24 Social Impact Fellowships for Mid-Career Professionals

Jan 14, 2022

Mid-career professionals collaborating on a social impact initiative

Last updated May 16, 2023

If you are a US citizen and looking for a hands-on way to make a positive social impact, check out the list of social impact fellowships for mid-career professionals! Mid-career fellowships are a great vehicle for career switchers interested to start a social impact career and for experienced social impact professionals interested to work with a specific organization, on a specific social impact challenge, and to expand their network and brand in the social impact sector. If one of these programs catches your eye, be sure to bookmark it to your ProFellow account! If you do not already have a ProFellow account, sign up now to gain access to our database of more than 1,400 funding awards for professional development and graduate study.

Social Impact Fellowships for Mid-Career Professionals:

1. 1 Hotels Fellowship at E2

1 Hotels Fellows will work in partnership with Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) Emerging Leaders Program to identify pressing environmental issues and needs across the country, and then organize and execute projects that help communicate and amplify the business and economic case for smart policies to address these issues. Fellowships are restricted to early or mid-career professionals who currently work in sustainability, clean energy, water, infrastructure, or related fields. Each fellow will receive a stipend of $20,000, plus other benefits.

Interested in applying to this fellowship? Read our interviews with multiple 1 Hotels Fellowship winners. In them, they share their background, fellowship experience, and application tips.

2. CFR International Affairs Fellowship

Launched in 1967, the International Affairs Fellowship (IAF) is a distinguished program offered by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) to assist early to mid-career scholars and professionals in advancing their analytic capabilities and broadening their foreign policy experience. CFR awards approximately ten fellowships annually to highly accomplished individuals who have a capacity for independent work. The IAF Program is only open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. The duration of the fellowship is 12 months and the program awards a stipend of $95,000.

3. Code for America Community Fellowship

Code for America’s Community Fellowship program pairs community members with local government to address inequities in service delivery. The primary purpose of the Community Fellowship program is to resource and train community members with project-related lived experience and partner them with their local government to more effectively address inequities in service delivery.

Interested in applying to this fellowship? Read our interview with Code for America Fellowship Winner Erik Michaels-Ober. In it, he shares why he applied for the fellowship and what he thinks made his application stand out.

4. Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program

Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law is offering a training program for global democratic leaders holding senior roles in their respective fields. The program brings together a group of 25 to 30 mid-career practitioners in law, politics, government, private enterprise, civil society, and international development from transitioning countries. For three weeks during the summer, fellows participate in academic seminars that expose them to the theory and practice of democracy, development, and the rule of law. Delivered by leading Stanford faculty from the Stanford Law School, the Graduate School of Business, and the departments of economics and political science.

5. Eisenhower Fellowships Global Program

Eisenhower Fellows are mid-career professionals, typically 32 to 45 years old, representing a diverse mix of private, public, and NGO sectors. Each Fellow travels independently around the United States following a seven-week individualized itinerary, meeting with relevant experts, professionals, and leaders to help them identify and take steps to implement concrete ways in which they can increase their impact once they return home. Depending on the program, spouses who are conversant in English may be invited to accompany Fellows.

Interested in applying to this fellowship? Read our interview with Eisenhower Global Fellowship winner Bernardine Vester. In it, she shares why she applied for the program and what she thinks made her application stand out.

6. Franklin Talent Exchange Program

The Franklin Talent Exchange Program (FTEP), formerly known as the Franklin Fellows Program, is a unique 1-year professional fellowship for senior and mid-level professionals to work as an expert or a consultant at the U.S. Department of State on a wide range of subjects that strategically align with foreign policy priorities in areas such economic growth, energy, agriculture, the ocean, the environment, and science and technology (STEM). The FTEP Fellowship is only for U.S. citizens who are able to get a security clearance and have a minimum of five years of relevant professional experience. FTEP Fellows are not compensated by the U.S. Department of State, they are sponsored by their employers. Check the website for positions and deadlines.

7. FUSE Executive Fellows

FUSE Executive Fellows are mid-career professionals who are committed to racial equity, have 15+ years of private sector experience, and are looking to transition their careers for greater social impact. Executive Fellows are embedded in a government agency full-time for one year. FUSE works closely with government and community partners to co-create fellowship projects based on their highest priority challenges. Executive Fellows receive a salary of $80,000 and have access to a range of benefit options. Fellowships are announced on a rolling basis throughout the year. Please check the website regularly for updates about projects and timelines.

Interested in this fellowship? Read our interview with FUSE Executive Fellowship winner Wilford Pinkney, Jr. In it, he shares his fellowship experience and application tips.

8. GLG Social Impact Fellowship

The GLG Social Impact Fellowship leverages GLG’s platform to help social entrepreneurs solve key strategic and operational questions, at no cost. GLG Fellows lead organizations at critical inflection points that are ready to pursue significant growth. During the two-year Fellowship, Fellows use tailored interactions with GLG experts, and with one another, to navigate challenges along the pathway to scale. Applying fellow must be Founder, Executive Director, and/or CEO with a strong track record and clear organizational vision of nonprofit, mission-driven for-profit, or a hybrid structure in operation~3-7 years and minimum 5 full-time staff.

9. Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program

The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program is open to professionals from diverse disciplines (including physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, dietitians, healthcare administrators, epidemiologists, economists, and lawyers from academic and practice settings), at all career stages, with a demonstrated commitment to health and aging issues and a desire to be involved in health policy at the federal, state or local levels. The program offers two tracks: a residential program (up to $120K), which is a 9-12 month placement in Washington, D.C., or at a state agency as a legislative assistant in Congress or professional staff in an executive agency or a policy organization; and a non-residential program (up to $30K), which includes a health policy project.

10. Henry Crown Fellowship

The Henry Crown Fellowship Program, established in 1997, seeks to develop the next generation of community-spirited leaders, providing them with the tools necessary to meet the challenges of business and civic leadership in the 21st century. Each class of Fellows is chosen from a wide pool of accomplished entrepreneurial leaders (between the ages of 30 and 45). The two-year program is comprised of a structured series of four seminars (approximately 24 days in total) under the guidance of skilled senior moderators of the Aspen Institute along with a required leadership Venture of each Fellow’s design and choosing. Individuals cannot apply for the Henry Crown Fellowship Program; they must be nominated by recognized leaders.

11. Innovation School Fellowship

The Mind Trust seeks talented leaders to launch high-quality, autonomous schools within the largest district in Indianapolis. Innovation School Fellows have the unprecedented opportunity to launch schools that have the freedoms, flexibilities, and autonomies of charter schools and the financial support and services of a district school, including a school building at little to no cost. Each fellow receives one or two years salary at up to $100,000 a year, healthcare, and benefits as they develop their school model. The Mind Trust seeks highly effective leaders, teachers, and charter operators with a proven track record of success and an entrepreneurial mindset.

Interested in applying to this fellowship? Read our interviews with Mind Trust Innovation School Fellowship winners Keeanna Warren, Brandon House, and Morrise Harbor. Keeanna and Brandon’s interviews included full-length videos where they share in-depth information about their fellowship experience.

12. Judicial Administration Fellowship (Capital Fellows)

The Judicial Administration Fellowship (Capital Fellows) program is both academic and professional. It includes full-time professional staff placements in California trial and appellate courts throughout the state and the Administrative Office of the Courts. A four-year college degree is required to apply. Recent graduates and mid-career professionals are eligible and encouraged to apply. Once accepted, fellows are enrolled as graduate students in Public Policy and Administration at Sacramento State University and attend regularly scheduled academic seminars, and earn graduate units for the successful completion of all academic requirements.

13. Loeb Fellowship

The Loeb Fellowship provides a transformative year in residence at the Harvard Graduate School of Design for mid-career urban designers, public artists, developers, journalists, civic leaders, architects, landscape architects, urban planners, policymakers, and community development leaders. Loeb Fellows become part of a worldwide network of accomplished and influential practitioners who are shaping the built and natural environment and advancing positive social outcomes. Fellows receive a $50,000 stipend for the academic year, and for those coming from outside the Boston Area, the fellowship covers the cost of housing for them and their families. 

Interested in applying to this fellowship? Read our interview with Loeb Fellowship winner Liliana Cazacu. In it, she shares her fellowship experience and application tips.

14. Mira Fellowship

Each year the Mira Fellowship accepts a small cohort from across the globe to create compassionate actionable visions for our future. Mid-career professionals are allowed to rethink the world’s most pressing social impact issues and develop actionable plans for change. Fellows receive four onsite summits, coaching, cohort collaboration, a research travel stipend of $5,000, and access to experts in the fellow’s field of study. Check the website for early deadlines.

15. Peace Corps Response Program

The Peace Corps Response Program provides opportunities for qualified individuals to undertake short-term, high-impact assignments in programs around the world. To be eligible for service applicants must be age 18 or older and a U.S. citizen. In addition, Peace Corps Response requires that all applicants meet one of the following eligibility requirements below: Have significant professional experience; a doctor or nurse applying to Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP); or a returned Peace Corps Volunteer. View current opportunities or search on specific criteria to find opportunities that match your interests.

16. Public Interest Fellowship

The Public Interest Fellowship is a unique combination of work and study designed to advance fellows’ pursuit of careers devoted to enriching the political and cultural life of the United States. There are 3 fellowship track opportunities including a 2-year full-time employment and training program for fellows new to the field, a 2-year education program for fellows already working in DC, and shorter fellowships of 9-12 months for young professionals looking to grow their network and skill-set. All 3 tracks provide funding for professional development and include a salary or stipend to help fellows as they advance their careers.

17. RWJ Health Policy Fellows

The Health Policy Fellows program is a residential fellowship experience in Washington, DC for mid-career professionals, which prepares individuals to influence the future of health care and accelerate their career development. Fellows actively participate in the formulation of national health policies in congressional offices and accelerate their careers as leaders in health policy. Up to six fellows will be selected for the program. Fellows can continue their health policy activities for up to 12 months after the Washington placement period.

18. Stanton Fellowship

The Stanton Fellowship invites leaders at public benefits in Los Angeles county to test a hunch and to leverage their knowledge and contacts. Fellows will receive up to 2 years of support and $100,000 to solve the most complex challenges in LA — dealing with air pollution, housing the homeless, increasing school graduation rates, or promoting job growth in the creative industries. Each fellow designs his or her inquiry and plan proposals should build on the fellow’s expertise. Applicants must be working full-time in a senior leadership position at a public benefit organization in Los Angeles County – nonprofit, government, or social enterprise (faculty and staff at educational institutions are not eligible) and have a demonstrated track record of at least 7 years.

19. Stoneleigh Fellowship

The Stoneleigh Fellowship provides accomplished leaders with multiyear funding to transform systems that serve vulnerable young people, including juvenile justice, child welfare, education, and health. Fellows come from many disciplines and professional backgrounds—they are attorneys, educators, physicians, public policy experts, program administrators, researchers, social workers, and more. They undertake groundbreaking research, improve policies and practices, and fundamentally change how youth are served. The Fellowship award primarily covers a Fellow’s salary, but may also support travel or other expenses related to advancing project work. Candidates are encouraged to submit ideas at any time and will be considered on a rolling basis.

20. Supreme Court Fellows Program

The Supreme Court Fellows Commission selects 4 talented individuals to engage for one year in the work of the Supreme Court of the United States, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, the Federal Judicial Center, or the United States Sentencing Commission. The program seeks mid-career professionals in law and political science, recent law school graduates, and doctoral degree recipients. Applicants must hold at least one post-graduate degree, at least 2 years of work experience, and familiarity with the judicial process. Fellows receive salaries equivalent to GS-13/1 of the government pay scale at the applicable locality rate, currently $94,796.

21. Urban Leaders Fellowship

The Urban Leaders Fellowship is a 7-week paid summer fellowship for early- to mid-career professionals who are already leaders in their own right and are looking to accelerate their leadership through fellowship with a focus on policy and practice. Fellows work half-time on high-level policy projects with an elected official and half-time alongside partner organizations in cities across the country. We work in 9 cities: Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, KCMO, Nashville, New Orleans, Oakland, and Washington, D.C. Fellows receive a base stipend of $2,500. Multiple deadlines.

Interested in applying to this fellowship? Read our interviews with Urban Leaders Fellowship winners to learn about their fellowship experience and application tips.

22. White House Fellowship

The White House Fellows program is one of America’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service. White House Fellowships offer exceptional young men and women first-hand experience working at the highest levels of the federal government. Fellows typically spend a year working as full-time, paid Fellow to senior White House Staff, Cabinet Secretaries, and other top-ranking government officials. Fellows also participate in an education program consisting of roundtable discussions with renowned leaders from the private and public sectors and trips to study U.S. policy in action both domestically and internationally.

Interested in applying to this fellowship? Read our interviews with White House Fellowship winners to learn about their fellowship experience and application tips.

23. Yale World Fellows Program

Our 4-month residential program offers: (1) A cutting-edge global issues curriculum; (2) Individualized skill-building; and (3) Access to prominent thinkers and practitioners. Applications to the Yale World Fellows Program are accepted from across sectors and around the world. Each class of Fellows is a unique group, geographically balanced, and representative of a wide range of professions, talents, and perspectives. Admission is extremely competitive. To be eligible, applicants must be in the mid-career stage (5-20 years work experience), fluent in English, and be a citizen of and reside in a country other than the U.S.

24. Young Leaders Program

The French-American Foundation is offering a two-year program for French and American professionals between the ages of 30 and 40. Alternating between the US and France, the fellows spend five days together (each year) discussing issues of common concern, meeting with local and global specialists, and getting to know one another. The Foundation covers Young Leaders’ travel and lodging expenses for both meetings. Applicants are mid- or late-career professionals from every possible background, whose common link is their passion for forging bonds to influence the common good.

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