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International Fellows Program > Emerging Leaders International Fellows Program & U.S. Diversity Fellowship (ELIFP & USDF)

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About the Emerging Leaders International Fellows Program & U.S. Diversity Fellowship 

NOTE: This program, originally scheduled for September to November 2015, will not be held this year.  Updates about this program will be posted here as they become available. 

The Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society's Emerging Leaders International Fellows Program provides leadership training through seminars with Third-sector practitioners, research based on best practices, and the application of a comparative framework.

Fellows are based at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York, where they design and pursue an individualized research project. In addition, they attend weekly seminars, explore work of key agencies and foundations, meet with nonprofit leaders and study U.S. and international community foundation models.

                                                                                                Photo by Amal A. Muḥammad

The 2014 Emerging Leaders International Fellows are (left to right):

Ainuska Sheripkanova, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; Mihaela Giurgiu, Cluj-Napoca, Romania;

Daniele Pietro Giudici, Milan, Italy; Ana Paula Borges Pinho, Sao Paulo, Brazil;

Julius Bantar Ndzinwa, Bamenda, Cameroon; and Natalija Simović, Belgrade, Serbia.

The program is geared to young scholar-practitioners interested in strengthening community philanthropy and building capacity in local Third-sector institutions. Emerging leaders at community foundations and similar place-based grantmaking organizations are especially encouraged to apply. This year's Fellows will be selected from abroad and also from communities of color under-represented in the U.S. grantmaking sector.

After review of application materials by the selection committee, top-ranking applicants may be offered an award to participate on one of the following bases:  full-award basis; partial award basis; or tuition basis. [See under "Eligibility and Selection" below.] 

Note that full awards (covering the cost of tuition, dormitory housing with a meal plan, a Metrocard for local travel, and group events) are reserved for applicants with strong ties to a community foundation or similar community-based grantmaking organization.  Award recipients will be selected from among those applicants whose strong institutional base will provide them with a platform to implement program learnings and research recommendations for the purpose of developing or strengthening local giving for local purpose.  

In addition to offering fellowship awards for the study of community foundations, the Center accepts proposals that explore other Third-Sector/civil society topics for participation with external support. Applicants proposing to study other topics should indicate in their personal statement that they are interested in participating on a tuition basis or with financial support from their home institutions.


Acknowledgements:  The Center gratefully acknowledges the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation for its core support for the International Fellows Program.  Additional support for the 2014-2015 International Fellows Program was provided by The Winnipeg Foundation, Metcalf Foundation, University of San Andrés, Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad (CEDES), Friends of the Fellows and program alumni from around the globe.


The 2015 Program

  The program will run from Tuesday September 15 to Monday November 30, 2015.

  The program focus will be community foundations and local place-based giving set within the context of the global philanthropic sector.   Additional trends and practices in philanthropy will be covered to provide background and to address the research interests of all participating Fellows.

  Drawing on the seminars, readings, discussions with leaders in the field, and the Fellows' own experiences, each participant will produce a research paper (approx. 20-25 pages) on their findings, which will be presented in the seminar. The papers should include recommendations for the development, adaptation or expansion of community grantmaking or another approved topic. It is expected that these recommendations will consider the variety of community foundation experiences around the globe, and will reflect the particular political, social, economic and legal frameworks in the Fellows' home countries.


Eligibility and Selection

  The program is open to practitioners and researchers in the US and overseas.

  College or university degree and strong spoken and written English language skills are required.

TOEFL scores or the equivalent are requested from those whose education was in a language other than English.  Alternately, please provide a statement describing your facility with the English language within your professional sphere.

  Applicants should have a minimum of 3-5 years of experience in the nonprofit/NGO/grantmaking field.

  Award recipients must have a strong institutional base and be well-placed to implement research recommendations.

  Preference is given to candidates who are 1) affiliated with a community foundation or initiatives to support the development of community philanthropy organizations and practice, and 2) who illustrate in their proposals a clear interest in furthering the work of community foundations and strengthening the local culture of philanthropy.

  Candidates affiliated with other institutions in the philanthropy sector who submit proposals on current trends and practices in philanthropy (other than community foundations) may apply for consideration on a tuition basis or with financial support from individual or institutional sponsors.

  A select number of full fellowship awards are available, which cover tuition, accommodations and other program-related costs.  These are earmarked for citizens of countries other than the United States or for United States citizens from communities under-represented in the grantmaking sector.  All other selected applicants will be admitted on a tuition or partial award basis as described below.

  Participation on a tuition basis or with financial support from individual or institutional sponsors is open to all, regardless of country of origin or residence. Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements detailed above to be considered for participation on a tuition or sponsorship basis. For further details, please send an e-mail request to the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.

  The selection of program participants will be made by a committee of leaders from the Third Sector.  _______________________________________________________________________________

The Award

  Full fellowship awards cover the costs of tuition, single-room dormitory accommodations with shared facilities at International House (adjacent to Columbia University) in Manhattan, medical insurance, program materials, local meetings, local travel and other selected program-related costs.


  Tuition-based or institutionally-supported appointments may also be made, pending approval by the selection committee.


Online Application Form

To apply, prospective candidates should complete and submit the online application form. (APPLICATION PROCESS IS CLOSED.)

Important Dates

Submission Deadlines

•  EXTENDED TO Monday June 8, 2015 -- For citizens of countires other than the United States who are residing outside the U.S. 

•  Tuesday June 30, 2015 -- For United States residents outside the New York/New Jersey/ Connecticut area.

•  Friday July 31, 2015 -- For United States residents of the New York/New Jersey/ Connecticut area.


Notification of Application Status

Notifications of whether an applicant has been accepted into the program will be forwarded via e-mail on or before of July 7 to each individual who has submitted a complete application package (including a CV and proposal) for consideration.  Owing to a high volume of interest in the program, notification of status will not be sent in response to incomplete submissions which lack a proposal or other critical elements.


Queries should be addressed the Center on Philanthropy and Civil SocietyPlease indicate "ELIFP 15" in the subject line.



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