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Call for Applications, Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Fellowship Program

Home Forums Scholarship, Fellowship Opportunities and Academic Programs Call for Applications, Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Fellowship Program

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    Craig Zelizer
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    Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Program

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     The application deadline for the 2019 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship is September 20, 2018.

    The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program is a program funded by the U.S. Department of State, administered by Howard University, that attracts and prepares outstanding young people for Foreign Service careers in the U.S. Department of State.   It welcomes the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the State Department, women, and those with financial need.  Based on the fundamental principle that diversity is a strength in our diplomatic efforts, the program values varied backgrounds, including ethnic, racial, social, and geographic diversity.

    The Pickering Fellowship offers a unique opportunity to promote positive change in the world.  Upon successful completion of a two-year master’s degree program and fulfillment of Foreign Service entry requirements, fellows have the opportunity to work as Foreign Service Officers in accordance with applicable law and State Department policy, serving in Washington, DC and at a U.S. embassy, consulate, or diplomatic mission around the globe.   Fellows also agree to a minimum five-year service commitment in the Department of State’s Foreign Service.  The five-year service commitment begins upon entry into the Foreign Service.

    The Pickering Program has made, and continues to make, an important contribution to the diversity of the State Department Foreign Service.  Fellows currently represent the United States in countries around the world, in areas as diverse as Africa, East Asia, Latin America, South Asia, Europe and Eurasia.  They are promoting human rights, assisting American citizens overseas, enhancing prosperity and development, deepening ties between the United States and people around the world, and supporting U.S. global values and interests in many different ways.

    The Program provides graduate fellowships to qualified college seniors and college graduates committed to joining the Foreign Service.  The fellowship helps finance two-year graduate programs, provides two summer internships, offers mentoring from a Foreign Service Officer, and provides other professional development activities.  The program continues to ensure that the Foreign Service reflects the face of America to foreign audiences and provides a source of trained women and men who are dedicated to pursuing Foreign Service careers with the Department of State and representing America’s interests abroad.

    Interested in a career serving U.S. interests abroad?  If so, the Pickering Fellowship offers a unique opportunity to promote positive change in the world.  Upon successful completion of a two-year master’s degree program and fulfillment of Foreign Service entry requirements, fellows have the opportunity to work as Foreign Service Officers, serving in Washington, DC or at a U.S. embassy, consulate, or diplomatic mission around the globe.

    The Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship is a U.S. Department of State program administered by Howard University that seeks to attract and prepare outstanding young people, based on financial need, who represent ethnic, gender, social, and geographic diversity and have an interest in pursuing a Foreign Service career in the U.S. Department of State.  The Program encourages the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, women, and those with financial need.

    Eligibility

    This is a highly selective program. To be eligible to participate, you must meet the following criteria:

    • Be a U.S. citizen.
    • Seek admission to a two-year, full-time, on-campus, master’s degree program at a U.S.-based graduate institution to begin in the fall of 2019 in an academic field relevant to the work of the Foreign Service (public policy, international affairs, public administration, business, economics, political science, sociology, or foreign languages).
    • Have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale

    Program Components

    During this two-year program, you will enroll in graduate school in the fall of your first year and work toward your master’s degree throughout your fellowship.  Your two internships with the State Department—one in the U.S., the other overseas—will be in the summer between the first and second year of your graduate program and the summer after you finish. Throughout the program you will receive personalized mentoring and professional development opportunities.

    Graduate Studies

    The Pickering Program plans to award 30 fellowships of up to $37,500 annually for a two-year period for tuition, room, board, books, and mandatory fees for completion of two-year master’s degrees.  This includes up to $21,500 per year for tuition and mandatory fees and an academic year stipend of $16,000.

    Fellows must obtain graduate degrees in international affairs or a related subject such as public administration, public policy, international relations, business administration, economics, history, political science, communications, or foreign languages at a graduate school approved by the Pickering Program.  Law degrees do not satisfy this requirement.  Fellows are expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.2 throughout their period of study.  Applicants apply to two-year graduate programs at U.S.-based universities simultaneously with their application to the Pickering Program.

    Orientation

    Fellows will participate in an orientation at Howard University in early June.  The purposes of this orientation to familiarize the Fellows with all aspects of the fellowship and to enhance their understanding of, and skills for, Foreign Service careers.

    Two Summer Internships (Domestic and Overseas)

    Fellows will participate in two internships. The first, an internship working at the U.S. Department of State headquarters in Washington, DC, will occur in the summer in between their first and second year of graduate study.  The second internship will be an overseas placement in a U.S. Embassy or Consulate that takes place during the summer after fellows’ second year of graduate study.  The program provides additional support for summer travel, housing and other related expenses.

    Mentoring

    Fellows will receive mentoring from a Foreign Service Officer for the duration of the fellowship.

    Employment and Contractual Obligations

    Fellows who successfully complete the Pickering Program and Foreign Service entry requirements will receive appointments in the State Department Foreign Service in accordance with applicable law and State Department policy.  Fellows are required to obtain and maintain medical, security, and suitability clearances in order to remain in the program.  Each Fellow who obtains a master’s degree is committed to a minimum of five years of service in the Foreign Service.  Candidates who do not successfully complete the Pickering Program and the subsequent five-year service obligation may be subject to a reimbursement obligation.  Visit the Fellow Obligation page to learn more about the obligations that Fellows assume when they accept the fellowship. For more info click here 

     

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