About the Woodrow Wilson Foundation - education fellowships

Building a Legacy of Excellence

For six decades, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has prepared the nation’s best minds to meet its most important challenges.education fellowships

The Woodrow Wilson Fellowships responded to a shortage of college faculty at the conclusion of World War II by offering talented students the opportunity to attend doctoral programs and begin college teaching careers.

As college enrollments swelled in the latter half of the 20th century, the Woodrow Wilson program trained generations of faculty, creating a well-known fellowship and becoming a hallmark of academic excellence.

Over time, the Foundation’s teaching fellowships and higher education fellowships have evolved to address emerging needs, serve specific populations underrepresented in the academy, strengthen designated fields, and support key stages in professorial careers. The Woodrow Wilson Foundation has awarded fellowships to more than 20,000 scholars, who now include 13 Nobel Laureates, two Fields Medalists in mathematics, 14 Pulitzer Prize winners, 35 “genius grant" MacArthur Fellows, two U.S. Poets Laureate, and 21 recipients of Presidential and national medals.

Today, Woodrow Wilson seeks to build upon this legacy of excellence, maintaining its historic commitments and attacking one of the nation’s most urgent contemporary challenges: the pervasive achievement gap between Americans, by race and income.

Using the prestige of our historic fellowships as well as harnessing new resources, the Foundation has created what we hope will be an influential fellowship to recruit exceptionally able men and women to careers in high school teaching. These Fellows, training in exemplary teacher education programs, will be prepared to teach in low-income communities and high-need schools.

Through this work, the Foundation seeks to dignify the teaching profession, encourage the most outstanding students to choose teaching as a career, and improve the quality of teacher education programs. At the same time, the Foundation will engage in initiatives designed to improve teacher education practice and policy.

Current programs and research address educational needs in three areas: