- The Foundation is looking for applicants who are talented scholars, who may not otherwise be able to pursue a doctoral degree, and who show potential for developing the field of anthropology in their home countries.
- Applicants must show evidence of academic excellence in their prior training in anthropology or a related discipline.
- Applicants should also make a convincing case for choosing the Host Institution and the program of training they will receive at the Host Institution.
- The Foundation places considerable importance on the letters of reference from the Host Sponsor. Applicants are encouraged to make personal contact with the Host Sponsor prior to applying for the Wadsworth International Fellowship and to develop with that sponsor an appropriate program of training and study leading to the doctoral degree. If the applicant has not already earned a relevant Masters degree, the Host Sponsor should address whether he or she expects the applicant to be able to successfully complete their training (both the Masters degree and/or any other requirements of the doctoral program) and advance to candidacy, or otherwise be prepared to begin their doctoral fieldwork, within the three years of Wadsworth funding.
- Priority is given to applicants with well-articulated training and research goals. It is also important to demonstrate a good fit between the Host Institution, Host Sponsor, and the applicant's research goals.
- The Foundation prioritizes programs of study that promote its mission to support basic anthropological research into humanity's biological and cultural origins, development and variation. Applicants whose training and research objectives fall outside the scope of this mission statement and primarily emphasize more applied goals such as policy-making, public health, sustainability and conservation practices, primate conservation, heritage management, or salvage work on endangered languages are not normally competitive for funding.