Watson Fellowship & Bristol Fellowship
"We're looking for seriously creative people...somebody who really wants to do something badly and learn more."
-- Thomas J. Watson, Jr.
Where can I go and What can I do on a Watson Fellowship?
- A wide range of topics is appropriate -- Watson Fellows pursue projects of deep personal interest.
- You can travel widely, you can choose to concentrate your time in several locations, or you can set up a principal base and move in and out of it.
- Any location that puts Fellows at an unacceptable level of personal risk would not be considered feasible by the Foundation.
A Watson recipient must...
- Be absolutely certain of the realities of living outside the US for 12 months.
- Have an abiding interest in the proposed subject.
- Demonstrate how this interest has been a part of your life.
- Make your proposal feasible. Do you have the necessary language skills? Can you identify necessary contacts to carry out the project, people who can help you reach your stated objectives? Think through the mechanics of your project thoroughly. Give evidence of some knowledge of the people, local conditions, culture, etc.
- Show flexibility in carrying out the project and ability to overcome obstacles that may rise.
- Articulate how the project will stretch your knowledge. Make sure that it is not too comfortable or a repetition of work previously done. Tie your proposal to your long-range development as a person. Give evidence of continuing interest in the field or area you propose to study.
The Watson proposal MUST answer and include the following:
: A clearly defined, concise idea of what you propose to do.
What are you proposing to do? What are the objectives of the proposal?
: Where will the project be carried out, what countries will you visit?
Why will it be necessary to visit these particular locations? Be specific.
HOW - METHODOLOGY.
How will you carry out this project? What are the methods you will need to use to pursue your objectives? (e.g., learning an instrument, working alongside specific people, interviewing people, attending festivals...). Be specific.
: With whom is it necessary to work, to meet – what are they doing and why are they important? Identify with whom you need to meet and be around and why they are important to the project...). Be specific.
When possible it is necessary to make contacts ahead of time.
WHEN - ITINERARY:
When will you be at your selected sites? Prepare an
itinerary to include at the end of your proposal. Try to be specific about your travel plans. Provide a realistic suggested travel schedule. Detail how you will divide your time between various places and activities. If possible, give a rationale for the travel arrangements, for example, site certain events or activities that require being in a certain place during a specific time.
- Proposal is too vague or too general -- proposed topic is not clearly defined.
- Proposal is too vague or too general regarding methodology and how the project will be managed.
- Proposal lacks supporting information that makes it feasible -- there is no
- evidence that specific contacts, places, or events have been identified.
- Proposal is too ambitious -- there are too many objectives that conflict or compete with each other.
- Proposal does not clearly address language issues or obstacles that may arise.
Personal Statement -- a thoughtful, cogent statement
Be selective. Include those elements that are of greatest relevance to judging your suitability for undertaking your proposal. Possible elements: influences, academic preparation, language skills, summer or campus jobs and activities, internships, hobbies, special honors, research, or prior travel. Also, you might give some indication of your life or career goals. It's okay to show a corner of your soul -- think about what you want the reader to know about you and how it influences your proposal.
proposal -- five pages, plus itinerary
personal statement -- five pages
resume -- must accompany proposal.