considered for Davidson nomination.

To register with Davidson and gain access to the Watson application portal:

  • Review the Application Guide.
  • Select Watson Fellowship in the Fellowships & Scholarships Intent to Apply and Nomination Permission/Waiver (Google Form) and submit the form as soon as possible. Keep in mind that it takes 3-5 business days to process the form after submission and that the campus application deadline is 12 p.m. (noon) EDT on Thursday, October 7.
  • Within 3-5 business days after submitting your Intent to Apply form, you will receive an account creation email from the Watson Fellowship application portal. The account creation link will expire, so follow the instructions in that message as soon as possible.                                                                       

Application Guide & Template

For complete instructions, tips, and the application template, review Davidson's Watson campus application guide.

Recommendation Guidance

All candidates applying to be considered for Davidson nomination are required to download the Watson Recommendation Guidance handout and provide each recommender with a copy. Review information about requesting ONE campus recommendation in the attached application guide.

Advising Appointments

Potential candidates are welcome to schedule a Fellowships & Scholarships advising appointment with Gaylena Merritt, Associate Director for Fellowships & Experiential Learning. You can also schedule an appointment with Dean of Students Byron McCrae by contacting Tracy Bourgeois at

Recorded Sessions

 Sample Proposals

The Fellowships & Scholarships Program welcomes requests for reasonable accommodations related to disability and strives to make these resources accessible. Contact if you require accommodations.