Fellowship FAQs

1.   When are the fellowship applications due?
Please see below for fellowship-specific deadlines and visit each fellowship page for more specific application details:

Louis and Gabrielle Bacon Environmental Fellowship

Black Family Fellowship

Dubin Fellows Program for Emerging Leaders

Emirates Leadership Initiative Fellowship

Fellowship for Serving African-American Communities

George Leadership Fellowship

Gleitsman Leadership Fellowship

U.S. Latino Leadership Fellowship

David M. Rubenstein Fellowship

Wexner Israel Fellowship

Zuckerman Fellows Program

2.   May I apply for more than one fellowship?
Students may apply for multiple fellowships at CPL, but we encourage applicants to be thoughtful about applying to the fellowship(s) that align(s) best with the applicants' experience and goals.

3. May I be awarded more than one fellowship?
Given limited number of available fellowship slots, no student student can be awarded more than one fellowship during any given academic year.

4.   Can I apply for a fellowship if I am a second year HKS student?
Harvard Kennedy School makes financial assistance decisions at the time when applicants are admitted and fellowship funds (excluding Zuckerman) are allocated for the duration of HKS studies. Thus, it is not possible to provide financial aid for students who are already at the Harvard Kennedy School or for returning students. CPL fellowships are available only incoming students with the exception of the George Leadership Fellowship and HBS/HLS candidates for the Black Family Fellowship (see additional eligibility details here). Candidates for the George Leadership Fellowships are individuals who are currently enrolled in the joint degree program offered through Harvard Business School (HBS) and Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). Applications are accepted from students only in the spring of the second year of the joint degree program. Continuing students (second and third year students) at HBS and HLS are allowed to apply for the Black Family Fellowship.

5.   Can undocumented students apply to a CPL Fellowship?
Applications are welcomed from all individuals applying to Center for Public Leadership fellowships regardless of immigration status. All undocumented individuals are eligible for consideration of CPL merit-based fellowship awards whether or not they have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA). If you have any questions about applying to HKS as an undocumented person, please contact the Harvard Kennedy School Office of Admissions.

6.   How should my application documents be submitted?
All application documents and supporting materials must be submitted via the Student Financial Services website with exception of the Black Family Fellowship and the George Fellowship these application links live on respective fellowship pages on the CPL website. No application materials will be accepted via email or mail. If you have a question about submitting your materials or experience technical difficulties, please contact the Student Financial Services Office at financial_aid@hks.harvard.edu or by phone at 617-495-1155.

7.   Will the Center for Public Leadership confirm receipt of my application?
Due to the high volume of applications we receive, CPL is unable to confirm receipt of applications. Applicants are invited to check the status of their applications on the online financial assistance application system.

8.   Will the Center for Public Leadership accept late applications?
No, all application materials must be submitted by the financial assistance application deadline.

9.   Does the Center for Public Leadership see my admission application to Harvard Kennedy School?
The CPL Fellowships Selection Committee will review the three letters of recommendation and resume that were submitted to the HKS admissions committee, in addition to the specific materials submitted for each fellowship.  

10.   I’ve encountered a technical glitch while working on my application or while submitting it. Who should I contact?
If you experience technical difficulties, please contact the Student Financial Services office at financial_aid@hks.harvard.edu or by phone at 617-495-1152.

11.   If I have an update to my application, who should I contact about it?
If you have an update to your application, please contact the Student Financial Services office at financial_aid@hks.harvard.edu or by phone at 617-495-1152.

12.   When will I know if I am a finalist and am invited to an interview?
 Finalists will be contacted in late February 2022 with an invitation to interview.

13.  How are interviews conducted? What is the dress code for the interview?
All interviews will be conducted virtually via Skype or Zoom. Applicants are encouraged to wear business attire for their interviews.

13.   If I become a finalist candidate for a fellowship, when will I know whether or not I will be offered the fellowship?
All finalists will be contacted by March 2022 regarding the status of their applications for the fellowship program(s) to which they applied. CPL will send notification letters by email during the same time frame.

 14.  If I receive a fellowship and plan to defer my HKS admission, may I defer the fellowship offer until the next year?
Fellowship offers cannot be deferred. Applicants who are awarded a fellowship and decide to defer their offer of admission to HKS are invited to re-apply for the fellowship program for the year they will enroll at HKS.

15.   What are the benefits of the Fellowship if I am selected?
Please refer to the specific fellowship page on the CPL website for details.

16.   What is the co-curricular program?
The co-curricular program includes weekly dinners, an annual fellows retreat, and robust leadership field experience trips grounded in discussions with visionary leaders whose work has significant impact. The program also includes faculty-led sessions focused on strengthening core competencies central to public leadership such as promoting strong character and ethics, mastering the arts of persuasion and negotiation, leading effective teams and organizations and fostering sound decision-making.  The co-curricular program is an active leadership development model designed to help students grow and develop their leadership skills. Students will engage in hands on experiential learning and will plan and execute a leadership field experience trip to examine regional policy issues, while directing a team-based, policy oriented service project. The co-curricular program also enables students to build lasting ties and networks that are a powerful force for change.

17.   Am I expected to attend all sessions of the co-curricular program?
Group cohesion and accountability are important elements to the fellowship experience. Attendance is expected at all fellowship sessions, with the exception of prior academic commitments. Active participation in all co-curricular programming is a requirement of all fellows for the duration of the award and is key to making the most out of the fellowship experience.

 18.   If I am selected as a CPL fellow and I enroll in a joining or concurrent program, may I apply my fellowship funding toward expenses at my other school?
No, fellowship funding and stipends (if applicable) may only be applied to the HKS cost of attendance.