• Master class with Basil Twist. Photo by Pat Swain.

The Don Quixote Fellowships

When teachers are inspired, students benefit. The Don Quixote Fellowships supports idealistic, romantic, creative, impractical, adventurous projects born of teachers’ passions.

Projects can, but need not, be related to classroom practice: a science teacher might study Inuit poetry in Alaska or a pre-K teacher might carve a fifteen-foot marble sculpture. We are looking for applicants who use ingenuity in planning an original experience. (Read about previously funded projects.)

Applications for the 2020 Don Quixote Fellowships are no longer being accepted. The deadline to apply was December 15, 2019.


Applications with budgets between $1,000 and $5,000 will be considered.


The Don Quixote Fellowship is open to Fellows of The Academy for Teachers who have taught in a K-12 classroom setting for more than five years and who intend to remain in education for the foreseeable future.

We do not fund family vacations, fees for most professional development programs, or tuition for college classes.

Project Timeline

Projects must conclude by September 1, 2020. Recipients will be asked to submit a brief written report at the conclusion of their experience.

How to Apply

A proposal should demonstrate that the applicant is passionate about the project, is capable of completing it, and has researched logistics.

The online application requires the following materials:


No longer than one page. List teaching and relevant work experience, educational background, and honors and awards, as well as hobbies, interests, and skills.

Project Narrative

No longer than one thousand words. Include:

  1. Project title
  2. Fifty-word summary
  3. Rationale for the project, describing why it is important to you
  4. A detailed timeline of activities (when, where, how, and with whom)


In an Excel spreadsheet, list all expenses. Provide sources and explain how you arrived at each amount. (In most cases, the grant will be subject to federal income tax. Please include this tax liability as a line item.) Financial reporting instructions will be sent to grant recipients following the announcement of awards.

Letters of Recommendation

Please arrange for two letters of recommendation, each to be emailed as an attachment from the recommender directly to rachel@academyforteachers.org. One letter must come from an educator colleague. A strong letter of recommendation reflects the writer’s familiarity with both the applicant and the proposed project. Letters must be received by the December 15 deadline.

Finalists may be interviewed in person.

Winners will be announced by February 1, 2020.