Walter J. Jensen Fellowship


About the Fellowship

The Walter J. Jensen Fellowship was established in 2001 by Professor Walter J. Jensen (ΦΒΚ, UCLA) for the study of French Language, Literature, and Culture. The primary purpose of the Fellowship is to enrich, promote and improve education in the standard French language in the United States, through an award to educators and researchers to be used for education and study of French language, literature and culture.

Fellowship Details

  • The Fellowship is awarded for at least six continuous months of study in France and carries a stipend (adjusted annually for inflation) of $17,000. It is typically paid in two installments; the first is paid when travel to France is planned/booked, and the second when a final report is submitted to Phi Beta Kappa.
  • The Fellowship also includes funding for a single round-trip, economy-class ticket for the recipient to travel to France.
  • The Fellow is required to submit reports every two months, in English and French, describing progress made learning about French language, literature, and culture. The Fellowship will conclude with the submission of a final report suitable for scholarly publication in a venue such as The French Review, published by the American Association for Teachers of French.
  • The proposed course of study may be independent research or part of an accredited academic program. (The fellowship’s emphasis on “Standard French” excludes a focus on Creole, Quebecois, and other dialects.)
  • Preference is given to ΦBK members and to educators teaching at the secondary level or above.
  • Applicants are not required to be members of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

Eligibility Requirements 

The fellowship is intended for applicants who:

  • Demonstrate convincingly that an active use of the French language plays or will play a significant role in their current or future career;
  • Have a bachelor's degree in French language and literature from an accredited four-year institution;
  • Have achieved a minimum 3.0 GPA;
  • Demonstrate superior competence in French, per the standards established by the American Association of Teachers of French; and
  • Are U.S. Citizens

Application Process

Before applying, interested candidates should thoroughly read these eligibility requirements.

Applications will open in September 2024.

Applications must include:

  • A work proposal in both English and French
  • Transcripts from all institutions (Transcripts do not need to come directly from the institution.)
  • Three letters of recommendation
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Applications for the Jensen Fellowship


2024 Walter J. Jensen Winner

Katherine Brion, Associate Professor of Art History and Museum Studies at New College Florida, has won the 2024 Jensen Fellowship, awarded annually for the study of French Language, Literature, and Culture. It includes a stipend and round-trip travel to France for six months. Brion will use the Fellowship for her project Art for the Working Classes: Aesthetic Education Initiatives and the Democratization of the Visual Arts in France, 1894-1914.

Staff Contact

Please email with any inquiries or call (202) 265-3808