Fellowship FAQ

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Q: What’s the difference between NA National Fellowship and the NA CA Fellowship?

A: In the National Fellowship program, a hallmark of New America, New America finds new voices, particularly journalists and academics, bringing accessible policy writing to broad audiences. Our CA Fellowship program, in contrast, is designed to find social entrepreneurs based in CA who are doing work that relates to New America issue areas. We work with the CA fellows to tell stories about the work they’re doing, and we’ll help them create content to plug into our national media network. While the two fellowships are not mutually exclusive, it’s unlikely there will be crossover because of the different types of people we’re recruiting for each program.


Q: What are the key dates for the New America CA Fellowship?

A:  We are currently accepting applications for the 2017 CA Fellowship. You must submit your application by midnight on Friday, January 6, 2017. An internal selection committee will first select the strongest applicants in the pool. A second selection committee that includes valuable expert voices working across various content areas in business and the social sector will then make its selections among the finalists. The process will be complete and we will notify fellows of their selection by February 2017.

Q: Where is the fellowship located?

A: Fellows must be based in California (anywhere in the state). Other than that, there is no location requirement. Fellows will come together in Washington, DC for orientation and to attend New America's annual conference in May. New America CA is based in San Francisco, and fellows will gather in San Francisco approximately three times over the fellowship year, but travel costs will be covered.


Q: Is this a one-year fellowship? And what is the time commitment?

A: Yes, this is a one-year fellowship that runs from March 2017 to March 2018.

The time commitment will depend on the communication strategies that we develop with each fellow. For example, some fellows' work may be best served by hosting events that bring together key stakeholders, some may want to publish in outlets like The Atlantic or Slate, and others may be focused on producing multimedia content to reach their audience. All of those things take different amounts of time.

In general, we absolutely expect that fellows will continue their full-time work and commit to producing several types of content over the course of their fellowship year and that they host at least one event with us. At a minimum, we expect that to take ~15 hours per quarter, but if fellows want additional assistance promoting their work, there are opportunities to go above and beyond minimum requirements.


Q: Can non-U.S. citizens apply for the fellowship?

A: Yes. We accept applications from citizens and non-U.S. citizens. The important consideration is that no matter where in California you are based, you are able to involve yourself in the New America CA community. That may involve coming to our San Francisco space for events, attending or calling in to our Fellows Program sessions, and otherwise being engaged in conversations we are having at New America CA and in our hubs in Washington, DC and New York.


Proposals 

Q: What kind of proposals are you looking for?

A: Our end goals is to curate the best public problem solvers in CA and amplify their work.

A great proposal will describe who you are, the work you’re doing, the societal problem your work designed to solve, why it’s so important, and how your work is different and interesting. We’re looking for proposals that show alignment with New America’s program areas (see our website for the full list). Proposals should describe a forward-looking vision that is grounded in your experience in a given field.

While we’re agnostic as to your sector (journalism, private sector, government work, non-profit work), we’re looking for work that is civic-minded. Three of the fellowships will be reserved for applicants working specifically on education, technology for good and civic engagement. To learn more about past fellows, visit our Meet the CA Fellows page. 


Q: Are you looking for proposals that span different sectors (for-profit, non-profit, government), or will working across multiple sectors hurt candidates for the fellowship?

A: What is important to us is that fellows be working on solving social-sector problems in new ways. Whether that’s from a perch inside government, a company, a non-profit organization, a university, or something else, to us it’s the intent of the work that matters most, not the perspective of the fellow. That said, increasingly, collaborative partnerships across sectors are needed to make change in the social sector. So if bring together diverse coalitions will advance your goal and you’re already doing it, that’s a great thing that will only help your application.


Q: How do I upload a website to the application?

A: The app we use for applications won't let us upload anything other than files. We suggest that you screen shot the website(s) and URL(s) into a doc and upload that with any other specific instructions about what we should be looking for on the site.


Fellowship Activities

Q: Will the fellowship focus on activities for the cohort or trainings? What kind of support does the fellowship provide throughout the year?

A: Many former fellows and social entrepreneurs involved in cohort-based programs report that fellowship activities are hit or miss. Because we are focused on helping New America CA Fellows be as successful as possible in reach their goals and in building a personal brand, we are focusing on a small number of high-value convenings of the fellows throughout the year. The full range of support the Fellowship provides is:

  • Funding: New America CA provides a $30,000 stipend to each fellow to support their work.

  • Platforms: We want to help amplify the work of each of our fellows, both to help them better articulate and reach their target audience, and to raise their profiles as change-makers. We offer leverage for joining the public conversation, including opportunities to hold events, to publish with our digital magazine or with one of our many media partners such as the Atlantic and Slate, to connect with our broad network of media influencers, and to work with our robust communications team.

  • Community: While we will not force large numbers of Fellows gatherings, we do encourage Fellows to engage with each other and with the National Fellows. CA Fellows will have access to the two or three national fellows lunches (held in person and virtually) where fellows present their work to New America staff, casual get-togethers where fellows compare notes. There will also be two to three in-person gatherings for the CA Fellows over the year. Finally, we link CA Fellows to relevant programs in Washington, D.C. and New York so that the Fellows are plugged into the policy work of the programs and the program is able to help support the work of the Fellow.