The National Fellowship Program supports outstanding scholars at leading institutions of higher education who are completing dissertations in United States politics, with an emphasis on historical and institutional analyses of politics, public policy, and foreign relations. National Fellows have the opportunity to connect with and be a part of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation’s interdisciplinary community of world-class Scholars, Fellows, and Professors at the University of Virginia.

National Fellowship Program

Under the leadership of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation, the National Fellowship Program:

  • Funds up to four National Fellows per year to support dissertation research and writing
  • Pairs each Fellow with a renowned senior scholar in his or her field. These senior scholars serve as Mentors, suggesting relevant literature to frame the Fellows’ work, offering a critique of the Fellows’ writings, and providing general advice on research.
  • Supports Fellows in assembling collaborative research networks focused on their area of expertise as it concerns broader policy-facing publics. In addition to the Fellow, who is responsible for leading and maintaining the network, and the Mentor, who will assist in recruiting collaborators, networks may include former Fellows, Mentors, and faculty as well as graduate students of the University of Virginia.
  • Provides Fellows with training in skills relevant to leadership in academic research and institutions of higher education and policy-making more generally. Skills may include grant writing, data analytics, budgetary and statistical analysis, and public engagement (including social media curation, crafting op-eds and blogs, as well as expressing ideas through techniques employed by the digital humanities).


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