The Policy Fellows program requires participants to make a commitment to professional and personal growth as part of a cohort. Fellows meet once a month as a group between September and early June (most often on Fridays), and travel to Washington, D.C., for a multi-day study trip with prominent elected officials and national leaders in public affairs. Fellows also engage in a group project of their own design, working with community partners to address a public policy issue. Policy Fellows can expect to spend 10 to 15 hours per month on activities related to the program.
Applications and recommendation letters for the 2013-2014 program must be postmarked or emailed by May 31, 2013. The application form asks for basic information, such as work history and community involvement, along with a brief essay. We also require two letters of recommendation. These can be from current or former employers, program alumni, or people you know in the community.
For 2013-2014, the program fee is $6,500. Some employers pay the program fee in part or in full from professional development funds. Scholarships are available, though all Fellows are asked to make some contribution to their program fee. Scholarship requests are not part of the application process; after new Fellows are selected, we follow up with each individual regarding their scholarship needs.
Scholarships specifically for nonprofit sector participants are made possible by generous gifts from the George Family Foundation and the Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota.
Questions? Contact Kate Cimino at email@example.com or 612-625-8330.
When will application materials be available for next year? When are applications due?
Typically, applications are due in the spring for the program beginning in September. For 2013-2014, applications are due May 31, 2013.
How many applicants are accepted?
We are typically able to accept about half of our applicant pool, to form a cohort of approximately 35 Fellows each year. Our selection committee (made up of program alumni and community members) seeks to admit a cohort representing the business, nonprofit, and government/public sectors.
What are the requirements or prerequisites to apply?
There is no specific educational or professional requirement for participation. You must live and work in Minnesota, even if some of your work is focused outside of the state. You can be from any part of the state; Fellows who come from outside the Twin Cities metro area may apply for lodging assistance.
How do I know if it’s a good time for me to apply?
It is a good time to apply if you’re looking for a leadership development opportunity outside of your immediate professional field; if you’re looking to get more involved in public affairs, public policy, or politics; if you’d like to expand your personal and professional network; if you are seeing how your work connects to other sectors or to the policy process. Typically, people who participate in the Fellows program are not enrolled in school full-time.
How do I know if I’m too early in my career, or too far along?
We are looking for emerging or mid-career leaders. Because of varying career paths, Policy Fellows tend to range in age from mid-20s to early 50s, with most in their 30s and 40s.
Is this a certificate or for-credit program?
The Policy Fellows program is a leadership and professional development program. Because it is based at Minnesota’s premier school of public affairs, the program draws on academic research and expert professors as well as distinguished community leaders. Currently, participation in the program does not result in a certificate, a degree, or in course credit hours toward a degree.
What is the time commitment?
Fellows participate in monthly full-day workshops, most often on Fridays, from about 8:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Typically, several articles or book chapters are assigned in advance of each session as preparatory readings. There is a three-day study trip to Washington, D.C., usually in late January or early February. Finally, Fellows engage in a group project of their own design, working with community partners to address a public policy issue; the bulk of this project work takes place in the winter and spring months. Fellows can expect to spend 10 to 15 hours per month on activities related to the program. While we realize things come up and conflicts can arise unexpectedly, you should plan to participate in all program activities if you are accepted as a Fellow.
How much does the program cost? What if I can’t afford it? Are scholarships available?
The fee is $6500 for the nine-month program, which covers all monthly workshops, meals, materials, the D.C. trip (airfare, lodging, and most meals), as well as program administration costs. Scholarships and installment payments are both available. Some employers cover all or a portion of the fee from professional development funds. We have a need-blind application process, so do not let financial concerns prevent you from applying if you are interested. Call Kate at 612-625-8330 with any questions.
What kinds of careers or professions are represented in the program? Who has participated in the past?
Fellows represent a very wide range of professional backgrounds. Check out the list of current Fellows on our website.
More questions? Contact Kate Cimino at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-625-8330.