Fellowships

US DEPARTMENT OF STATE PROFESSIONAL FELLOWS PROGRAM ON INCLUSIVE CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Apply for the Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Civic Engagement

DEADLINE: 31 March 2022

Learn about the Fellowship Program on Inclusive Civic Engagement and Apply Today!

The Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Civic Engagement is a professional program funded by the US Department of State for emerging leaders in Africa to exchange and implement best practices for inclusive civic engagement. The program will support approximately 19 disability rights professionals (Fellows) from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia to participate in a 5-week Fellowship Program in the US. Applications are due March 18, 2022.

What is the Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Civic Engagement?

The Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Civic Engagement is a professional program funded by the US Department of State for emerging leaders in Africa to exchange and implement best practices for inclusive civic engagement. The program will support approximately 19 disability rights professionals (Fellows) from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia to participate in a 5-week Fellowship program in the US.

What does this Fellowship Program involve?

As a Fellow, you can learn approaches to inform your efforts to build and strengthen fully inclusive civic societies for people with disabilities in your home countries. The core of the program is an individual Fellowship with a university-based research and education center for disabilities or similar host site organization in the US. As a Fellow, you will select a key policy or practice issue related to disability and civic engagement in your home countries. This policy or practice issue will provide a focus for your individual Fellowship placement training and will inform the project that you will design and implement upon returning home. The Fellowship training will also include weekly leadership seminars, mentorship, and community service.

  • Begin your US Fellowship: Work with US host site organizations, such as university-based research and education centers, during your customized Fellowship placement.
  • Develop a plan: Collaborate with colleagues from US host site organizations to design an individual project action plan that you will implement upon returning home (this is called the follow-on project).
  • Sustain your project: After your Fellowship in the US, your US host might visit your organizations in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, or Ethiopia to facilitate project sustainability and long-term collaboration.

Eligibility

This is a merit-based competition open to candidates in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia.

To apply, you must meet the following eligibility criteria. You must:

  • Be between the ages of 25 and 40
  • Be a citizen and resident of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, or Ethiopia
  • Be eligible to receive a US J-1 visa (Visit the US Department of State website for information about J-1 visas.)
  • Be proficient in spoken English
  • Be proficient in reading and writing English*
  • Have at least 2 or more years of professional work experience
  • Not currently participate in an academic, training, or research program in the US
  • Be able to travel to the US for a 5-week Fellowship beginning in September 2022 or March 2023 (Please see the program dates below.)
  • Commit to return to your home country for a period of 2 cumulative years after completing the Fellowship Program

*Please let us know if you use American, Kenyan, Tanzanian, Ugandan, or Ethiopian Sign Language. We will provide American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation or cover the cost for arranging interpretation in any of the other sign languages.

For more information and to check if you are eligible to apply, please review our Fellowship Eligibility Checklist [PDF].

We encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds, including individuals with disabilities, to apply. If you need an alternative format (e.g., Braille, electronic, large print) of the application form, please contact PFPInclusion@umb.edu

Selection Process

A panel of program staff and professionals working in the disability field in the US and in Africa will review all eligible applications and select and interview semi-finalists. Interviews will include an English language proficiency test.

The panel will evaluate your application based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated past leadership and collaborative skills broadly related to disability inclusion
  • Demonstrated ability as a leader to overcome obstacles and learn from failures 
  • Professional interest and/or experience and motivation to work on disability and civic engagement in your countries 
  • Knowledge and understanding of issues in disability and civic engagement in your countries
  • Quality of the proposed individual inclusive civic engagement project to be implemented in your countries upon completion of the US-based Fellowship placement (this is called the follow-on project) 
  • Capacity to plan, implement, and sustain this follow-on project 
  • English language oral and written proficiency*

* Please let us know if you use American, Kenyan, Tanzanian, Ugandan, or Ethiopian Sign Language. We will provide American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation or cover the cost for arranging interpretation in any of the other sign languages.

For more information, please review our Fellow Selection Criteria.

Application Instructions:

  • Type your answers in English into this online form.
  • If you need an alternative format (e.g., Braille, electronic, large print) of the application form, please contact PFPInclusion@umb.edu
  • Once you begin your application, you can come back any time to complete your application without losing your information. The system will save the information for you. Please use the same link on the same computer or mobile device where you originally started the application. If you need assistance, please contact PFPInclusion@umb.edu
  • You will have an opportunity to review your application responses and download a PDF of those responses prior to submitting your application.  
  • The application form has 5 sections: 
    • A. Program Eligibility
    • B. Your Profile
    • C. Your Leadership Experience and Project Proposal
      • You must respond to a set of essay questions. 
    • D. Letters of Recommendation
      • You must submit 2 letters of recommendation with your application.
      • One letter of recommendation must be from your employer (or professional colleague, if self-employed) that supports your application (2-page maximum).
      • The other letter of recommendation must be from an individual from outside your organization of employment who can attest to your experience and expertise related to disability inclusion and related issues (2-page maximum).
      • If you submit a letter of recommendation in a language other than English, you must include an English translation of the letter.
    • E. Pledge of Authenticity

We wish you the very best in your application preparation and submission!

If you have any questions or need assistance completing this application, please contact PFPInclusion@umb.edu

Click here to apply for the Professional Fellows Program on Inclusive Civic Engagement

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