To: Prospective Watson Fellowship Candidates
From: Professor David Findlay, Watson Foundation Liaison & Chair, Colby Watson Committee
Subject: Watson Fellowship Application Materials and Procedures [READ CAREFULLY]
1. One hard copy of: (a) your personal statement (cannot exceed 1500 words); (b) your project proposal (cannot exceed 1500 words); (c) your application (the electronic version of the application form is available from me – I will email a copy of this to you after you send me a request via email); (d) resume; (e) grade transcript; and (f) an optional budget. For your personal statement and project proposal, both of these documents must be double-spaced. You must also include at the bottom of each document the word count. Specifically, you must include the following line at the end of each file: [word count = xxxx]. This word count will be verified. All of the material must be sent to D. Findlay, Diamond 345 by the above 2:00 p.m. deadline – late applications will NOT be considered. Please give the material to Dianne Labreck (Diamond 346) if I am not in my office when you submit your application.
2. In addition to submitting the above printed material, you must also email as an attachment (to: dwfindla) separate word (i.e., filename.doc) files that contain the personal statement, proposal, application, resume, and grade transcript. Where possible, please submit the files as a .doc (and NOT .docx) file. The files MUST be named as follows: (1) your last name first initial PS year; (2) your last name first initial PROJECT year; (3) your last name first initial APP year; (4) your last name first initial RESUME year; (5) your last name first initial TRANSCRIPT year; and (6) your last name first initial BUDGET year. For example, Smith D PS 2009, Smith D PROJECT 2009, Smith D APP 2009, Smith D RESUME 2009, Smith D TRANSCRIPT 2009, and Smith D BUDGET 2009. These attachments must also arrive by the above deadline. Note: Applications will not be considered unless both the hard copies and electronic versions of the above are received by the 2:00 p.m. deadline. There is, however, some flexibility with the reference letters. You must, therefore, plan ahead.
3. Official Colby transcript. Have Colby’s Registrar’s office send to D. Findlay, Economics Department. In addition to a hard copy of the official transcript, please submit directly to Dave Findlay an electronic version of your transcript. To do this, simply access your grade transcript, copy it, and paste it in a word file. Email this document to Dave Findlay as described in #2.
4. Budget. You may also submit a budget for your Watson year. The budget will provide information about travel expenses, … etc. This, however, is optional. If you do submit a budget, please refer to #2 about how to submit it.
5. Minimum of two letters of recommendation (and maximum of three)
Salutation: DEAR COLBY WATSON COMMITTEE
Have individuals both mail hard copies and email electronic copies to: Professor David Findlay (dwfindla), Economics Department, Colby College, Waterville, ME 04901. When you contact individuals about writing a letter of recommendation, it is important that you provide them with the Watson Recommender Guidelines. This document is available from D. Findlay and will be emailed to you upon request.
a. If the applicant chooses to have three letters of recommendation, one of the letters must be from someone outside Colby.
b. There is some leeway with the letters of recommendation. However, they should arrive as soon as possible after the above deadline. Please request that individuals (in addition to mailing a hard copy) send a copy via email to me (D. Findlay, dwfindla).
- Application materials are read by all members of the Colby Committee.
- If there are fewer than twenty candidates, all applicants will likely be granted Committee interviews.
- If there are more than twenty candidates, Committee interviews may be based on pre-selection.
- Interviews will take place approximately two weeks after the submission deadline.
- Committee interviews last approximately no more than twenty minutes.
- Selection of the FOUR nominees will be completed on the last day of interviews.
- Names of the nominees will be announced via email (to all applicants) within several hours after the last interview is conducted.
- A representative of the Watson Foundation will conduct full hour interviews with each of the FOUR nominees on campus sometime between November and February.
- Notification of final selection will be received on or near March 15.
- Copies of recent proposals and personal statements of Colby nominees can be obtained by request from D. Findlay. Simply email him to obtain several via email. Eventually, this material will be available on the web with access only to those current Colby students and faculty members.
- Pay particular attention to the information available on the Thomas J. Watson Foundation website. It is especially important that students become aware of the Watson’s return policy.
- Colby email addresses will be used when corresponding with applicants and eventual nominees.
- The key to a Watson is the combination of project and person.
- Why is this idea worth supporting? Why are you the person to carry it out?
- The best recommendations also come from people who can support both you and your idea.
- Care counts, so make sure your entire application is perfect.
- Some of the best proposals never get written because of time - start early.
- Ask friends, Committee members, or other professors to read and criticize your proposal. Please feel free to speak with any member of Colby’s Watson committee (see list below) to discuss your project.
- There is no GPA minimum for a Watson, but be prepared to explain poor performance.
- A Watson year requires tremendous independence ‑ can you handle loneliness?
- Going to x‑country for "inspiration" is not enough - a compelling reason must follow.
- Plan for a Watson, but don't plan on it‑‑create a variety of other viable options.
- For additional information about the Watson Fellowship, visit: