On this page you'll find much of the information you'll need to apply for a Watson Fellowship. As you probably know, the Watson "offers graduating seniors the time and money to pursue a personal project overseas." That language comes from the official Watson website, and it should give you a pretty good sense of what this fellowship is about.
In the last four years, seven Lawrentians have received Watson Fellowships:
- Carrie Bowles ('02) won a fellowship to Niger and India, where she studied jewelrymaking.
- Sally Schonfeld ('02) went to Chile, Tanzania, and Canada to live with women hunters.
- Ansel Wallenfang ('03) went to China and India, where he learned to play the tabla and the erhu.
- Rachel Hoerman ('04) went to New Zealand to study printmaking.
- Janie Ondracek ('04) went to France, India, and Japan, to study culinary customs and teaching techniques
- Ben Klein ('05) will go to Amsterdam, Sydney, and Hong Kong to network with other musicians and composers.
- Kelly Scheer ('05) will travel from Siberia to New Zealand, tracing the route of migratory birds.
If that sounds good to you--if there's a place you've always wanted to visit, a skill you've always wanted to develop, or a question you've always wanted to pursue--then chances are that the Watson is for you.
One of the greatest things about this program is that it gives people a chance to pursue their own interests and chart their own courses. As you think about what you might like to do on your Watson, don't worry about what "they" want or what "they" might be looking for. Think instead about your own dreams and ambitions. This is a once in a lifetime chance--not another hoop to jump through--so don't play it safe this time.
There are a few simple things to keep in mind:
- You have to apply in the year of your graduation from LU.
- Your project can’t involve formal study at a foreign institution.
- Your project shouldn’t take you back to areas where you’ve lived or studied for a significant length of time.
- You're not allowed to return to the USA during your Watson year.
- You're not allowed to go to any country designated by the U.S. State Department with a travel warning or under U.S. Treasury Department embargo.
Application materials are due on Friday, October 7, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. Bring them to Professor Spurgin's office (MH 102).
If you need a copy of the application form, one will be available here at the start of winter term.
As you'll see, a completed application should contain these things:
• the application form itself
• a copy of your academic record (courses taken, grades, etc. -- a printout from Voyager is fine)
• a 5-page project proposal
• a 5-page personal statement
• 2 letters of recommendation, at least one from a member of the LU faculty
After reading through the applications, an on-campus selection committee will interview about eight students. Those interviews will probably take place on Saturday, October 15. This year's committee will include Dean Seaman, Professor Privatt, and Professor Mark Jenike.
After the on-campus interviews, the committee will designate four students as official nominees for the Watson. The nominees will have a chance to rework and revise their essays before submitting them to the Watson Foundation on Tuesday, November 1.
The nominees will be interviewed here on campus by a representative of the Foundation. Those interviews will last at least an hour and may take place in fall or winter term. The winners will be announced in March of 2006.
A very good source of information is the website for the Watson Foundation.
If you're looking for basic information about particular countries, try the CIA World Factbook.
I've also prepared a list of frequently-asked questions, a handout on the project proposal, and one on the personal statement.
I've also placed on reserve in the library some sample essays by recent Watson winners.
Finally, please know that I'm happy to talk with prospective candidates at any time. Don't hesitate to e-mail me or swing by my office (MH 102).
last modified 06/04/05