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What is a Fellowship?
Finding Fellowships
FAQs about Fellowships


What is a Fellowship?

Generally, fellowships:

  • are short-term opportunities lasting from a few months to several years
  • focus on the professional development of the fellow
  • are sponsored by a specific organization seeking to expand leadership in their field

Fellowship programs can be designed to support a range of activities including graduate study in a specific field, research to advance work on a particular issue, developing a new community-based organization or initiative, training and reflection to support the fellow's growth, and opportunities to further explore a particular field of work.

 Finding Fellowships

  1. Search fellowship sites such as:
  2. Search job listings - Do a keyword search using "fellowship" while reviewing listings on sites such as Idealist.org. Also, search for "internships" as some fellowships may be structured as internships. 
  3. Talk to current fellows - Most fellowship websites profile current and former fellows, many of whom are happy to speak with prospective applicants. Intiate contact with fellows to get the inside story on their experience. 

FAQs about Fellowships

Why pursue a fellowship?

Experiential Learning

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:

  • academic seminars to develop frameworks and apply theory
  • in-depth research and analysis of a particular issue area
  • a broad curriculum of skills development which may include leadership, community organizing, public speaking, grant writing, and media relations

What is the pay for a fellowship?

Most fellowship programs provide a living allowance or stipend, yet it is not typically comparable to the salary of a full-time job. Financial compensation can vary greatly with stipends ranging from $10,000 to up to $25,000 for a 9-12 month program. Other incentives may be provided to fellows such as healthcare coverage, student loan repayment assistance, and housing stipends.

What is the application process?

Although eligibility requirements vary with the fellowship, most programs look for:

  • motivation, self-direction and personal integrity
  • highly developed interpersonal and writing skills
  • demonstrated leadership and potential for continued leadership

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.

Additionally, the application process for most programs includes an interview which may be 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.