NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowships

The National Academy of Education (NAEd)/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship Program aims to strengthen research on education and learning by supporting early career scholars from a wide range of fields. Each year, the program funds a small group of outstanding advanced doctoral candidates so that they can devote themselves full-time to the completion of their dissertation. In addition to the $27,500 stipend, fellows participate in two professional development retreats. While these meetings offer dissertation writing support, they also provide opportunities designed to expand fellows’ networks, build research and career skills, and support their transition into professional roles.

This year 35 fellowships will be awarded. A selection committee of NAEd members and other senior scholars from diverse fields is responsible for selecting the award recipients. The following are basic criteria for selection: the importance of the research question to education, the quality of the research approach and feasibility of the work plan, and the applicant’s future potential in educational research. Please note that the dissertation fellowship is intended to support the writing of the dissertation during the last year(s) of doctoral work and cannot be used during the data collection phase of the dissertation.

Completed applications must be submitted electronically no later than  5pm Eastern Time on Thursday, October 3, 2019.

Answers to commonly asked questions about the dissertation fellowship are available on our FAQs page. If you have any other questions, please contact the NAEd by email at

Previous NAEd/Spencer Fellowship winners include:
2017 - Jasmin Sandelson
2015 - Anthony Jack
2012 - Megan Holland
2009 - Simone Ispa-Landa