Application Information for Fellowships

The Stanford in Government Fellowship application consists of a common application, a supplemental application, and tiered preferences. Applicants will all compose a common application and may select up to five (5) SIG Fellowships for which to write supplement essays.

Common Application

All applicants complete a common application including:

  1. Academic Information
  2. Documents: Upload a resume and an unofficial transcript. Never created a resume before? No worries! Start by taking a look at this handy article and set of templates from BEAM on Handshake.
  3. Recommendation: Have someone who is familiar with your professional or academic work submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf. Recommenders will receive a unique URL where they can submit their letters.  Letters can highlight an applicant's aptitude for SIG Fellowships in general, or for an applicant's skills and experience as it relates to a specific fellowship. For underclassmen, a high school mentor can be an appropriate choice! It is most important that the person know you well and be able to speak to your unique qualities and work accomplishments.
  4. Relevant coursework: In no more than 125 words, please describe the coursework you have completed or are currently taking relevant to SIG Fellowships and the particular fellowships you have selected.
  5. Personal statement: The personal statement questions are your opportunity to express why you are interested in a SIG fellowship experience. The selection committee is interested in both your personal and academic reasons for applying to this program. Please ensure that you are specific in your responses to the questions, yet succinct. Each response should be less than 150 words in length.
    • Why are you interested in pursuing a SIG Summer Fellowship?
    • How could a SIG Fellowship enhance your academic and/or career plans?

Supplement Application

For up to five (5) opportunities, SIG Fellows can provide the following additional information:

  • Please write no more than 200 words, and write a separate one for each of your selected fellowships. The supplement should address the following question:  Why are you interested in pursuing this particular fellowship?

Tiered Preferences

Applicants may rank up to five fellowship choices and must provide a detailed supplement for each selection.


In order to be eligible for SIG fellowships, an applicant must be an enrolled Stanford student for the 2021-2022 academic year and cannot have conferred their undergraduate degree before the completion of the fellowship. In other words, graduating seniors are ineligible for SIG fellowships. Seniors who will be returning for all of next year to finish a co-term degree are eligible to apply.

For 2021 fellowships, students must be on their flex term to be eligible for fellowships.

Please note that when you submit your application to apply for a SIG Fellowship you agree to waive your rights to inspect the contents of any letters or statements of recommendation submitted in support of your application.


Selection committees composed of Stanford faculty, past SIG Fellows, and SIG representatives evaluate applications to determine finalists to be interviewed for each position. 15-20 minute interviews will be scheduled in February, and finalists will be notified shortly thereafter.

From these finalists, a prospective fellow is selected, and their application is forwarded to the host office for final approval.

Stanford in Government has approached professors about this program with relevant experience and knowledge for each fellowship. 

Fellowship Requirements

Fellowship assignments usually include some form of data research and analysis, drafting position papers, and extensive interaction with high-level staff. Therefore, analytical skills, writing ability, and personal qualities are the critical factors evaluated by the selection committees. However, specific qualifications and assignments vary by placement.

SIG provides stipends that assist fellows with travel and living expenses. In addition, limited financial aid is available to those fellows who demonstrate need. The fellow commits to working full-time (a minimum of 35 hours per week) for at least nine weeks (some fellowships are eight weeks long to accommodate visa issues). Fellows are expected to start no later than April 9, 2021 for spring internships and July 5, 2020 for summer internships. Receipt of the stipend is contingent upon the fulfillment of such an arrangement. The exact timing of the fellowship period will be negotiated between the fellow and the host office. Fellows are expected to secure their own housing, although the stipend is used to fund it.

Note: International fellows are responsible for attaining their own appropriate visas, through consultation with their fellowship placement as necessary. 

To the Recommender: Fellows are generally given greater responsibilities than those within the scope of a normal internship. Assignments usually include some form of data research and analysis, drafting of position papers, and extensive interaction with high-level staff. Therefore, analytical skills, writing ability, communication skills, and personal qualities are the critical factors evaluated by the selection committees. With these criteria in mind, we would greatly appreciate your candid comments regarding this student's abilities.

Please direct any questions to Lena Han (, SIG Vice Chair of Fellowships and Stipends.

2021 Application Timeline

  • Late November: Application Released
  • February 3, 11:59 p.m.: Application Deadline, Letters of Recommendation Submission Deadline
  • Late February : Interviews
  • Early March: Decisions Announced


Please contact Lena Han, SIG's Vice Chair of Fellowships and Stipends, using the form below.