American Association Of University Women Fellowships And Grants

American Association Of University Women Fellowships And Grants

American association of university women was founded in 1881 to promote education and equity for women and girls.

In 1881, the AAUW was established in Boston, Massachusetts, at a time when women could not pursue higher education and find employment in specialized fields. In addition to improving the lives of women and advancing their careers, AAUW believed that a larger proportion of college-educated women would benefit society as a whole.

By 1951, the AAUW recognized lobbying as a powerful tool for change. Through its early lobbying activities, the organization contributed to the establishment of the United States Department of Education. The AAUW Educational Foundation was established in 1958 to carry on a fellowship program that had been in place since 1888.

In the 1990s, the Foundation focused on increasing the diversity of its membership and providing fellowships to women from ethnic and racial minorities. AAUW established its Legal Advocacy Fund in 1981 to provide financial and legal assistance to women in educational settings who have been harassed or discriminated against because of their gender.

AAUW has three corporations: the Association, a 160,000-member lobbying and advocacy group; the AAUW Educational Foundation, which funds research and provides educational subsidies to outstanding women worldwide; and the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund, which provides funding and legal support to women in higher education who file gender-discrimination lawsuits.

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American Association of University Women International Fellowship

The American association of university women has organized international fellowships for women since 1917. The program provides financial assistance to women who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents and who wish to pursue a professional career while studying full-time graduate or postdoctoral studies in the United States. 

Women who are members of Graduate Women International can apply for a limited number of grants to study outside of the United States (excluding their home country).

By the application deadline, applicants must have obtained the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in the United States and have applied to their intended schools of study. The recipients are selected based on their academic accomplishments and devotion to women and girls.


  • AAUW national fellowships and grants are ineligible for international fellowships if the recipient has previously received one
  • Fellowships and grants from AAUW are not available to the board, committee, panel, task force, staff members, or current interns.
  • Women scholars within all disciplines can apply for an international fellowship at an approved institution of higher learning or research for postdoctoral fellows.
  • You may reapply if you were unsuccessful.
  • The following requirements must be met to be considered for an International Fellowship:
  • Have citizenship in a country other than the United States, or have a nonimmigrant visa if living in the United States. Women who are current U.S. citizens, permanent residents of the United States, or dual citizens of the United States and another nation are ineligible for the fellowship program.
  • Have earned an academic degree (earned in the United States or overseas) equal to a U.S. bachelor’s degree before November 15, 2021.
  • Throughout the fellowship year, devote full attention to the specified academic plan.
  • Upon finishing their education, they intend to return to their native country to seek a professional job.
  • Be fluent in English and demonstrate competence by providing one of the Required Components, which may include English proficiency exams, transcripts from English-speaking institutions, or a written declaration confirming that English is your native language. Applicants who intend to take one of the authorized English proficiency examinations should plan ahead of time and take the exam as soon as feasible.
  • Master’s/first professional degree applicants and doctoral candidates must have applied to an approved institution of study by November 15, 2021, and must include the name of the school in the International Fellowship application. While an acceptance is not necessary at the time of application, fellows must submit formal institutional confirmation along with the award acceptance paperwork.
  • Masters and first professional degree fellowships are for students seeking master’s or professional degrees, such as a J.D., M.F.A., L.L.M., or M.Arch., or medical degrees such as an M.D., D.D.S., and so on. Certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees are not eligible.
  • The fellowships are designed for doctoral degrees that are classified as research degrees, such as the Ph.D. and Ed.D.
  • They must have a doctorate classified as a research degree (e.g., Ph.D., Ed.D., D.B.A., D.M.) or an M.F.A. before November 15, 2021, and identify where they will conduct their research.
  • During their fellowship year, master’s/first professional degree applicants and doctoral candidates must be enrolled in a U.S.-approved institution.
  • There is a limited number of prizes available to Graduate Women International members for study or research in countries other than their own. Note that US institutions with international branches are considered to be located outside of the U.S.
  • Students may apply for the fellowship during any year of their program, but they must be enrolled in a full year of study or research. A single semester or year of study or research is not covered by an international fellowship. Fellowship programs that end before April of the fellowship year are ineligible.
  • A master’s or first professional degree fellowship is an alternative to classroom-based study at colleges or universities. Distance-learning or online programs, or degrees with a strong distance-learning component, are not supported by this fellowship program. Under these scholarships, AAUW will make the final determination of what qualifies as distant learning. AAUW will accept applications from applicants who are temporarily studying remotely at their university due to COVID-19 safeguards.
  • The amount of the award and the deadline for submissions
  • Masters/first professional degrees are worth $18,000, doctorates are worth $20,000, and postdoctoral research is worth $30,000.
  • Applications will be accepted from August 1, 2021, through November 15, 2021. Please note that applications, recommendations, and supporting materials must be submitted online by the deadline.
  • The results were emailed to all candidates. The AAUW cannot accommodate early notification requests.

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Selection and Application Review Criteria

Grant proposals are assessed by the group once a year. Awards are made based on the above criteria. Panel recommendations are subject to final approval by AAUW. In a given fiscal year, fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis according to the amount of money available.

To maintain a fair evaluation process, AAUW does not comment on the proceedings of its award committees. AAUW does not give application assessments. Fellowship bids are not reviewed by AAUW. AAUW owns the applications and supporting documents and will not return or retain them for another year.

All applicants who are residents of their native country at the time of application, from developing or emerging nations, or from an underrepresented group in any area will be given preference. All applicants must demonstrate financial need and a desire to pursue graduate studies or research.

Process of application

Begin the application process by selecting the Apply Now button on the right to access the application.

Provide three recommendations from instructors or professional colleagues who know you, your work, and your academic background. 

Whenever possible, recommenders should be academics or colleagues from the applicant’s home country who can comment on the applicant’s qualifications as well as the country’s need for the skill or knowledge she plans to gain through her study or research. AAUW does not accept dossier references from companies like Payment and Interfolio.

As proof of the highest degree, upload transcripts from the college or institution where it was acquired (not a diploma). At least a bachelor’s degree is required (must be earned by November 15, 2021).

The institution must provide an official letter from the institution where the degree was earned, along with the degree completion date, if the institution does not provide a transcript or a record of courses completed and grades earned.

Applicants who are currently enrolled in college or university must upload transcripts**/course lists/institution letters from their current college or university if they are currently enrolled there.

A transcript must include a list of courses taken and grades earned. Many transcripts do not include current courses. If you are unable to access your fall 2021 semester grades or they are not included on your transcript, the Office of the Registrar must provide you with a list of courses completed that semester.

When the institution does not have a transcript or a record of courses taken and grades earned, or if the degree did not require coursework, an official letter from the institution must be submitted along with the degree completion date. Upload one of the following as proof of English proficiency:

Official confirmation of TOEFL or IELTS scores that are accepted and legitimate. Results are valid for two years. TOEFL and other English proficiency exams will not be recognized.

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Minimum acceptable scores are as follows:

  • TOEFL IBT (Internet-Based Test): 79 points
  • TOEFL Fundamentals: 8.5
  • TOEFL paper-delivered Test-Revised: 60
  • IELTS score: 6.5

Written confirmation that the applicant’s native language is English. 

Academic transcripts or diplomas certifying one or more of the following:

Students must have a secondary diploma or an undergraduate degree from an English-speaking university. A verified English translation is required for all components in a foreign language. The translations must bear a certification mark or an official signature proving that they are authentic and complete.

Transcripts must include the applicant’s complete name, the name of the institution, all courses taken, and grades earned, as well as any other information required in the application instructions.

AAUW dissertation fellowship

This fellowship is intended to cover a scholar’s living expenses while she or he is working on her dissertation. The grant must be used during the final year of the dissertation.

In November of the previous year, applicants must have completed all course work, passed all preparation tests, and obtained permission for any research projects. Dissertation writing grants awarded in the year preceding the AAUW fellowships year are not eligible. 

Applicants from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. Those studying science, technology, engineering, and math, as well as those investigating gender issues, should apply.

Applicants must be citizens of the United States or permanent residents. Candidates are evaluated based on the intellectual brilliance, quality, and uniqueness of their project design, as well as their active commitment to helping women and girls in their communities, professions, or fields of research.

The eligibility criteria

  • Previous beneficiaries of any AAUW national fellowship or grant are not eligible for American Fellowships (not including branch or local awards or Community Action Grants).
  • Members of the AAUW Board of Directors, committees, panels, task forces, and staff, as well as current interns, are ineligible to apply for fellowships and grants.
  • Candidates for the American Fellowship must be US citizens or permanent residents.
  • American Fellowships are available to female scholars in all disciplines of study at an authorized institution of higher learning.
  • The American Dissertation Fellowship must be used during the last year of dissertation work. By November 1, 2021, applicants must have finished all coursework, passed all preliminary tests, and had the dissertation research proposal or plan approved. Between April 1 and June 30, 2022, the Ph.D. degree/dissertation must be completed. The degree must be conferred between April 1 and September 15, 2022.
  • Fellows are not mandated to study in the United States.
  • Students who have previously received a fellowship or grant to assist their final year of writing or finishing their dissertation the year before the fellowship year are unable to apply.
  • Applicants may apply for a fellowship for the same dissertation project up to two times.
  • The fellowship is designed for individuals who are nearing the finish of their first Ph.D. degree.
  • Fellowships fund traditional classroom-based courses of study at colleges or universities through distance learning/online programs. This fellowship program does not sponsor distant learning or online programs, or degrees that rely primarily on distance learning components. The AAUW will determine what qualifies for these scholarships as distant learning. As a result of COVID-19 safeguards, AAUW will accept submissions from applicants who are temporarily studying remotely at their university.

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The candidate must offer three references from advisers, coworkers, or those who are familiar with her, her project, and her teaching. The applicant’s dissertation advisor must provide one of the three recommendations. Recommendations that are standardized or form letters are avoided. References from dossier providers such as Payment or Interfolio are not accepted by AAUW.

Documents Transcripts. Please include transcripts for all graduate work and courses specified in your application. Grades for transferred-in coursework must be included on transcripts. 

A transcript from the institution where the courses were taken is necessary if the transcript displays transfer courses and credits without grades. If you attended a school that does not need coursework or transcripts, an institutional statement indicating this is necessary.

If you will conduct your project at a different institution than your own during the fellowship year, submit the form indicating that you have permission from the institution and the authority with whom the work will be done to conduct the research, laboratory or office space, and library privileges during the fellowship year. No substitutes will be allowed for this form.

For all components offered in a foreign language, a verified English translation is necessary. Translations must have a certification mark or an official signature indicating that they are genuine and full.

All transcripts must include the applicant’s complete name, the name of the institution, all courses and grades, and any other information needed in the application instructions.

American Association Of University Women Grants

Women with a bachelor’s degree who want to develop or change jobs or re-enter the workforce in education, health, and medical sciences, or social sciences can apply for Career Development Grants. Women of color and women obtaining their first postgraduate degree or certifications in unusual professions are given special consideration.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents who obtained their most recent degree before June 30, 2014. Tuition, fees, books, supplies, local transportation, and dependent care are all covered.

Career Development Grants were created by AAUW in 1972 to provide “encouragement” funds to AAUW members who wanted to renew or restart academic studies for credit toward career or employment progression.

Grants now fund courses beyond a bachelor’s degree, such as a master’s degree, a second bachelor’s degree, a certification program, or advanced training in technical or professional disciplines. Coursework must be completed in a recognized two- or four-year college or university in the United States, or at a fully licensed or accredited technical school by the United States Department of Education. There are no funds available for doctoral-level research.


Individuals who identify as women and meet the following criteria are eligible for Career Development Grants:

  • are citizens or permanent residents of the United States
  • have a legitimate (not honorary) bachelor’s degree on or before June 30, 2014, obtained their bachelor’s degree
  • Do not have a graduate or professional degree that was obtained (rather than an honorary degree).
  • Intend to enroll in or are currently enrolled in courses/activities essential for professional employment or promotion, and
  • Plan to enroll in or are currently enrolled in one of the following sorts of programs:
  • A bachelor’s or associate degree program that is not in the same field of study as the preceding bachelor’s degree.
  • Plan to enroll in, or are currently enrolled in, one of the following fields of study: Education; Medical and health sciences, and the social sciences.
  • All courses of study must be completed in a regionally approved two- or four-year college or university in the United States, or at a technical school properly licensed and/or authorized by the United States Department of Education. Applicants must reside in the United States for the duration of the award.
  • Distance or online learning programs will be supported only if they are delivered by a recognized institution on the list of authorized online/distance learning programs maintained by the US Department of Education. AAUW will make the final determination on what qualifies distant learning under these awards.
  • Applicants must identify their matriculation status on the application. While candidates are not needed to be enrolled or accepted into their desired school of study to apply, those who can demonstrate a strong commitment or intend to pursue the planned plan of study are given precedence. When submitting acceptance paperwork, awardees must be able to verify admission.
  • Previous beneficiaries of any AAUW national fellowship or grant are not eligible for Career Development Grants (not including branch or local awards or Community Action Grants). Members of the AAUW Board of Directors, committees, panels, task forces, and staff, as well as current interns, are ineligible to apply for fellowships and grants. A person who is currently the recipient of an award is eligible for election or appointment to boards, committees, panels, and task groups.


Applicants will need to submit recommendation letters from a college counselor or adviser, a teacher, or a job supervisor who knows them well must submit your recommendation. References from dossier providers such as Payment or Interfolio are not accepted by AAUW.

California American Association Of University Women

AAUW California offers over 100 branches that provide chances for local activism, networking, and initiatives to achieve equity for women and girls, among other things. Branches operate autonomously, with oversight from state and national bodies. Within such parameters, they select their priorities and initiatives.

As a result, two branches in the same location may have disparate interests and participate in disparate activities. They can simply “feel” differently to you. Before determining which branch to join, we recommend visiting a meeting or event at least two local branches. You have three choices:

The presence of the new organization in California began in 1884 when the San Francisco branch was created. With thirteen active branches in the state by 1921, branch leaders saw the need for a statewide organization. In October 1921, the AAUW California constitution was ratified.

With approximately 12,000 members in 125 chapters and over 5,000 members at large, AAUW California is the state’s most active and varied women’s organization.

American association of university women scholarships

AAUW chapters and states provide financing for local scholarship programs for qualifying women across the United States. Scholarship amounts and qualifying requirements are determined by participating branches and states, and applicants apply directly to the opportunities for which they are qualified.



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