Frequently asked questions



What does the application process entail?
The first step of the application process is to submit an application here. Fellows who move forward in the process will need to successfully complete two rounds of interviews before receiving a final fellowship offer.

Is there any advantage to applying for the first deadline instead of the second deadline in terms of likelihood of acceptance?
No, the chances of being accepted are the same at each round. We recommend that you choose the application cycle that best matches your availability, as you need to be able to interview within the designated timeframe, and you also need to be able to make the decision to accept or decline promptly after receiving an offer.

I am not a recent graduate. Can I apply?
Yes! The fellowship is open to everyone.

I’m interested in learning more about economic opportunity in the United States. Where can I find more information?
We recommend reviewing the following: an interview with the project’s principal investigators, the Center on Poverty and Inequality website, and the Opportunity Atlas. In preparing for an interview, it may also be helpful to reach out to a professor, friend, or other resource who is familiar with social science research.

I’m applying to grad school right now. Will I know whether I have been accepted as a fellow in time to defer my admission for a year?
If you are accepted as a fellow, we will let you know by early April.

I have prior field research experience. Is the fellowship suitable for me?
The fellowship is suitable for all levels of experience. If you are excited about a year of intensive field research, we encourage you to apply. If you are looking for a position that combines fieldwork with research leadership responsibilities, we are also hiring regional directors to lead teams of fellows. To learn more about the regional director position, which begins in June 2019, click here. Fellows and regional directors will also have the opportunity to apply for an additional year, beginning summer 2020, which will be focused on analyzing the data and publishing results.



Is the fellowship a paid position?
Yes. Compensation will be competitive and health care will be offered.

Is the fellowship open to international applicants?
Fellows must be authorized to work in the United States for the duration of the fellowship. Visa sponsorship is not available. Students who are OPT candidates are welcome to apply and should consult with their degree-granting program to ensure that their work authorization is processed before the beginning of the fellowship.

Do I need to commit to the entire fellowship term? What if I can only join the American Voices Project for a few months?
The fellowship requires a commitment from June 2019 through August 2020.

Can I apply if I have a conflict that interferes with the summer training dates?
Because the summer training provides the intensive training and preparation necessary for fielding the American Voices Project, fellows are required to attend the summer training in full.

Can I participate in the fellowship while continuing in my current job or as a student?
The fellowship is a full-time and full-year position, and fellows will need to relocate to a variety of locations across the country. It is very unlikely that fellows would be able to do the fellowship in conjunction with other work or studies. For some graduate students, it may be possible to integrate the fellowship with a current program of study. We are happy to talk to you about the specifics of your situation.


Life as a fellow

Will the fellowship be fun as well as hard work?
Yes! There’s no denying that the fellowship will be very hard work, but our pilot fellows report that they built meaningful friendships and came away with new perspectives and experiences they’ll never forget.

I’m concerned about my safety as a research fellow. Will I be safe in the communities I will visit?
Before any field work begins, fellows will receive comprehensive training on safe and secure field research practices. Each fellow will be paired up with a field partner and will never go alone to conduct interviews. American Voices Project leaders will keep tabs on the location of each fellow, with scheduled check-ins throughout the day.

Can I request a placement in a region with a partner or friend who is also applying for the fellowship?
Location requests will be taken into account, but they cannot be guaranteed. Fellows should expect to rotate through multiple locations over the course of a year.


Next steps

What do fellows do after completing the fellowship?
Fellows will come away with an unprecedented understanding of American life that will prepare them for future work in government, business, the nonprofit sector, and academia. They’ll also be part of a nationwide network of scholars and leaders who are committed to supporting them in the next step in their careers.