NOTE: There will be no Fellowship Program in Winter/Spring 2013. Information regarding the Fall 2013 Program will be posted in April 2013.
Fellows are selected by the individual program units. Please note that not all units wish or can have Fellows due to the limited number of slots available. When examining an application, potential mentors are looking for someone whose combination of education and work experience match the needs of their units.
In some cases, this background will be similar to that of the staff in that unit. In other cases, they are looking for a background that brings to the unit additional perspective/expertise not currently on their staff.
Once a candidate is selected by a unit, they undergo two phone interviews. The first interview, conducted by the Fellowship Program Office, is to determine eligibility and to answer any questions the candidate might have. In the second interview, the potential mentor will describe the activities expected to be active during the fellowship period and determine whether or not the applicant is a good “match.” If there is a “match,” the Fellowship Program Office will transmit an acceptance letter to the candidate. If not, the next candidate is interviewed.
The Program is very competitive with generally less than 10% of applicants selected. The number of applicants has been increasing by approximately 10% - 25% per year.
Many applicants ask why they are not selected. There is no particular reason why. The National Academies conducts many different studies each year. Units look for individuals whose expertise and interests match the activities expected to be active during the fellowship period. While an applicant may not be a match this session/year, they may well be a match next year or in future years.