You Will Need

An Application Form

All applications for Knowles Teaching Fellowships must be submitted online. You’ll be required to provide the following information in the application: your name, current mailing address, telephone number, email address, and how you found out about the Fellowship. Additionally, you must upload a current resume or curriculum vitae in PDF format.


The application requires you to write three essays discussing how you meet the three criteria (600 word maximum per essay). A strong essay will provide evidence of how you meet the criteria, be reflective, be grounded in your personal experiences, and allow reviewers to get to know you as an individual and a prospective teacher. We recommend that you avoid abstract platitudes about teaching and education, jargon or citing educational theories without personal reflection. Essay prompts will be made available once you register.

Letters of Recommendation

In the online application, you will be asked to enter the names and email addresses of three individuals who will each write a letter addressing one of the three criteria. These individuals will receive an email with instructions for submitting their recommendations online.


The Knowles Teacher Initiative requires unofficial transcripts for all post-secondary (i.e., college level) coursework to be uploaded to the application. Official transcripts will be required for individuals who are selected for the Fellowship.

We're Looking for Individuals With the Potential to Develop:

Content Knowledge for Teaching

Knowles seeks Fellowship candidates who have exceptional content knowledge in the area they intend to teach and who also have the capacity and drive to develop the specialized content knowledge needed to carry out the work of teaching. A strong foundation of knowledge in the discipline is a necessary first step for developing the content knowledge needed for teaching; hence we seek candidates who have at least the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in a discipline related to the subject(s) they intend to teach, who demonstrate a flexibility within and connectedness across their own understanding of the discipline, who are passionate about the discipline and have a desire and curiosity to continue to push their own understanding of even basic concepts within the discipline.

Exemplary Teaching Practices

Knowles Teaching Fellowships are explicitly designed to support beginning high school teachers; hence we are seeking candidates who are committed to working with adolescents and teaching math or science at the high school level. We do not expect candidates to display a mastery of teaching when they apply. Rather, we are seeking candidates who understand that teaching is highly complex, intellectually challenging work and recognize that, regardless of other experiences they may have had, it will take them considerable time and effort to become outstanding teachers.

Qualities of a Teacher Leader

Knowles is committed to strengthening the teaching profession by identifying and supporting outstanding teachers who can serve as leaders from within their classrooms, schools, communities, and the profession. These teacher leaders are capable of contributing to and supporting collaborative work in schools. They understand the power of collaboration and recognize the need to learn from and with others, can work as part of a team, and know how to lead by leveraging the strengths of team members. Teacher leaders also support collective learning including the generation of knowledge about and for the profession. Teacher leaders first and foremost strive to be outstanding teachers; in addition, they have the curiosity, vision and drive to work with others to understand and improve teaching practice in ever-wider circles of influence. They value diverse perspectives and ideas among stakeholders, and they assume responsibility for serving and supporting others. Knowles seeks candidates who have developed their capacity for collaborative leadership in previous experiences and demonstrate the propensity to continue to develop that capacity as leaders who remain in the classroom.



To be eligible for a 2020 Knowles Teaching Fellowship, individuals must:

  1. have the capacity and determination to commit to teaching as their primary career;
  2. have earned a degree in a major related to the mathematics or science discipline they intend to teach between 2010 and September 1, 2020;
  3. have earned or will earn a valid state teaching credential/certificate/license that enables them to teach mathematics or science in grades 9–12 in the United States no earlier than January 1, 2015 and no later than September 1, 2020; and
  4. be entering their first or second year as teacher-of-record during the 2020–2021 academic year.*

* For the purpose of eligibility, we consider an applicant’s first year of teaching to be the first year in which they teach full time for the full academic year as the teacher-of-record.

If you have questions about eligibility, please contact us at