While the term "fellowship" is used by a variety of different programs, generally fellowships:
Fellowship programs can be designed to support a range of activities including:
Fellowships have traditionally been awarded to graduate and post-graduate students, but there are an increasing number of fellowships available to recent college graduates in public policy, the arts, education, and other nonprofit fields.
Fellowships are structured to provide significant work experiences, and fellows are often expected to take on a great deal of responsibility quickly. Generally, fellows are provided with unique experiences that are not typically available to someone starting out in an entry-level position. This experiential learning component varies depending upon the fellowship program.
Training and Professional Development
Fellowship programs are known for their commitment to the professional development of individual fellows and often include intensive training. Key elements of this training might include:
Compensation is often considered the biggest drawback of a fellowship. Although most fellowship programs do provide a living allowance or stipend, it is typically not comparable to the salary of a full-time job. This financial compensation varies greatly - stipends can range from $10,000 to up to $25,000 for a 9-12 month program.
Other incentives are often provided to fellows such as healthcare coverage, student loan repayment assistance, and housing stipends.
Although eligibility requirements vary with the fellowship, most programs do look for:
Applications can be extensive and often include a resume, transcript, letters of recommendation and writing sample. Depending on the fellowship, there may be additional application materials required as well.
In addition, the application to most programs includes an interview, either a series of individual interviews, a single panel interview, or situational group interviews in which candidates work together to devise responses to a problem or question.