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How to Apply


In the academic year 2017-2018, The Freedom Project at Wellesley College will sponsor fellowships for up to fifteen Wellesley students each year. The Adam Smith Fellowship program involves intensive student reading and research on the themes of liberty and freedom, broadly defined. Particular attention is placed on engaging in contentious debates and dialogues and expanding the range of ideas to include those that are underrepresented in American higher educational institutions.

Adam Smith Fellowships are highly selective and honor Wellesley students who are deeply committed to the rigorous life of the mind and the development of a commitment to intellectual diversity, pluralism, and tolerance that is necessary in the modern world.

Adam Smith Fellows enjoy special opportunities to meet and network with prominent public figures, global scholars, and professionals by attending talks and dinners at Wellesley College, traveling to conferences on freedom and liberty in the United States and abroad, and participating in fully funded internships worldwide.

Expectations and Responsibilities of Fellowship

Adam Smith Fellows are expected to:

  • Participate in bi-monthly meetings of The Freedom Seminar.
  • Attend all lectures by visiting speakers. Lectures times vary.
  • Attend the entirety of the lecture, and notify the Student Directors of any conflicts prior to submitting their application.
  • Engage in a research project throughout the course of the year and present their research at the distinguished annual Ruhlman Conference in the Spring.
  • Participate in the Freedom Project Wintersession Seminar on Liberty and Social Policy, which takes place in the third week in January for four days.  Fellows must commit to being on campus and participating in this Wintersession seminar as part of the fellowship work.  Housing and a stipend will be provided.

Eligibility and Application

Any Wellesley student, regardless of class year, political or philosophical orientation or major, may apply to the Adam Smith Fellowship Program. First-year students are especially encouraged to apply. The only prerequisite for participation is a commitment to the free exchange of ideas, freedom of expression, tolerance, and intellectual pluralism. The term of the Fellowship is September 27, 2017 through May 1, 2018. The application should include:

  • An interpretive essay on the theme, “The Meaning of Freedom”, no longer than two double-spaced pages.
  • An open response essay, no longer than two double-spaced pages, to the opinion piece, “Free Speech Is the Basis of a True Education.”
  • A suggestion of reading (a book, excerpt, or article) that you think would be appropriate to read in the Freedom Seminar, and on which you might want to lead a discussion. A brief explanation of why you think the reading is important should be provided, more than one paragraph.

Those who have met all of the expectations and responsibilities of the Fellowship will receive a stipend upon completion of the Fellowship in the spring.

Applications are due on Monday, September 19th and should be sent as attachments to: with a copy to the Freedom Project Coordinator, Caryn Sowa at:, and Senior Visiting Fellow Mustafa Akyol at:

Inquiries and questions should be directed to Senior Visiting Fellow Mustafa Akyol or Student Director Margaret Flynn Sapia ’19.