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The Ford Scholars Program at Vassar College supports faculty and student collaboration in summer research projects in the humanities and social sciences. Established in 1988 with a grant from the Ford Foundation, the program encourages students to explore life in the professoriate through an intensive academic experience with a Ford Faculty mentor.

Open to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors, faculty-proposed projects are between four to eight weeks in length and represent a diverse array of research areas. A typical project supports one faculty member and one student to engage in rigorous scholarship, teaching preparation, or course development. (Some projects may allow for up to two students to participate.) Students present their work at a public symposium with the potential for continued engagement throughout the academic year. The collaborative nature of the Ford Scholars program allows for a rich educational experience and strengthened relationships between faculty and students. Students earn a stipend to support their participation in the program. Students who are members of groups historically underrepresented or underserved are particularly encouraged to apply.

The success of the Ford program is reflected in the many student participants who have earned advanced degrees in the humanities and social sciences. The content and structure of many Vassar courses have been strengthened and transformed through these imaginative projects.

We fund approximately 18-20 projects every year across the humanities and social sciences. With Alexandra Hoffman, administrative assistant and Baynard Bailey, academic computing consultant, we are delighted to support this intellectual tradition of faculty-student engagement through research.

Christine Howlett, Ford Scholars Director

Funding is generously provided for the Ford Scholars Program by the following Foundations and individuals:

  • Mr. and Mrs. Noah Barnhart, Jr.
  • Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation
  • Terry Gordon Lee ’43 Memorial Internship
  • Donna Bergen ’67 MD and Thomas Madden MD Expendable Fund
  • Starr Foundation
  • John L. Weinberg Fund