James Madison Memorial Fellowship Program

To strengthen secondary school teaching of the principles, framing, and development of the U.S.

Constitution; to contribute to a deeper understanding of American government and to foster in both teachers and students the spirit of civic participation that inspired the Nation's founders.

Agency - James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation

Program Accomplishments

Since 1992, the year of the Madison Foundation's inaugural national competition, more than 800 Fellowship Awards have been made to prospective and existing secondary school teachers. There are currently 93 active Junior Fellows (prospective and Senior Fellows teachers) and 271 active Senior Fellows (existing teachers) from the fifteen classes of Fellows.

Uses and Use Restrictions

For future and current secondary school teachers of American history, American government, or social studies of grades seven through twelve.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

College seniors and college graduates without teaching experience (Junior Fellow) and experienced secondary school teachers of grades seven through twelve (Senior Fellows) may apply.

Beneficiary Eligibility

U.S. Citizens or U.S. Nationals will benefit.


A Senior Fellow must be a full-time teacher of American history, American government, or social studies in grades seven through twelve and be under contract or prospective contract to teach full time as a secondary school teacher of the same subjects. A Junior Fellow must possess a bachelor's degree or plan to receive a bachelor's degree no later than August 31 of the year in which he or she is applying. An applicant must have a demonstrated record of commitment to civic responsibilities and to professional and collegial activities; qualify for admission with graduate standing at an accredited university that offers a qualifying Master's degree program (a Master of Arts in history or political science, a Master of Arts in teaching, in history, or in social studies, a related Master's degree in education that permits a concentration in history, government, social studies or political science) which allows at least twelve semester hours or their equivalent of study of the origins, principles, and development of the U.S. Constitution and its comparison with the histories of other forms of government (six of these required twelve semester hours of constitutional study may be earned at the Foundation's required four-week Summer Institute on the Constitution); and be committed to teaching American history, American government, or social studies full time in grades seven through twelve after the receipt of a Master's degree for a period of not less than one year for each full academic year of study for which assistance is received under a fellowship, preferably in the State of the Fellow's legal residence at the time of the fellowship award.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Application materials may be requested by individuals who meet the eligibility requirements stated above.

Completed applications must be received by March 1.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Individuals wishing to apply for fellowships must request application materials from the Foundation. Applications must include: (a) Supporting information which affirms an applicant's wish to be considered for a fellowship; information about the applicant's background, interests, goals, academic record, and an explanation of the applicant's educational plans and how those plans will lead to or enhance a career as a teacher; (b) an essay of up to 600 words that explains the importance of study of the Constitution: 1) To young students; 2) to the applicant's career aspirations and his or her contribution to public service; and 3) to citizenship generally in a constitutional republic; (c) the applicant's proposed course of graduate study including the specific degree sought and the courses to be taken that leads to a Master's degree; and (d) three evaluations that attest to the applicant's academic achievements and intellectual strengths and to his or her potential or proven ability as a secondary school teacher.

Award Procedures

An independent Fellow Selection Committee will evaluate all valid applications and recommend the most outstanding applicant or applicants from each State for James Madison Fellowships. Applicants compete only against other applicants from the State of their legal residence. Applicants are evaluated on their: (a) Demonstrated commitment to a career in teaching American history, American government, or social studies at the secondary level; (b) demonstrated intent to pursue a program of graduate study that emphasizes the Constitution and offers classroom instruction in that subject; (c) demonstrated devotion to civic responsibility: (d) demonstrated capacity for graduate study, as well as proven potential performance as classroom teachers (for Junior Fellowship applicants) or proven outstanding performance as classroom teachers (for Senior Fellowship applicants); and (e) proposed courses of graduate study, especially the nature and extent of their subject content components and their relationship to the enhancement of the applicants' teaching and professional activity. In this regard, a content degree such as one in history or political science may enhance an application versus a MED or a MAT. Candidates recommended for fellowships by the Fellow Selection Committee will be named James Madison Fellows. The selection procedure will ensure that at least one James Madison Fellow (junior or senior) is selected from each State in which there are at least two resident applicants who meet the minimum criteria of eligibility and are judged to merit an award.


February 15, each year for request of application materials; March 1, each year for receipt of applications for the James Madison Fellowship competition.


James Madison Memorial Fellowship Act, Public Law 99-591, 100 Stat. 3341-76, 20 U.S.C. 4501-4517.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

April, each year the Fellow Selection Committee meets to recommend to the Foundation the appointment of Fellows; April, each year the James Madison Fellows are named by the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation (applicants are notified of selection results); May, each year the names of new James Madison Fellows are publicly announced.




Top contenders and applicants who were not awarded a fellowship are encouraged to submit a fresh application for the current year's competition. Top contenders may elect to sign a Resubmission Agreement authorizing their original application to be placed before the current year's Fellow Selection Committee for consideration for a fellowship award. A Fellowship Application Update Form is also provided if an applicant chooses to include such information.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

It is the intent of the Foundation to renew Junior Fellowships annually for a period not to exceed 2 calendar years and to renew Senior Fellowships annually for a period not to exceed five calendar years, or until a Fellow has completed the minimum number of credits required for the Master's degree, whichever comes first. Renewal will be in accordance with regulations established by the Foundation, subject to an annual review and certification by authorized officials of the university at which a Fellow is registered that the Fellow (if a Junior Fellow) is not engaged in gainful employment that interferes with the Fellow's studies and that the Fellow is making satisfactory progress toward the degree and is in good academic standing. In some cases, Junior Fellows may be permitted to study part-time and Senior Fellows to study full-time. The Foundation may suspend or terminate a fellowship when it obtains evidence that a Fellow is not making satisfactory progress toward the degree or is not in compliance with fellowship requirements.

Post Assistance Requirements


Each Fellow must complete the graduate degree study for which fellowship payments have been advanced and provide evidence of the receipt of a qualifying Master's degree within the amount of time indicated above.

This study must included participation in an annual Summer Institute on the Constitution.

After receiving the Master's degree, each Fellow must teach American history, American government, or social studies in grades seven through twelve for no less than 1 year for each full academic year of study under a fellowship.

A Professional Teaching Obligation form is required for annual verification of professional status as a secondary level school teacher.


Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Fellowships) FY 07 $1,091,000; FY 08 est $1,125,000; and FY 09 est $1,175,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Payments are made only for the actual costs of tuition, required fees, books, shared room, and board for the pursuit of qualifying degrees. The maximum amount of each award is $24,000, pro-rated over the period of study. In no case shall the award exceed $12,000 for one academic year of study. Normally, Fellows receive less than these maximum amounts. Payments are made only for the minimum number of credits required for the award of the degree for which a Fellow is registered and for no more.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

45 CFR 2400.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation. Contact: Mr. Steve Weiss, Director of Administration and Finance, 2000 K Street, NW., Suite 303, Washington, DC 20006. Telephone: (202) 653-8700. FAX (202) 653-6045. E-mail: sweiss@jamesmadison.com.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not applicable.

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