Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to frequently asked questions about the Fellowship.
What type of individual is the fellowship looking for?
FELPS is looking for young professionals who have the following characteristics:
- Commitment to public service. The ideal candidate will possess a varied work record, including summer, campus and/or volunteer experience in public service. In addition to his/her prior public service work, the ideal candidate will be able to convey a clear vision for a long-term engagement with public service.
- Capacity for leadership. The ideal candidate will have exercised leadership on some public service activity on campus and/or in his/her community and be recognized by their employer as having the potential for continued leadership.
- Position in public service. Participants should have a public service position in the New York metropolitan area that allows them to appreciate the breadth of opportunities within public service.
In assembling the group of participants, we are looking to construct a cohort that: (1) demonstrates diversity; (2) is drawn from undergraduate institutions from across the nation; and (3) reflects the broad range of public service positions.
What is the cost of the fellowship?
The program is heavily subsidized by NYU Wagner and the NYU Leadership Initiative. Therefore, the cost to each participant is $500.
We suggest that each fellow encourage their organization to fund their participation in this valuable professional development opportunity, but that is up to the discretion of the individual and organization; each fellow is ultimately responsible for the $500 payment. You can pay via credit card or check, and all necessary payment information will be included as part of the acceptence packet. Payment must be received in full by October 23, 2015 for Fellows to participate in the program.
Are there scholarships or payment plans available?
Unfortunately, we are not able to offer scholarships or payment plans. We do encourage Fellows to see if their organizations are willing to contribute some or all of the cost as an investment in their professional development.
The NYU Leadership Initiative, as well at FELPS alumni, subsidize the bulk of the program cost for each Fellowship.
If I am not currently working full-time for a public service organization, can I still apply?
You must be working full-time in a paid public service position in the New York City area to apply for FELPS and must remain in a public service position throughout the fellowship. Unfortunately, internships and part-time work do not qualify.
I recently graduated from graduate school, but your materials say most Fellows will have graduated from their undergraduate institutions within 2 to 4 years. Should I still apply?
Regardless of additional educational experiences, applicants should have graduated from their undergraduate institutions within the last 2 to 4 years. The fellowship is designed for emerging leaders who have not yet solidified their career interests with a professional degree and employment in a specific field -- for the most part, this means they will not have already pursued an advanced degree (Masters, PhD, JD, etc.). Many of our fellows choose to continue their education by enrolling in professional programs within a few years of completing the fellowship.
In what public service fields are Fellows employed?
We strongly encourage anyone in a public service position to apply. This includes people working for nonprofit organizations, government agencies, offices of elected officials, philanthropic foundations and programs, think tanks, and private corporations focused on public service work (such as corporate social responsibility programs or in partnership programs with government).
In the past, Fellows have come from a range of backgrounds and interests including: education, health, the environment, public policy, social justice, and international affairs to name a few. The program provides tools for successful leaders in any field of public service work. Sessions are not field-specific and are intended for emerging leaders across the full spectrum of public service, whether you are a public school teacher or a policy analyst in a government agency or nonprofit.
Who should write my recommendation and how long should it be? What do you look for in a recommendation letter?
Your current direct supervisor must write your recommendation. Recommendations from professors, previous supervisors or someone in a role other than that of your direct supervisor are not accepted. We understand that you may be new to a position and we take that into consideration when reading your recommendation.
Recommendation letters need not exceed one page. We look for examples of commitment and enthusiasm in your work, as well as your supervisor's recognition that you will be involved in a robust fellowship program that will require their commitment to ensure that you can attend all sessions on time and participate fully.
I cannot attend the all-day Orientation. Can I still apply for the program?
Unfortunately, no. The Orientation on Saturday, November 7, 2015 is mandatory for all Fellows. No exceptions will be made for any reason. If you cannot attend the Orientation this year, we encourage you to apply next year.
What is expected of Fellows during the program?
Fellows are expected to:
- Attend all events including a mandatory Orientation on Saturday, November 7, 2015, sessions approximately twice a month and a final reception. Fellows must be able to arrive at evening session locations (usually at NYU Wagner) by 5:45 pm.
- Meet all deadlines and complete all assignments (which will require approximately two additional hours beyond the sessions each week).
- Share thoughts, experiences and contacts with other Fellows and alumni.
Participants and employers will be asked to sign a statement of commitment at the beginning of the program for the full duration of the fellowship, which runs from November 2015 through May 2016.
If I still have a question about the program after reviewing the Web site, how should I contact FELPS?
If you have reviewed the Web site and still have a question, please email us at:
You can expect an answer to your email in three business days, but usually sooner.
Due to the high number of applicants, please do not call the program with questions. Email is the best, and fastest, way to have your questions answered.