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How to Apply


In the academic year 2019-2020, The Freedom Project at Wellesley College will sponsor fellowships for up to twelve Wellesley students. 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 the 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 meetings of The Freedom Seminar every two weeks.
  • Attend all lectures by visiting speakers. Lecture times vary.
  • Attend the entirety of the lecture, and notify the Lecture Coordinator of any conflicts as soon as possible.
  • Engage in a research project throughout the course of the year and present research at the annual student organized conference in the Spring.  Fellows will be paired with post docs or faculty mentors to support their research.
  • Participate in the Freedom Project Wintersession Seminar on Freedom At Home and Abroad, 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 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 in order to benefit from the range of opportunities that the Freedom Project network offers throughout a Wellesley career. 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 extends through May 10, 2019. 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 source (a book, excerpt, article or film) that you think would be appropriate to review in the Freedom Seminar, and on which you might want to lead a discussion. A brief explanation of why you think the resource 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.

An information session about the 2018-2019 Adam Smith Fellows program will be held on September 13, and applications will be accepted any time between the meeting on  September 13 and Monday, September 23 at 5 PM.  Applications should be sent as attachments to: with a copy to the Freedom Project Program Manager, Caryn Sowa at:

Inquiries and questions should be directed to Caryn Sowa, or Shingirai Taodzera,