Sometimes the most ambiguous guidelines provide the most creative results. We are searching for applicants who are creative, curious, and open. We seek to identify students who demonstrate integrity, the capacity for vision and leadership, and potential for humane and effective participation in the world community. In your proposal please tell us where you want to go, and most importantly, why you want to go. Bonderman Fellowships enable students to undertake independent international travel to explore, be open to the unexpected, and come to know the world in new ways.
You must travel for a minimum of eight months in at least six countries in two or more major regions of the world. You are welcome, however, to continue traveling for as long as the money lasts, even if that is well after the eighth month.
If awarded a Bonderman fellowship in you can embark on your travels at any point between the time you are offered the award and June of the following calendar year (i.e., if awarded a fellowship in Spring 2012 you must leave by June 30, 2013).
No, this is to be a life-changing experience of total immersion in other places, peoples, and cultures and you cannot break it up into smaller sessions.
This is a solitary adventure that you must undertake alone. This is not to say that you cannot ever travel with other travelers, but you cannot take your spouse/partner/child on your travels with you. You also should not travel in organized, group tour situations.
No, this award is not to be used to fund research towards your degree, formal study at a foreign university, reconnect with your family heritage, or travel under a of formal organization.
While we encourage you to be as imaginative – and honest about your true desires – as possible when creating your itinerary, we do follow the advisement of the United States Department of State travel advisories and there are some countries that you are not allowed to travel in. If you propose to travel to a country with a high level of risk, we will want to know what makes you capable of safely and successfully traveling there.
Bonderman Fellowships are intended to introduce students to cultures, peoples, and areas of the world with which they are not familiar. Proposals to travel in areas of the world that an applicant is comfortable with and has significant experience in will not be considered as strong as those that challenge the applicant to stretch and learn new things about the world.
Preference will be given to candidates without extensive international travel experience, but that is not to say that some experience outside of the United States disqualifies you from consideration. We recognize that many applicants acquire international experience in their undergraduate, graduate, or professional roles these days; if, however, you have had a similar opportunity for extended solo travel in various regions of the world we will want to know what that experience lacked that you think a Bonderman Fellowship would provide.
No, applicants must hold US citizenship or permanent residence status to be eligible for this fellowship.
Your references should be people in a position to comment on your character, adaptability, reliability, and general qualifications to undertake a challenging and often solitary experience like the Bonderman. They should not be a family member or spouse/partner.
The application for each cycle is usually made available during the end of Autumn Quarter, and then closes after the deadline in Winter Quarter. Please see the Applying page for a link to the online Catalyst application for 2012.
No, the application deadline is final.
No, you don’t have to be enrolled to use the fellowship, though you do have to be enrolled at the University of Washington to apply (i.e., you must be enrolled in Winter quarter to be eligible to apply). You can even use the fellowship after graduation.
As long as you fulfill the obligations and responsibilities you take on when you accept the award then any remaining funds are yours to use as you wish. Should you fail to fulfill the requirements you will need to return a portion of the funds.
No, but we have posted short summaries of previous proposals online. Each Bonderman fellow is completely unique and so are the proposals that got them to the interview stage. We encourage you to not be hung up on what has worked in the past, but instead to focus on why you, why these countries, why now? What are you passionate about with regards to this opportunity?
If you have missed the information sessions please read the guidelines carefully and let your imagination soar. If you’d like to discuss the fellowship in more detail undergraduates may contact Brook Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org), and graduate/professional student may contact Marilyn Gray (email@example.com) and Helene Obradovich (firstname.lastname@example.org).