The Jefferson Scholars Foundation announced a shift in its Jefferson Fellows Program for students studying in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GSAS). In order to better meet the challenges facing graduate students today and in response to changes in the landscape of higher education, beginning in 2022, the Jefferson Fellows Program will provide up to two years of dissertation completion and postdoctoral support, including a living stipend, health insurance, and research funds.

The new focus of the Jefferson Fellowship, developed in close partnership with GSAS administration, is designed to ensure that outstanding graduate students at U.Va. have the opportunity to complete ambitious dissertations, to gain independent teaching experience, and to launch distinguished careers in an increasingly challenging academic job market. Under this new model, Jefferson Fellowships will bridge the dissertation completion year and the postdoctoral year, choreographing the Fellows’ transition from graduate student to careers as faculty, professional researchers or public intellectuals.

Successful applicants will be those who have exhibited a capacity for the highest levels of scholastic achievement and who have made significant progress in completing ambitious dissertation projects that have the potential to transform their disciplines. The strongest applicants will also demonstrate a commitment to sharing their knowledge discovery with a broader audience through achievements in teaching and academic outreach. 

Fellowship Overview

In year one of the program, while completing their dissertations, Jefferson Fellows will be assigned a teaching mentor within their discipline or field of interest. Mentors will advise Fellows as they design an independent course. Fellows will have the opportunity to teach their independent course during the spring semester and will deliver a public presentation at the Jefferson Scholars Foundation based on their research. The fellowship will include the standard departmental living stipend, tuition and fees, health insurance (medical and dental), and a research fund of $5,000.

In year two, Jefferson Fellows will join the College Fellows as an Engagements Post-Doctoral Fellow. Post-Doctoral Fellows will be responsible for developing two courses in one (or two) of the Engagement domains, teaching a total of six sections of these courses (2-credits each) in the 2024-25 academic year. Students in the lab sciences will continue to be paired with their disciplinary mentor during the second year; flexible accommodations will be considered for those who desire to combine their Engagements teaching with an active lab affiliation.




The Foundation supports world-class graduate students through Jefferson Fellowships and National Fellowships.

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Distinguished Professorships

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The Jefferson Scholarship and the Walentas Scholarship are the premier undergraduate scholarships at the University of Virginia.

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