National Academy of Education
Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Note to PIs: The following program summary is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It does not replace the sponsor’s actual funding opportunity announcement. Always review the most recent version of the sponsor’s full announcement to verify that the deadline has not changed and to identify the most current program requirements.

About the fellowship

The fellowship program is intended to support early-career scholars working in critical areas of education research. To that end, the NAEd seeks to fund proposals that promise to make significant scholarly contributions to the field of education and to advance the careers of the recipients.


  • Applicants must have received their PhD, EdD, or equivalent research degree between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2020. Please note, if you defended your dissertation in 2020 but did not receive your diploma, or were not conferred, until 2021, then you will not be eligible to apply for the fellowship this year. However, please do consider applying next year.
  • Applicant should have a demonstrated record of research experience in education.
  • Proposed project must be an education research project. NAEd funds studies that examine the efficacy of curriculum and teaching methods, however, we do not fund the initial development of curriculum or instructional programs.
  • Applications will be judged on the applicant’s past research record, career trajectory in education research, and the quality of the project described in the application.
  • Applications must be made by the individual applying for the fellowship; group applications will not be accepted.
  • Non-US citizens are welcome to apply.
  • Concurrent funding for the proposed project is not permitted. You may not hold a grant from the Spencer Foundation at the same time as this fellowship.

Award amount

$70,000; in addition, fellows participate in two professional development retreats. While these meetings offer dissertation writing support, they also provide opportunities designed to expand fellows’ networks, build research and career skills, and support their transition into professional roles.

Award period

One (1) academic year.

Application deadline

November 17, 2021.

Learn more


Last updated: July 2021.