- What are the eligibility criteria for the Social Impact Fellowship? add
The Social Impact Fellowship seeks applications from students at Columbia University who meet the following criteria:
- Currently enrolled in a degree granting program at Columbia College, School of General Studies, School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Barnard College
- Will be a rising junior or senior at the start of the Fellowship in July 2022
- Is in good academic standing, as described by Columbia University’s Grading and Academic Standing. Students with 46+ semester hours must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00
In addition to the eligibility criteria above, the program is looking for students who:
- Have a demonstrated commitment to engaging in or expanding their knowledge of social impact topics
- Possess clarity of purpose in what they hope to gain from the program and ways they may pursue their social impact interests during and after completing their studies at Columbia University
- Intend to contribute their skills, talents, and perspectives to the program as participants and as alumni
- Bring a diverse set of perspectives and experiences to the program
- Are Columbia students who are non-U.S. citizens eligible to apply? add
Yes. The Social Impact Fellowship admits students without regard to citizenship status.
- What will students study during the Social Impact Fellowship? What are the participation requirements and what is the time commitment for the program? add
Students participate in an immersive program that brings together academic, skills-based, and experiential learning, designed by Columbia World Projects. A cornerstone of the program is a full-time, six-week summer intensive, which aims to give students exposure to key topics for effective social impact. During the summer session, students will participate in a series of interactive workshops and sessions designed to build practical skills and deepen their understanding of collaborative, multi-sectoral, and interdisciplinary approaches to problem-solving. Workshop topics will include project development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation; human-centered design; collaborative problem-solving; and dialogue across differences, among other topics. The summer intensive will run from July to August 2022.
During the academic year, program participants will:
- Engage in hands-on learning and gain exposure to the work of Columbia World Projects
- Receive mentorship, and meet and learn from social impact leaders, including Columbia World Project leads and participants in the Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University, who are actively addressing challenges in communities and countries around the world
- Participate in gatherings with thought leaders from a variety of sectors and fields
- Participate in a culminating, capstone event to share their experiences and lessons learned during their fellowship experience
While not a full-time commitment during the academic year, students are expected to participate in four to five convenings, meet periodically with their mentor, and be available to participate in program activities in-person during that time.
- Can students participate in just the summer intensive or only one semester of the program instead of a full academic year? add
No. Program participants must commit to participating in the full Social Impact Fellowship program, which includes a full-time, six-week summer intensive, followed by an academic year of experiential learning opportunities, mentorship, and gatherings with thought leaders and social impact innovators.
- Can students work or participate in another program during their participation in the Social Impact Fellowship? add
Since active and engaged participation is key to creating a meaningful experience, students should not plan to work or participate in another program during the six weeks of the summer intensive component of the program․ Students will receive a $4,800 stipend during the summer session.
- Can students participate in this program remotely? add
Program participants are expected to reside in New York City for the duration of the program. The summer intensive will be held on-site at Columbia University’s Manhattanville Campus as long as it is safe to do so. The program will provide housing for students who need it for the duration of the summer session and cover the cost of travel to and from New York City.
During the academic year, students must continue to be available to participate in program activities held at Columbia University and are responsible for their own housing and travel. Columbia University will continue to monitor the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic as it plans for the 2022-2023 academic year.
- Will program commitments continue during holidays and breaks? add
The Social Impact Fellowship will follow Columbia University’s 2022-2023 Academic Calendar when scheduling program activities.
- When is the application available and when is the deadline? add
- How does the application process work? add
Interested applicants must complete and submit an application through the Social Impact Fellowship online application system. In the online form, applicants will be asked to provide information about their educational background, professional experience, and previous development opportunities. Additionally, applicants will be asked to submit the following:
- Résumé/curriculum vitae (2-page maximum, PDF only)
- Most recent transcript(s) to confirm eligibility to the program (official and unofficial transcripts accepted, PDF only)
- Responses to several open-ended questions that will help the selection committee better understand applicant’s interests, motivations, and goals for participating in the Social Impact Fellowship Responses may be submitted as paragraphs, videos, or other creative formats․
- Optional work samples. Applicants may upload up to three files or links that tell the selection committee more about the student, their experience, and interest in pursuing social impact initiatives and careers. These samples can be in the form of a link, ․jpg, .pdf, or ․mp3.
Following the application deadline, a selection committee will review applications and interview shortlisted candidates. Students will be notified of their selection to the program in May.
- What does the program cover in terms of costs? add
During the six-week summer intensive, program participants will receive:
- A stipend of $4,800
- Housing within walking distance of Columbia University for students who need it
- Cost of travel to and from New York City
As full-time Columbia University students, program participants will be responsible for their own housing and travel costs during the academic year beginning with the fall semester.
- I already have housing arrangements confirmed for summer 2022. Am I required to live in the housing provided by Columbia World Projects? add
The program will provide six weeks of housing during the summer intensive (July-August) for students who need it. Program participants will not be required to live in housing provided by the program if they have made other housing arrangements for the summer.
- Can my spouse/partner and/or children accompany me during the summer intensive? add
Students with spouses/partners and/or children are welcome to apply, but the Social Impact Fellowship will only cover costs associated with the program participant and will not cover costs for family members or partners. Summer stipends are fixed at a single student rate. Additionally, family members will not be permitted to travel with program participants on any program-related trips or activities.
- Who will my mentor be? add
The program will work with students to identify and pair them with a mentor based on their career and social impact interests. Students may be paired with a participant in the Obama Foundation Scholars Program or a Columbia University faculty member.
- Will students receive academic credit for participating in this program? add
No. The Social Impact Fellowship is not a credit-bearing program. Students who complete the program will receive a certificate of completion from Columbia World Projects at Columbia University.
- Is the program appropriate for someone who has already participated in an internship, fellowship, or leadership development program? add
The Social Impact Fellowship is appropriate for individuals who have no, limited, or some professional experience in their social impact area of interest, including past participation in internships, fellowships, or leadership development programs. Through the summer intensive, hands-on-learning, mentorship, and community of support the program provides, students will have an opportunity to deepen their knowledge, and build new skills and capacities to position them to effectively engage in and pursue social impact initiatives and careers.
- After completing the Social Impact Fellowship, will program participants be able to stay connected with each other and Columbia World Projects? add
Yes. Upon completion of the program, students will join a growing network of Social Impact Fellowship alumni who will have an opportunity to remain engaged with Columbia World Projects. Alumni will also benefit from opportunities to support their ongoing professional development.
- What should I do if I need additional information that isn’t answered in the materials available online? add
If you need additional program information that is not available on this page or our other program pages, please email the fellowship administrators at [email protected].