Who is eligible for the William T. Grants Scholars Program?

Investigators at all nonprofit institutions, both in the United States and abroad, are eligible. Applicants must be within seven years of receiving their doctoral degrees or completion of their first medical residencies. Applicants must be nominated by their institutions.

May I apply if I already have a career development award?

Applicants can apply for the Scholars’ award if they already have a career development award (e.g., K-awards). The Scholars’ award must add significant value beyond what is supported by the other career development award.

What is meant by career-ladder position?

For many applicants, this means holding a tenure-track position in a university. Applicants in other types of organizations should have a clear trajectory for advancement in a research career. The organization must be fiscally responsible for the applicant’s position.

May doctoral students apply? How about postdoctoral fellows?

This award is not intended for students or post-doctoral fellows.

May an institution nominate more than one candidate for the Scholars’ Award?

An institution may nominate more than one candidate, but only one applicant may be nominated from a major division of an institution each year (e.g., College of Arts and Sciences, Medical School).

Who should submit the nominating statement?

The chairperson of the nominating college or division is responsible for submitting the nominating statement. The nominating person is usually the dean.


Is a letter of inquiry part of the Scholars’ application process?

The Scholars Program does not require a letter of inquiry. Applicants must be nominated by their institutions before submitting any materials.

Are references typically from colleagues at the applicant’s institution?

Reference letters can be submitted by anyone chosen by the applicant except proposed mentors.

What distinguishes a research grant from a William T. Grant Scholars award?

The William T. Grant Scholars Program is a career development award designed to enable promising early-career researchers to expand their expertise. This is a highly prestigious award and early-career scholars often seek it as their first choice. Research grants fund research projects.

What is the difference between this program and the K award?

Similar to many K awards, the Scholars Program is a career development award with a mentoring component.

Application Budget

What is the indirect cost rate?

The indirect cost rate for Scholars Awards is 7.5 percent of total direct costs.

Can the budget include support for graduate students and study participants?


Is any funding provided for the mentor?

Mentors cannot be funded with monies from the award. In exchange for their annual program reports, the Foundation pays a $500 honorarium.


How many mentors should applicants propose?

The Foundation allows Scholars applicants to propose one to two mentors for the first two years of the award. The mentoring plan for the latter years will be developed in consultation with Foundation staff after the second year of the program.

Can mentor letters and recommendation letters come from people at another institution?

Mentor and supporting letters may come from another institution. This is encouraged if it leads to mentoring relationships that would not happen without this award. Deepening a relationship with a new colleague often adds greater value than proposing a former advisor.