Deadline: 4th of January 2021

About the Zed Factor Fellowship

The Zed Factor Fellowship empowers aspiring aerospace professionals from underrepresented backgrounds to explore the innovative aerospace industry through a hands-on, practical experience at a leading company in the aerospace community.

Zed Fellows, A Diverse Community

Zed Fellows are a group of driven and passionate students who hail from underrepresented communities in the aerospace sector. Zed Fellows bring their unique backgrounds and perspectives, as well as technical skills to a community that enables them to reach for, and go beyond, the stars. The talented students of the fellowship will embody the Zed Factor, representing the z-axis or changes in altitude, to achieve a higher level of technical and societal impact, embrace innovation, and encourage expanding inclusivity. To achieve these milestones, specific emphasis will be made on encouraging applicants from Minority Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The Zed Factor Fellowship Program is for any student who:

  1. Hail from an underrepresented community or background.
  2. Have a passion for aerospace.
  3. Show leadership potential.
  4. Demonstrate technical or non-technical skills.
  5. Be a full-time undergraduate student and have completed 30+ college credit by end of 2020. Eligibility extends to all students enrolled in higher education including Community Colleges and Universities.

Other eligibility requirements:

  • All majors are eligible to apply.
  • Legally eligible to work in the U.S.

For more detail on eligibility please review our frequently asked questions section we have prepared. Contact us if you have any questions about your eligibility.


Candidates must complete one single online application in order to be considered for the Zed Factor Fellowship. The application contains three main sections and one optional section to be completed. The following four sections are described in detail below.

  1. General Information
  2. Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV) and Transcript
  3. Three Essays (Required)
  4. OPTIONAL: A maximum of two Letters of Recommendation (LOR)

The first three sections are required and must be completed and submitted by 11:59 PM PST on Monday, January 4th, 2020 to be considered for the Fellowship. The fourth section of the application, the LORs, are optional. Please email us at if you have any questions during the process.

Additional Details

RESUME/CURRICULUM VITAE & TRANSCRIPT: Zed accepts either a Resume or a Curriculum Vitae (CV) which should be no more than two pages in length and must include your overall GPA. If you’re unsure how to write a CV, take this opportunity to learn how. Please review this guide we have prepare for applicants here. You must also submit a transcript which can be the unofficial document.

We’ve prepared some detailed tips on how to create your Resume/CV if you need assistance please go here.

Details for the Essays and Optional Letter(s) of Recommendation

ESSAYS: We require all three essays prompts to be completed and must be submitted along with your online application to be complete. Please make sure to upload your essay responses as a single PDF file titled, “Essays2021_FullNameofApplicant”. Once you submit your application you will no be able to return and edit your application. Each applicant will only be allowed one submission. We will not accept any emailed essays as they must be submitted through the online application system.

Below are the required essays for the fellowship:

  1. In 350 words or less, answer one of the following:
    • You have just received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Write the announcement article of your award in the third person describing what it was for and why you won.
    • What are your career aspirations?
    • Congratulations, 10 years from now, a major newspaper wrote an article about you! What was this article about and what was the headline?
  2. In 350 words or less, explain your ideal community service project and how the Zed Factor Fellowship will help you achieve this project?
  3. In 500 words or less, answer the following: Why does your identification with an underrepresented community make you a strong candidate as a member of the aerospace community?

Some tips on thinking about your proposed community service project:

The Zed Factor Fellowship was created not only to ensure fellows who are not traditionally represented in the aerospace community, but also to bring the impact of those fellows, the learning and growth, to those fellows’ communities. All fellows are expected to give back to their communities, in a way they see fit, be it through providing mentorship to a younger community member, building a program in their high school, or finding another appropriate and compelling way to grow and expand the impact of the Zed Factor Fellowship beyond themselves.

We realize designing impactful and effective community service projects is both an opportunity and a challenge. We want to assist, but also realize that fellows know their communities better than anyone else.

Some thoughts to consider when thinking through how best to maximize the reach of a community service project:

  • Who is the audience you want to reach?  What are their needs and challenges?
  • How do you want the audience to feel from your project? (i.e., inspired, motivated, included, etc.)
  • How can the community service project amplify the learnings or findings of the fellowship?
  • Are there any unique relationships do you have that can contribute to the success of the community service project (membership in a local or national organization, mentors who can advise/assist, a special connection to a community leader)?
  • What special skills can you use to create a unique and impactful community service project?

There are plenty of online guides on how to build a community service project that you can tailor to this specific circumstance. Be creative, and keep in mind how you plan to measure the impact of your community service project and how it can amplify your Zed Factor Fellowship experience far beyond your internship.  

Good luck!

OPTIONAL RECOMMENDATION LETTERS: An optional maximum of two Letters of Recommendation (LOR) can be submitted for your fellowship application. They are truly optional so if you decide to have them written, please make sure that the recommenders are not writing about the same topics. These optional letters should help to complement your application and give our selection committee a better picture of who you are as a human being. For instance recommenders should be your music instructor, peer mentor, professor, internship/job manager, or anyone else who can speak positively about your character. These optional letters should be submitted either by you at the time of your online application or emailed by your recommender to

Please ask your recommender to write your full legal name, school name and date of birth at the top of the letter. Once the letters are completed use the naming convention “LOR2021_LastNameofApplicant__LastNameofRecommender” for the files and as the subject line for the email submission. Please make sure your letters are PDFs when emailing or uploading your LOR through the online application portal. Students who are unable to submit a letter of recommendation, or prefer not to submit a letter of recommendation, will be given full consideration in the application selection process.


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November 2020: Fellowship Application Open for Summer 2021.

January 4th, 2021: Deadline for Applications.

January/February 2021: Semi-Finalists are selected.

February 2021: Class of 2021 Announced.

February to September 2021: Zed Fellows conduct community service project. Company involved is encouraged but not required.

Late May to June 2021: Start of minimum 10 week Internships.

Summer 2021: Community Leadership Summit convenes.

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