James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation

The James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation offers $24,000 James Madison Graduate Fellowships to individuals desiring to become outstanding teachers of the American Constitution at the secondary school level. As funding permits, the Foundation plans to offer one fellowship per state per year.

The 2021 application is now live.

Eligibility Requirements

Fellowship applicants compete only against other applicants from the state of their legal residence. To be eligible to apply for a fellowship, you must

  • Be a US citizen
  • Be a teacher, or plan to become a teacher, of American history, American government, or civics classes where you will teach topics on the Constitution at the secondary school level (grades 7–12)
  • Possess a bachelor’s degree or plan to receive a bachelor’s degree no later than August 31 of the year in which you are applying

Types of Fellowships

The Foundation offers two types of fellowships:

  • Junior Fellowships are awarded to outstanding college seniors and college graduates without teaching experience who intend to become secondary school teachers of American history, American government, or civics classes where you will teach topics on the Constitution in grades 7–12. Junior Fellows are expected to complete graduate study within two academic years of full-time study.
  • Senior Fellowships are awarded to outstanding current teachers who are required to complete graduate study within five calendar years of part-time study.
  • Frederick Douglass-James Madison Fellowship is a privately funded graduate fellowship offered to a person of color who is a United States citizen and a secondary level teacher or prospective teacher of American history, American government, or civics to earn a master’s degree studying the Constitution.

Constitutional Coursework

The Fellow’s proposed plan of graduate study should contain substantial constitutional coursework. Fellows are encouraged to choose institutions that offer courses that closely examine the origins and development of the US Constitution, the evolution of political theory and constitutional law, the effects of the Constitution on society and culture in the United States, or other such topics directly related to the Constitution. Whatever institution and whichever degree a Fellow selects, at least 12 semester credits (or 18 quarter credits) of constitutional study must be part of the Fellow’s program. Six of these semester credits are earned by the Fellow at the Foundation’s Summer Institute on the Constitution in Washington, DC.

Foundation’s Summer Institute on the Constitution

A major component of the James Madison Fellowship Program is successful completion of the four-week Summer Institute on the Constitution held in Washington, DC. Fellows attend the Institute after they have matriculated in a graduate program and commenced coursework.

The academic focus of the Institute is a graduate course entitled “The Foundations of American Constitutionalism.” Taught by constitutional scholars, this course is a study of the principles, framing, ratification, and implementation of constitutional government in the United States.