The National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship Program supports 25 early career scholars working in critical areas of education research. These $70,000 fellowships support non-residential postdoctoral proposals that make significant scholarly contributions to the field of education. The program also develops the careers of its recipients through professional development activities involving National Academy of Education members.



The postdoctoral application for 2022 is now closed. Next year’s application will open in the summer of 2022.

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The postdoctoral application for 2022 is now closed. Next year’s application will open in the summer of 2022.

“The NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship program is special because it funds early career scholars from a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives. To date, nearly 800 current and former fellows have been awarded this prestigious fellowship, including many of today’s most productive and influential education researchers.”

Michael Feuer
Past-President, NAEd



Year’s Teaching Leave


Professional Development Retreats Led by Senior Scholars


Fellowship Stipend


The NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is open to all eligible applicants regardless of race, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation.

  • Applicants must have received their PhD, EdD, or equivalent research degree between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2020. Please note that this eligibility window has been extended to six years for this application cycle only, to accommodate for the impact that COVID-19 has had on scholars’ research.
  • 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.
  • Applicants may also not hold tenure status at the time of the application deadline.
  • 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.


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