Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How are we defining women of color

A: We are trusting applicants to self-identify their race, ethnicity, and gender. If you feel this fellowship aligns with your work, please apply.

Q: What are the short and long-term goals of the Fellowship for the Future?

A: This fellowship was created to recognize women of color in STEM who also work on projects that help make STEM more inclusive. Too often, this kind of work is overlooked and/or undervalued. The Fellowship for the Future is one way that 500 Women Scientists is trying to change this narrative. We hope this Fellowship sets an example for how the STEM community can take steps to value the efforts of these important STEM leaders. An equally important goal of this Fellowship is to increase the representation of women of color who are marginalized in their respective STEM disciplines. Through this Fellowship, we also hope to build a network of justice-oriented leaders and projects that reimagine and create a STEM community that is more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and socially just.

Q: Is U.S. citizenship required for this fellowship?

A: U.S. citizenship is not required to receive this fellowship. We are able to support fellows who are U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents residing within the U.S. or outside the U.S. We can also support persons in another authorized status, including undocumented applicants, who currently reside in the U.S. or a U.S. territory and intend to remain in the U.S. for the duration of the fellowship. 

Q: What type of STEM degree is required for this fellowship?

A: Applicants must have earned, or currently be working on, an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate in any applicable field related to science, technology, engineering and math. Those enrolled in a 4-year or 2-year undergraduate program should have declared a focus of study in STEM. 

Q: How will fellows be selected for participation?

A: Applicants will be judged primarily on their proposed project for its ability to increase inclusion, equity, diversity, social justice, or accessibility in STEM.

Q: How can funds given to fellows be used and is the honorarium taxable?

A: Project funds are required to be used as described in the recipient’s proposal and in line with charitable, education, or scientific purposes within the meaning of Section 501 ©(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. Honoraria and project funds awarded to individuals are typically considered taxable income according to current U.S. tax guidelines for non-employee compensation; we recommend consulting a tax expert for more information on how these funds affect your tax reporting.

Q: Are there any required commitments for participating in the Fellowship for the Future? 

A: Yes, fellows are required to submit a progress report at the end of their first year, including accomplishments and use of funds to date. Supplementary project funds for the second year are contingent upon successful completion of this report. Fellows are also required to submit a final progress report detailing the impact of their project and how or whether participation in the program supported its success. We strongly encourage fellows to attend as many of the additional opportunities associated with the program, though they are not required. Fellows are require to comply with applicable laws and regulations in the performance of their projects and expenditures of funds.

Q: Are funds received considered taxable income?

A: Generally, yes. Selected recipients will be required to furnish 500 Women Scientists with appropriate withholding certificates and tax information, including, for example, IRS Form W-8 or IRS Form W-9, as applicable, and any similar state or local tax form.

Q: Can I contact you if I have additional questions?

A: Of course! For more information on this program or how to donate, contact us at

Please check back for updated FAQ information