FELPS Application Process

Applications and recommendations are now closed for the 2021 Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service.  Out of fairness to all applicants, we regret that we are unable to accept any late applications or recommendations regardless of the reason for late submission. 

Applicants for the 2021 program who submitted completed applications by the deadline of noon EST on September 14, 2020 will be notified of our decision by October 5, 2020. For those applicants who are accepted, the $600 program fee must be paid in full by October 23, 2020 to participate in the fellowship. Payment information will be included as part of the acceptance packet.

All applicants must hold Saturday, November 7 from 9:00am-noon AND Sunday, November 8 from 5:00-7:30pm on their calendars for a two-part Orientation. Participation for the full time on both days is required.

*Information below is for historical purposes only. Applications for the 2022 program will be available in early August 2021. Please check back then. *


This year's program will begin in November 2020 and will be initially via Zoom, with the hope of transitioning to in-person programs if and when it is safe to do so. Fellows must have consistent internet access, a device with a camera that allows the Zoom application, and comfort participating via video (audio-only will not suffice for the program). Please see below for details regarding employment and location eligibility for this year's program. 

Please read through all of the information here before beginning your application, as applications cannot be saved. 

Thank you for your interest in the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service, a program of the NYU Leadership Initiative and NYU Wagner.

Complete applications, including a recommendation from your current direct supervisor, must be received by 12:00 noon (EST) on Monday, September 14, 2020.

1. To see if you are eligible for the program and to submit the strongest possible application, please start by reviewing the Eligibility Requirements on this page. You should then review the draft program schedule available here to ensure your availability for all Fellowship sessions. Only apply if you are able to attend the orientation and all sessions in full. If you have additional questions, including those regarding our virtual plans and location eligibility, please see the Frequently Asked Questions page.

2. Complete the Application Form, including uploading your resume and a short personal statement. Please note that the entire application must be completed at one time. You may wish to review the application form and personal statement prompt and then return to the form once you have collected all of the necessary information. The link to the application form can be found at the bottom of this page.   

3. Once you have submitted your application, you will receive a confirmation page with a link to the Recommendation Form to share with your supervisor. The letter of recommendation must be submitted online by noon EST on September 14, 2020. Out of fairness to all candidates, we cannot accept any late submissions for any reasons. In order to receive the link to the Recommendation Form and ensure that your supervisor has plenty of time to complete and submit the recommendation, please do not wait to apply until the last minute. Recommendations cannot be submitted until a completed application has been received.

4. All applicants should reserve from 9am-12pm on Saturday, November 7 and 5-7:30pm on Sunday, November 8, for the program's virtual Orientation. If you are unable to attend all of Orientation, we encourage you to apply for the program next year. No exceptions will be made for any reason, and accepted Fellows will not be able to participate in the 2020 program if they are unable to attend orientation in full.

5. We will notify all candidates of acceptance decisions by October 5, 2020. Those accepted will receive the necessary information about how to pay the program fee, which is due by October 23, 2020.  

Thank you again for your interest in the program. We look forward to receiving your application and to a wonderful fellowship year!

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Applicants must be recent graduates from an undergraduate institution. We expect a range of applicants, and there is no specific age limit, but accepted Fellows will have graduated from their undergraduate institutions (regardless of graduate work) in approximately the last two to four years and possess approximately two to four years of full-time work experience.
  • Most applicants will not have attended graduate school prior to the fellowship, but are still deciding if graduate education is in their plans and, if so, which professional programs. Applicants must be employed full-time in a public service position in the New York City area at the time of application, and must stay in a public service position throughout the fellowship (although they may change public service employers during the fellowship). Internships and part-time positions (including multiple part-time positions) do not meet this requirement.
  • Regarding applicants' current physical location: An important part of FELPS is the physical community created with fellows and alumni. 2021 applicants must be working full-time in a paid public service position typically based in the New York City area to apply for FELPS. While we will start this fellowship year virtually, we will move the programming to in-person as soon as is safe and all Fellows must be able to join in-person programming in Manhattan if and when it is safe for us to hold in-person sessions. If you normally live/work around New York City but are, at this moment, working remotely out of the city, you may apply only if you are committed to returning to NYC and joining in-person FELPS sessions in Manhattan if and when it is safe to hold these in the winter/spring. If we begin to hold in-person sessions and you choose to remain out of the city, you will not be able to continue participating in the fellowship. 

  • Applicants must not be currently participating in another significant fellowship program, development program, or attending professional-level classes. They must have the time to both attend evening sessions and complete assignments between sessions.
  • Applicants must notify the program of any changes to employer, role, or status after the time of application by emailing wagner.felps@nyu.edu. Failure to do so may result in the application being removed from consideration and/or an offer being rescinded. 
  • Applicants must commit to attending the mandatory two-part Orientation on November 7 and 8, 2020, as well as two to three monthly sessions, to start around 6:00pm. Applicants must also be willing to make the time commitment to meet all deadlines and complete all assignments including reading and writing exercises (approximately two hours per week in addition to the sessions) as part of exploring public service and charting a five-year career path with the guidance of FELPS staff and guides.
  • As the 2021 Fellowship will begin virtually in November 2020, participants will be using Zoom so long as the program is virtual. Fellows must have consistent internet access, a device with a camera that allows the Zoom application, and comfort participating via video (audio-only will not suffice for the program).

Program Fee

There is a $600 program fee to participate in the fellowship. 

This fee has been reduced for this year from the previous amount of $800 to account for the program beginning virtually. 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 $600 payment. 

Payments can be made via check or credit card, and payment information will be included as part of the acceptance packet for those who are selected for the program. The program fee must be received in full by October 23, 2020 for Fellows to participate.

The NYU Leadership Initiative subsidizes the bulk of the program cost for each Fellowship, which would otherwise cost more than $2,000 per Fellow. We regret that we are unable to offer scholarships or payment plans.

Selection Process

Selection of Fellows is based on the following criteria:

  • A demonstrated commitment to public service through relevant work and volunteer experience
  • Experience of, and/or potential for, advanced leadership
  • Commitment to discussing and dismantling the white supremacist systems that operate in the public service space to make the world a more equitable and just place for all

  • Willingness to authentically engage with other members of the fellowship in conversations around equity, inclusion, intersectionality, race, and other forms of oppression

  • Diversity of identities, public service organizations, and interests


Click here for the application form. https://wagner.nyu.edu/leadership/felps/appform

Have Questions?

Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions here.

We encourage you to review all pages about the fellowship on the Web site closely. If you still have a question, please email us at: wagner.felps@nyu.edu.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept phone calls but will respond quickly (within three business days) via email.