Our Mission, History & Values

What is ProFellow?

ProFellow.com is the world’s leading online resource for information on professional and academic fellowships. We offer our readers a free fellowships database where you can search and bookmark more than 2,600 fellowships and fully funded graduate programs. We also publish articles with application tips written by fellows, features and interviews with current and former fellows, and fellowship calls for applications. We also founded the International Fellows Network, a global professional network of current and former fellowship recipients.

What is ProFellow’s mission?

ProFellow’s mission is to make funding opportunities more accessible to diverse audiences and to share advice on the competitive application process. All of our content is voluntarily produced by current and former fellows who aim to pay it forward and inspire the next generation of aspiring fellows.

What type of organization is ProFellow?

ProFellow is a small, women-owned social enterprise based in the United States. ProFellow’s Founder and Director Dr. Vicki Johnson is a four-time fellow, top Ph.D. scholar, and award-winning social entrepreneur. Vicki founded ProFellow with her husband Ryan Johnson in 2011 while she was a Fulbright fellow and Ph.D. student living in New Zealand. Read more about our history.

Who reads and uses ProFellow?

ProFellow attracts fellowship seekers from all over the world. Since 2011, more than 6 million people have visited ProFellow.com and more than 200,000 people have registered to use our database. 80% of our audience is U.S.-based, but we have a growing readership in India, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Nigeria. Most of our readers are early- and mid-career professionals in the social impact sector who are seeking funding for graduate school, professional development, research and creative projects. 60% of our readers have a master’s or doctoral degree.

What are ProFellow’s values?

We believe in knowledge-sharing. Before our founding, fellowships and grants for individuals were primarily shared by word-of-mouth within privileged academic circles. Our mission is to make funding knowledge accessible to everyone, globally. We share knowledge about fellowships through our website, articles, database, newsletter, social media, webinars, workshops and courses. We receive emails and posts daily with requests for funding advice and we respond to questions freely, generously and to the best of our ability.

We believe in the power of positive support. We encourage everyone with aspirations to apply for awards that will help them achieve their goals. If you are willing to commit the substantial time and effort needed to apply for a competitive award or graduate program, we commit to providing you our community’s support and encouragement. We are strongly against elitism and academic gatekeeping, and believe no one should be discouraged from engaging in the constructive process of applying for awards.

We believe in diversity, equity and inclusion. Over the last decade, we have contributed to the increased diversity of fellowship applicant pools because we actively represent and share the experiences of fellows who are minorities, first-generation college students, international students, immigrants, veterans, career-changers, disabled and formerly incarcerated. We enthusiastically work with fellowship organizations that seek to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion in the fellowship recruitment and selection process.

We believe in paying it forward. Our community was forged by current and former fellows who reaped the benefits of fellowships and now wish to help others gain these same benefits. All of our content is voluntarily contributed by current and former fellows who wish to share their fellowship experience and insider knowledge of the application process so that more people can find and confidently apply to fellowships.

How does ProFellow generate revenue?

70% of ProFellow’s revenue comes from advertising on our website by our esteemed advertising partners, including fellowship organizations, foundations, universities, government agencies and NGOs. The remaining 30% of revenue is generated through our online courses and workshops for fellowship and graduate school applicants, including the Fully Funded Course and Mentorship Program.

Is ProFellow backed by investors?

No. ProFellow has never sought or taken investment capital. At our founding, we raised $10,250 in crowdfunding donations on Indiegogo from friends, family and supporters, which was used to create the first version of our free, public database of funding opportunities.

How can current and former fellows get involved?

Please join our International Fellows Network of current and former fellows globally! We have a LinkedIn group of more than 2,000 members, a regular newsletter and we host in-person events for fellows in Washington, DC, New York City, San Francisco and Berlin, Germany. We often hold joint alumni events with fellowship organizations and some of our events have been fully sponsored by fellowship organizations and universities, including the Robertson Foundation for Government, Stanford University, and Cultural Vistas, among others.

You are also welcome to write for us! ProFellow’s content is voluntarily produced by current and former Fellows who aim to pay it forward by sharing their experiences and insights to help the next generation of aspiring fellows. If you have won a fellowship, which we define as any merit-based program that is time-limited, offers a stipend or grant, and has a competitive application process, we would be pleased to have you contribute to ProFellow. All citizenships and backgrounds are welcome.