The Atlas Corps Fellowship is a 12-18 month Fellowship in the United States for the world’s top social change leaders. Fellows serve full-time at Host Organizations to develop leadership skills and learn effective practices through the Atlas Corps Global Leadership Lab professional development series and networking opportunities with other Fellows.
Participants in this prestigious fellowship receive health insurance, flight and visa costs, and a living stipend to cover basic expenses (food, local transportation, and shared housing).
Eligibility for the Atlas Corps Fellowship.
— Two or more years of relevant experience
— Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
— English proficiency (oral, writing, reading)
— Age 35 or younger
— Apply to serve in a country other than where you are from (U.S. citizens are not eligible for the U.S. Fellowship)
— Commitment to return to your home country after the 12-18 month Fellowship
— Commitment to living on a basic stipend that only covers food, shared housing, and local transportation
We consider applications on a rolling basis, though we encourage you to apply as soon as possible to be considered for Host Organization placements. The application is a multi-step process. Our Fellow Classes start four times a year: January, April, July, and October. To be considered for Fellowships beginning in July and October, we encourage you to submit your Part 1 application no later than February 28. To be considered for Fellowships beginning in January or April, we encourage you to submit your Part 1 application no later than August 15.
- Online Application
Part 1: You will need to create a login and you can save your responses so that you can return to the application at any time. In Part 1 of the application (known as the “short form”), you provide contact information and complete the initial eligibility test. If you pass the initial eligibility test, you’ll complete additional background questions and one short essay. NOTE: In order to sponsor Fellows to come to the United States for one year, we require detailed information about each applicant. Please answer each question honestly and thoroughly.
Part 2 (by invitation only): Atlas Corps will review Part 1 applications and invite eligible candidates to complete Part 2 of the application (known as the “long form”), which includes additional questions about your skills and interests and several short essay questions. You will also be required to submit contact information for at least two references who know you in a professional capacity and will write a letter of recommendation about your skills and experiences as well as your potential for success as an Atlas Corps Fellow. You will need to send your requests for letter of recommendation directly through the application system. Your recommenders will receive an email that asks for a recommendation. More detailed instructions can be found in the online application form.
- Atlas Corps Review Process (by invitation only): Atlas Corps will review Part 2 applications and select top candidates to interview via Skype with the Atlas Corps Selection Board, including Atlas Corps staff and nonprofit sector, government, and business leaders from multiple countries.
- Host Organization Review Process (by invitation only): Candidates who pass the Atlas Corps interview stage will be designated as Semi-Finalists, which means they are eligible to be reviewed by potential Host Organizations for placements based on their interests and skillset and the organization’s needs.
- Host Organization Interview Process (by invitation only):Host Organizations invite Semi-Finalists that best match their positions to conduct Skype video interviews with them, moving on to the Finalist stage.
- Selection and Visa Process: Host Organizations will make their final recommendations to Atlas Corps, and Atlas Corps will notify the selected candidates. After being selected, Fellows will go to the U.S. Embassy in their respective countries to apply for a J-1 visa. Atlas Corps will provide support in obtaining this visa.
Semi-Finalists who are not selected by a Host Organization will be notified and may be given the option to keep their application on file for consideration for the next class of the Fellowship, moving back to the Step 3, the Host Organization Review Process. Semi-Finalists MUST update their availability through their account every 2-4 months in order to remain in consideration for the Fellowship and to be eligible to have their application sent to prospective Hosts. Semi-Finalists will periodically receive a reminder email to do so.
Atlas Corps receives hundreds of applications each month. Each of the steps listed above may take approximately 1-3 months. The vetting process may take several months to complete. We recommend submitting your application as soon as possible to initiate the review process. You may apply at any time, so please do not wait for any deadlines. If you are accepted to the Fellowship, there may be a quick turnaround time between your acceptance and the beginning of the Fellowship. Final decisions about each class of Fellows are made approximately 4-8 weeks before the class begins. Fellowship start dates are not flexible and assuming your visa is approved, you must begin your Fellowship with the Class to which you are accepted.
When you apply for the Atlas Corps Fellowship, you’re not applying for a specific Host Organization or a specific start date. You are applying for the opportunity to be considered by Atlas Corps and potential Host Organizations for placements starting throughout the year. We review candidates based not just on eligibility and quality of their applications, but also how well they fit with the desired profiles our potential Host Organizations are looking for at any given time, so some candidates may advance more quickly through the process than others. In some cases, strong applicants may be selected for the Fellowship in as little as 3-4 months after they submitted Part 1 of their application. In other cases, strong applicants may be considered for multiple classes, potentially longer than a year, before matching with a Host Organization placement.
Selection Timeline: Final decisions about each class of Fellows are made approximately 4-8 weeks before the class begins.