ReachOut 56-81-06 Domestic and International Fellowships
The ReachOut fellowships, presently in the amount of $30,000 each, enable Princeton seniors to devote their first post-graduation year to undertaking a special public service project. Two fellowships are offered each year, generally one for a domestic project and one for an international project. The ReachOut fellowships are part of a larger, intergenerational effort by members of the alumni classes of 1956, 1981, and 2006 to encourage and support civic engagement.
The ReachOut 56-81-06 Domestic Fellowship
Candidates for ReachOut 56-81-06 Domestic Fellowships, who need not be U.S. citizens, find a suitable public interest organization that agrees in advance to make a position available, and then work with the organization to devise a significant project or function. The organization must be located in the United States, but there is no restriction on the scope or purpose of the activity chosen. Unlike the Princeton Project 55 Public Interest Program (PIP), where the host organizations provide stipends for the individuals, members of the Classes of 1956, 1981, and 2006 will be supplying the funds for ReachOut 56-81-06 Domestic Fellowships. This enables the selection of organizations that do not otherwise have the financial wherewithal to sponsor a Princeton graduate for a special project. The merits of the project and the sponsoring organization will be considered in the granting of fellowships.
A description of the varied projects (.pdf) that prior ReachOut 56-81-06 fellows have undertaken is available.
Criteria for Selection:
The principal (although not exclusive) criteria for selection are:
- the applicant’s demonstrated commitment to volunteerism and public interest
- the mission and effectiveness of the sponsoring organization
- the significance of the proposed project or function
- academic performance and other personal qualifications
The 1956 ReachOut International Fellowship
The 1956 ReachOut International Fellowship is funded through the generosity of a member of the Class of 1956, whose Canadian-based family foundation has committed to supporting a $30,000 annual award. Like the ReachOut 56-81-06 Domestic Fellowship, it is open to Princeton seniors who commit to spend their first post-graduation year performing a public interest project. It differs, however, from the traditional Fellowship in the following respects:
- The 1956 ReachOut International Fellowship can be performed anywhere in the world (including the U.S.).
- The 1956 ReachOut International Fellowship does not require affiliation with a sponsoring organization, although generally the infrastructure, local contacts, and expertise of a sponsoring organization have been valuable to past fellows.
- The 1956 ReachOut International Fellowship gives special consideration to innovative and entrepreneurial projects (see below under “Criteria for Selection”).
- With the 1956 ReachOut International Fellowship, there is a potential for extension of the project beyond one year, if the project’s significance and viability is found to justify longer-range support.
Criteria for Selection:
In addition to the criteria listed under the ReachOut 56-81-06 Domestic Fellowship (except that a sponsoring organization is not required), the 1956 ReachOut International Fellowship gives special weight to projects of social significance that are innovative, creative and/or entrepreneurial. Also considered, where applicable, is the potential sustainability of the project beyond the life of the Fellowship, whether by extension of the Fellowship or otherwise.
Candidates may apply for either of the two Fellowships, or, if the proposed project meets the requirements of each, a single application can be made for both of them.
Anyone interested in applying for either of the Fellowships is encouraged to e-mail one of the advisers listed above as early as possible with a description of your potential project and any questions you may have about crafting a viable proposal. The board of ReachOut works closely with interested students to provide feedback. Any proposal drafts submitted to Mrs. Sarah Lederman '81, (firstname.lastname@example.org) by December 1, 2015, will be reviewed by a second board member and returned with comments.
Please follow the format outlined below for submitting your application. It consists of three parts. Please mark each section clearly. Please contact the ReachOut alumni adviser with any questions.
I. Cover Sheet.
The cover sheet should be no more than one page and should include the following sections.
- Applicant name and concentration at Princeton. Include any certificates you expect to receive at graduation.
- Title of Proposed Project. The title of the project should be brief and should easily allow a reader to understand the nature of your proposal.
- Affiliations. Name of organization(s), if any, that you propose to affiliate with, together with the name, title, contact information of the person or persons with whom you have spoken or corresponded, and website, if applicable.
- Abstract. A 50-100 word concise abstract of your project.
II. Proposal Narrative.
Provide a detailed narrative in the range of 5 -10 pages explaining your project. Please include the following sections marked accordingly.
- Project. How did you identify the particular project you are proposing? Why is it worth doing? What are your relevant skills and experience? Please include a brief breakdown of the various phases of the project, if appropriate; that is, explain how you plan to use your time.
- Lasting Impact. Will your project have lasting, positive outcomes after you have finished your year? What do you see them as being? How will the organization continue the work you have initiated?
- Affiliations. Explain why you hope to affiliate with any organization or organizations in the course of pursuing your project. How did you identify these organizations? What can they offer your project? Detail any contacts you have had with this organization.
- Feasibility. Can your project be accomplished within the timeframe and budget allowed by the fellowship? What challenges or obstacles do you foresee interfering with your success? How do you plan to overcome these?
Provide a budget for your fellowship (housing and other living expenses, airfare or other travel expenses, and/or any direct project expenses).
Applicants must submit the following materials with the proposal to The ReachOut 56-81-06 Fellowship Selection Committee c/o Fellowship Advising, Office of International Programs, 36 University Place, Suite 340, no later than the deadline.
- Academic transcript(s) (one certified original)
- At least two letters of recommendation
- Letter of endorsement from the sponsoring organization, if applicable
One letter of recommendation should be from a member of the Princeton faculty who knows the applicant well enough to assess his or her ability to complete the proposed project successfully. In cases where the applicant’s thesis topic is relevant to the project, a letter from the thesis adviser should be included. If the candidate has been actively engaged in community involvement as an undergraduate, a letter from someone who has supervised or observed the applicant’s work would be welcome.
Letters of recommendation should be returned to the applicant in an envelope signed across the seal to be submitted with the application package or may be submitted directly to The ReachOut 56-81-06 Fellowship Selection Committee c/o Fellowship Advising, Office of International Programs, 36 University Place, Suite 340.
Candidates will then be interviewed by a committee on Monday, January 11, 2016, during Reading Period. Those awarded fellowships will be notified in late January or early February.
ReachOut56-81-06 will provide each fellow during his or her term with one or more supportive mentors from the Classes of 1956, 1981, or 2006. Progress reports are expected, and upon completion of the project, fellows will be asked to submit a written report to ReachOut56-81-06, as well as to meet with the ReachOut56-81-06 Board of Directors to discuss the experience. There will be an Advisory Council, consisting of past fellows, to help with the selection of future candidates and projects and to otherwise improve the program.
In a case where the sponsoring organization for a fellow chosen the previous year makes a special request to extend the project beyond the original term, such a request will be considered along with the other new applications for the year in question.
ReachOut56-81-06 is hopeful that the fellowship experience will help motivate those chosen to pursue a lifetime of public interest activities.