The Susan Rappaport Knafel ’52 Scholarship for Foreign Study or Traveling Fellowship (seniors)

Campus deadline: ​11:30 pm on February 8, 2024 

Scholarship for Foreign Study – up to $36,000
The scholarship will be awarded to a member of the graduating class who displays a desire for learning and an ability to impart knowledge and judgment to others.  It will fund a year of study at a foreign institution to pursue a specific subject that requires contact with foreign scholars, libraries or other resources.  

Traveling Fellowship – up to $36,000
The fellowship will be awarded to a member of the graduating class who displays an interest in and an acceptance of others, and who displays the ethos of a Wellesley education.  It will fund a year of purposeful travel abroad to explore a particular interest with the requirement that the recipient not remain in the same area for more than two months.


Application Planning

This Watson Worksheet provides helpful advice to guide your thinking about a possible Knafel Travel proposal (please note you will not be able to edit the worksheet online but should download it and edit directly on your device).  If you’re considering the Knafel Scholarship for Foreign Study, this roadmap for funding for graduate/professional study provides step-by-step advice and detailed timelines. 

Timeline overview for application process:

  • February 8, 2024: apply by the campus deadline by filling out this form, submitted with all relevant materials (see below), to be considered for one of the Knafel awards

  • February/March: committee interviews

  • Mid- to late-March: Knafel decisions typically announced


Who is eligible?

  • Wellesley College graduating seniors

Please note: Students can only apply to one of the two Knafel awards.  Preference will be given to applicants who do not propose travel or study in an area in which they have already spent an extended period of time. A short list of candidates will be interviewed mid to late March. Finalists will receive a letter informing them of the committee’s decision after the first week of April.

What makes a strong applicant for this fellowship?

  • Those who propose to study or travel in a country in which they have not spent a significant amount of time;
  • A strong desire for learning and the ability to impart knowledge and judgment to others;
  • An interest in and an acceptance of others; and
  • The ethos of a Wellesley education.
  • It should be understood that study or travel will not be supported in the country of the candidate’s citizenship or residence.  If you have federally guaranteed student loans issued in your name, you may be eligible for a partial reimbursement. US tax laws apply.  

Regardless of their citizenship, applicants must adhere to Wellesley's travel policy for students and graduates. (Questions may be referred to

How do I apply?

Things to know: 

  • Before proceeding with your application, it is a good idea to discuss your plans with a member of the Fellowships team: it’s easy to make a Fellowships advising appointment online through Handshake, and appointments can be via telephone/video chat during Wintersession; or drop in to Fellowships Pop-Up Advising (see Events listings for details).
  • Since Wellesley’s Knafel Traveling Fellowship is similar to the Watson, applicants might also want to explore this opportunity and their helpful website and webinar… Then submit application materials described below via the form here.

Application checklist:

  • One reference: 
    • This letter should be written by a Wellesley faculty member who is not a member of the Knafel sub-committee, who is familiar with your work, and who may be consulted by phone if necessary. 
    • This reference should be confidential, should speak to your ability and strength as a candidate, and  should comment specifically on your proposal. 
    • Please give your recommender this link for letter submission; should they have any difficulty with the online form, please ask them to email their letters to
  • Resume or cv (2 pages max)
  • Transcripts: 
    • An unofficial copy of your most recent Wellesley College transcript (the version you can access online is fine) and copies of transcripts from any other institutions attended.  
    • Please request a grade report that includes this year's fall semester grades.  
    • If you transferred to Wellesley or studied abroad, those grades will not be entered on your Wellesley transcript - only course name and credits will be listed: please include an unofficial transcript or list of courses taken at schools other than Wellesley and indicate the grades you received. 
  • Wellesley Fellowships office signature document (please print, sign & date this form, then submit a scanned pdf or other image of the signed document along with your application materials)

These materials and all relevant documents below  (either for the Scholarship for Foreign Study or Traveling Fellowship) should be submitted through this form by 11:30 pm EST on February 8, 2024.

Scholarship for Foreign Study

  • Statement of Interest (one to two pages double–spaced): 
    • Describing your plans for the scholarship year, indicate your reasons for proposing a year of study and the course of study you wish to pursue. 
    • Tell us how your proposal relates to your life and academic work to date and how it will contribute to your plans for the future. 
    • Specify the program and institution you have selected and explain your choice.
    • When you expect to hear a decision about your application for study.  

or Travelling Fellowship

  • Statement Of Interest (one to two pages double–spaced): Describing your plans for your fellowship year, indicate your reasons for proposing a year of travel, how your proposal relates to your life and/or academic work to date and how it will contribute to your plans for the future.
  • Tentative Itinerary for Knafel Traveling Fellowship applicant (maximum two pages in outline format)
  • State the title of your proposal for the Knafel Traveling Fellowship  

Email or call Caitlin Roberts-Donovan at 781.283.2347.