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Douglas Dockery Thomas Fellowship in Garden History and Design 

Award: $4,000
Deadline: February 1

Sponsored by the Garden Club of America (GCA), this fellowship was established in 2000 by Mr. and Mrs. Wilmer J. Thomas, Jr. and is awarded annually to an exceptional graduate student to assist with study and research at a leading American institution. Eligible applicants must be U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (also called permanent resident aliens).

The purpose of the GCA is to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening, to share the advantages of association by means of educational meetings, conferences, correspondences and publications, and to restore, improve and protect the quality of the environment through educational programs and action in the fields of conservation and civic improvement.

This fellowship reflects and promotes the GCA’s interest in supporting garden history and design, and examining the future of gardens and their unique place in our environment. Today, with growing constraints on all open space, the art of the garden increases in importance. Professionals have expressed the need to focus on American garden history and design, and have expressed dismay at the lack of funding help for talented students.

Project study should have wide scope, such as investigating new techniques of garden restoration; studying how small gardens created by community groups have impacted public gardens; exploring and documenting physical, emotional and spiritual healing properties of the garden; and instigating the development of gardens that use ecological and regenerative concepts, to name but a few possibilities.

Selection criteria will include the degree to which the proposed fellowship work addresses GCA objectives, as well as the excellence of the student’s academic qualifications and person. 


To Apply

See the General Application Guidelines for information on using our online application system. All submissions must adhere to guidelines and deadlines in order to be considered. Additional materials will not be reviewed.


Application Contents

All LAF scholarships and fellowships require applicants to submit the following materials:

  • General Submission Form
    Complete this online form with basic contact information and details about your degree program.
  • Photo
    Provide a color headshot in jpg format that is at least 1800x1200 pixels. It should be horizontally-oriented, well-lit with a simple background, and include your entire head and shoulders. LAF retains the right to use any submitted photo on our website and in other materials promoting LAF’s scholarship programs.
  • Bio for the LAF Website (150 word max)
    Provide a short bio in PDF, Microsoft Word, or TXT format. In 150 words or less, describe your background, current educational pursuits, future plans, and any other personal interests or activities.
  • Resume (2 page max)
    Upload your resume or CV in PDF format. It should include your education, professional experience, extra-curricular activities, and honors and awards. Please include Applicant Name/Resume/Scholarship Name and page number on each page.

In addition, this fellowship requires the following:

  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
    One must be a letter of endorsement from the applicant’s faculty advisor that also certifies enrollment. Provide the e-mail address for each recommender and instructions will be sent to them.
  • Written Proposal (4 page max)
    Upload a proposal for the work to be undertaken in PDF format. The proposal must contain an objective, outcome and method. The document should have margins of at least 1” and use 10-point or larger font. Please include Applicant Name/Proposal/Fellowship Name and page number on each page.
  • Budget (1 page max)
    Upload a budget for the proposed work in PDF format. Please include Applicant Name/Budge/Fellowship Name and page number on each page.

LAF is grateful to the many individuals and organizations that provide financial support towards fulfilling our mission to support the preservation, improvement, and enhancement of the environment.

Much of what LAF is able to accomplish would not be possible without the thought leadership and financial investment of our major supporters, including ASLA, which provides over $125,000 of in-kind support annually.