Atlas Corps Fellowship (USA)
Atlas Corps is an overseas fellowship for the world's best nonprofit leaders. Our mission is to address critical social issues by developing leaders, strengthening organizations, and promoting innovation through an overseas fellowship of skilled nonprofit professionals. The Atlas Corps Fellowship lasts 6-18 months and is offered three times a year. Fellows serve full-time at Host Organizations, develop leadership skills, and learn nonprofit best practices through the Atlas Corps Global Leadership Lab professional development series and networking opportunities with other Fellows who are skilled nonprofit professionals from around the world. This prestigious fellowship includes health insurance, enrollment in Atlas Corps Global Leadership Lab, flight and visa costs, and a living stipend to cover basic expenses (food, local transportation, and shared housing).
Eligibility for the Atlas Corps Fellowship
- 2 or more years of relevant experience in the nonprofit/NGO/social sector
- Bachelor's degree or equivalent
- English proficiency (oral, writing, reading)
- 35 years or younger
- Apply to serve in a country other than where you are from (U.S. citizens are not eligible for the U.S. Fellowship – check out our Fellowship in Colombia!)
- Commitment to return to your home country after the 6-18 month fellowship
In addition to the classic Atlas Corps Fellowship, a series of unique initiatives complement the diverse nature of our global exchange model. Read more about the eligibility requirements of each of these unique initiatives here:
- Atlas Corps America Solidaria Fellowship (for professionals from The Americas)
- Atlas Corps-CIPE Think Tank LINKS Fellowship (for think tank professionals)
- Atlas Corps-Asan Frontier Fellowship (for Korean professionals)
- Atlas Corps Civil Society Leaders Fellowship (for professionals from Sudan & South Sudan)
- Bassem Sabry Democracy Fellowship (for professionals from Middle East or North Africa with a background in journalism, international relations, political science, or other relevant fields)
These special initiatives may have separate eligibility requirements, but do NOT require a separate application. Applicants interested in these initiatives should simply apply for our U.S. Fellowship.
We consider applications on a rolling basis. You are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to be considered for one of our classes that begins in January, May, or September. Final decisions are made 4 -8 weeks before the class begins. For example, the January class decisions are made in November; May class decisions will be made in March; September class decisions will be made in July. You may reapply to our program, but you should only apply once a year, unless there is a dramatic change in your application, such as completing graduate school, winning an award, etc. Strong applications are considered for multiple classes unless the candidate withdraws their application. If you ever decide to withdraw your application from consideration, please email email@example.com. Due to the fast-moving nature of our selection process, we encourage applicants to check their email frequently for updates; otherwise they risk missing critical information or deadlines. If you are accepted to the Fellowship, there may be a quick turnaround time between your acceptance and the beginning of the Fellowship. Start dates are not flexible, and assuming your visa is approved, you must begin your Fellowship with the class to which you are accepted.
The application process is a four-month cycle that repeats itself. You may apply at any time and be considered, but we encourage you to spend some time on your application, including having it be reviewed by a peer, and then submit it as early as possible and not wait for any deadlines. Here is the approximate annual calendar:
July 15 - Priority deadline for the January Fellowship. Applications are taken year round, but earlier applications tend to be more successful.
July 15 - October 15: Applications reviewed and interviews conducted
November 1-30: Most final decisions made this month.
January: Fellows arrive for orientation and begin service at Host Organizations
November 1 - Priority deadline for the May Fellowship. Applications are taken year round, but earlier applications tend to be more successful.
November 1 - February 28: Applications reviewed and interviews conducted
March 1-31: Most final decisions made by this month
May: Fellows arrive for orientation and begin service at Host Organizations
March 15 - Priority deadline for the September Fellowship. Applications are taken year round, but earlier applications tend to be more successful. (Priority deadline extended to April 3, 2015!)
March 15 - June 30: Applications reviewed and interviews conducted
July 1-31: Most final decisions made by this month
September: Fellows arrive for orientation and begin service at Host Organizations
1. Online Application: All applications need to be submitted online. We will not accept applications via email or mail. You will need to create a login and you can save your responses so you can return to the application at any time. The application consists of background information, personal biography, essays, and letters of recommendation.
NOTE: In order to sponsor candidates to come to the United States for one year as a Fellow, we require detailed information about each applicant. The U.S. Government requires much of the information we are asking for in the application. Your responses also facilitate your Host Organization placement. Please answer each question honestly and accurately. It is critical to be honest and complete in your application. If you are found to be dishonest in the application, you will NOT be accepted as a Fellow and you will be sent home if you have been accepted.
2. Letters of Recommendation: Atlas Corps requires two (up to three) letters of recommendation from individuals who know you in a professional capacity and can write about your skills and experiences as well as your potential for success as an Atlas Corps Fellow. You will need to send your request for a letter of recommendation directly through the application system. Your recommender will receive an email that asks for a recommendation. More detailed instructions can be found in the online application form. Recommendation letters should be submitted within two weeks after submitting your application.
3. Review Process: Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee including Atlas Corps staff and nonprofit sector, government, and business leaders from multiple countries. English writing tests and phone interviews will be conducted with semi-finalists. Host Organizations will conduct Skype video interviews with selected finalists. Host Organizations will make their final recommendations to Atlas Corps, and Atlas Corps will notify the selected candidates.
4. Visa Process: After being selected, candidates will go to the U.S. Embassy in their respective countries to apply for a J-1 visa. Atlas Corps will provide support in obtaining this visa.
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