The purpose of the Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program is to support high-caliber scholarship in the social sciences and humanities, making it possible for the recipients to devote time to research and writing that addresses pressing issues and cultural transitions affecting us at home and abroad.

The 2020 program will provide fellowships of $200,000 to between thirty and thirty-five exceptional scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals.


Andrew Carnegie fellowships are open only to citizens or permanent residents of the United States whose names have been forwarded by a nominator designated by Carnegie Corporation of New York. Nominators include heads of independent research institutes and societies, university presidents, leaders of some of the nation’s preeminent think tanks, directors of major university presses, as well as editors of leading newspapers and magazines.


Nominations are evaluated by the jury based on the following criteria: 
• Originality and promise of the idea 
• Quality of the proposal 
• Potential impact on the field 
• Record of the nominee 
• Plans to communicate findings to a broad audience


In 2020, there are four broad topic areas that include a wide range of suggested subtopics:
• Strengthening U.S. democracy and exploring new narratives
• Technological and cultural creativity—potential and perils
• Global connections and global ruptures
• Environments, natural and human

View the 2020 Andrew Carnegie Fellows Topics



Am I eligible for the Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program?
To be eligible, you must be a U.S. citizen or have permanent U.S. residency status and you must have been nominated by one of a designated group of individuals that includes university presidents, leaders of think tanks, and publishers.

How many scholars may each nominator put forward for consideration?
Each nominator may put forward a maximum of two scholars. Nominators from universities may nominate one junior and one senior scholar. Regardless of title, a junior scholar is defined as someone who received his/her Ph.D. within the last ten years (2009-2019, for the 2020 fellowship program). Nominators outside academe—e.g., the head of a university press or a newspaper—may nominate up to two people.

How is a junior scholar defined?
A junior scholar is defined as someone who received his/her Ph.D. within the last ten years (2009-2019, for the 2020 fellowship program). A junior scholar may hold any title, e.g., assistant professor or associate professor. The “junior” status is determined by the year in which his/her terminal degree was earned.

May nominators nominate individuals without a Ph.D.? Are nominees who hold degrees traditionally regarded as terminal in their fields (e.g., J.D., M.D., or M.F.A.) eligible?
We welcome candidates holding a terminal degree other than a Ph.D. In addition, we also welcome candidates with exceptional experience that qualifies them as a senior professional or intellectual, e.g., a journalist, author, theater professional, or current or former diplomat.

May my university charge overhead or other administrative costs for the fellowship?
No indirect/overhead costs will be allowed or paid to the university; the successful nominee shall receive the entire fellowship for support of his/her research project.

May we submit a nomination that involves researchers from multiple institutions or universities?
Yes; however, one nominee will need to be the lead applicant and receive and administer the fellowship. Other contributors may be brought in as partners or consultants.

When must the fellowship begin? Is it possible to defer the start for a year?
It is not possible to defer the start of the fellowship. It must begin no later than September 1, 2020.

What is the duration of a fellowship?
Recipients have the choice of a 12-month or 24-month fellowship that must begin on the first of the month between July and September of 2020.

Is the fellowship subject to income taxes?
Yes. The fellow may choose to receive the fellowship in one of two ways: As an individual—if you choose to receive the fellowship as an individual, you will receive a 1099 form from Carnegie Corporation at the end of the tax year. Through his/her institution—if the fellow chooses to have his/her institution receive the fellowship funds as a “payor,” his/her institution will assume all tax reporting responsibilities.

Can Carnegie Corporation provide advice about taxes?
No, Carnegie Corporation cannot provide tax advice. The fellow will need to consult a financial adviser. The fellow may allocate a portion of the fellowship to cover the cost of a tax consultation.

Will the university continue to provide benefits during the period of the fellowship?
In nominating a scholar for this fellowship, a university is indicating its continuing support for that scholar and the administration’s intention to provide in-kind support such as full retirement and health benefits when the scholar takes time off to work on his/her research and writing.

Am I required to discontinue teaching for the duration of the fellowship?
You may choose to receive the award over a one- or two-year period. During the selected period, you may opt to go on sabbatical for the entirety or a portion of the fellowship. You may also choose to teach classes part-time and/or to work on the project over the summer. On the application, please specify the time you will allot to working on the project. This will allow our jurors to determine whether it is feasible for you to accomplish your goals.

When and how will nominees be informed of the results of the competition?
Winners will be notified by email shortly after the jury makes its final choices. If your nomination is unsuccessful, you will receive an email notification in mid to late April.

Does Carnegie Corporation provide feedback on nominations that are not selected?
Owing to the large number of nominees we receive, unfortunately, we are not able to respond to requests for feedback.

If I have been nominated for the Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program in the past, may I be nominated again?
Yes, you may be nominated for the Fellows Program multiple times. However, we strongly recommend that applicants make substantive changes to their applications, as proposals identical to those that were not selected in the past are less likely to be successful.


Susan Hockfield, Chair
President Emerita, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Joseph Aoun
President, Northeastern University

Jared L. Cohon
President Emeritus, Carnegie Mellon University 
• Robbert Dijkgraaf
Director and Leon Levy Professor, Institute for Advanced Study

• Jonathan F. Fanton
President Emeritus, American Academy of Arts and Sciences

• Amy Gutmann
President, University of Pennsylvania

• Rush D. Holt
CEO Emeritus, American Association for the Advancement of Science

• Alberto Ibargüen
President and CEO, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

• Ira Katznelson
Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University

• Arthur Levine
President, The Woodrow Wilson Foundation

• Earl Lewis
President, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

• Marcia McNutt
President, National Academy of Sciences

• Alondra Nelson
President, Social Science Research Council

• Don M. Randel
President Emeritus, The University of Chicago 

• Louise Richardson
Vice-Chancellor, University of Oxford

• Pauline Yu
President Emerita, American Council of Learned Societies