About the fellowship
The Walter J. Jensen Fellowship is awarded for at least six continuous months of study in France. The purpose of the award is to help educators and researchers improve education in standard French language, literature and culture and in the study of standard French in the United States. The fellowship, awarded annually, carries a stipend originally set in 1995 at $10,000, to be adjusted for inflation. The stipend for 2015 was $15,500. Phi Beta Kappa will also cover a single round-trip, economy-class ticket for the recipient to travel to France; some additional support may be available to those with dependent children.
Candidates must be U.S. citizens under the age of 40 who can demonstrate their career does or will involve active use of the French language. They must have earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year institution with a 3.0 minimum GPA in French language and literature as a major. They must demonstrate superior competence in French, according to the standards established by the American Association of Teachers of French. The recipient must report to Phi Beta Kappa every two months in both English and French. At the end of the fellowship, the Fellow must submit a summary report in English and French, which may be submitted (preferably in French) to a scholarly publication such as The French Review. Preference may be given to members of Phi Beta Kappa and educators at the secondary school level or higher.
Notes and requirements
The fellowship is intended primarily to help educators and researchers improve education in standard French language, literature, and culture and in the study of standard French in the United States. “Standard French” is defined to exclude a focus on Creole, Quebecois, and other dialects. Applicants may not be native speakers of French.
Though applicants need not be members of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, preference may be given to members and to educators teaching at the secondary level or above.
The amount of the Fellowship is intended to help cover living expenses associated with six (continual) months of study in France. The Fellowship stipend was originally set in 1995 at $10,000, to be adjusted for inflation. For 2015 the stipend was $15,500. One-time, round-trip travel costs of the recipient will be covered as a separate expense and advanced in full by the Phi Beta Kappa Society. The recipient of the Jensen Fellowship takes responsibility for providing any other necessary supplementary income or savings to cover costs associated with the completion of study abroad for the six-month period of the Fellowship. Someadditionalsupportfromtheendowmentisavailableforthose who can demonstrate that they have one or more dependent children.
The Fellow will submit reports every two months, in English and French describing progress made learning about the French language, literature, and culture. The course of study may be independent research or part of an accredited academic program. 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).
History of the Fellowship
In 2001, Professor Walter J. Jensen left to the Phi Beta Kappa Society a bequest to establish a fellowship in French studies. In that bequest he established the conditions of the fellowship. Professor Jensen was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at UCLA in 1941. He spent his career teaching French, primarily at state institutions in New England.
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