The Fellowship

The Fellowship is an intensive two-month program for young leaders to collaborate, develop, and propose innovative solutions for social, political, economic, and environmental issues, while also honing their skills in project management, policy analysis, teamwork, communication, and more.

Our last cohort for 2023 is currently in progress, and we are hard at work planning our 2024 dates with meetings every Saturday morning and Wednesday evening. Please scroll down to our FAQ section for more essential information on program details and applicant eligibility!


All seats in our 2023 Fellowship programmig have been filled. These are our estimated dates for the first 2024 cohort.

apply by
Jan 15th, 2024
Feb 3rd, 2024


400 students.
118 capstone projects.
3.2 million content views.

The Fellowship.

The fellowship program is a two-month development opportunity designed for young, emerging leaders who are passionate about learning how to engage with and develop public policy and create positive social, political, economic, and environmental change.

Throughout this program, fellows collaborate with their peers, YIP department executives, political and educational leaders, and community stakeholders to analyze and develop innovative solutions to current issues in a wide variety of mediums. Fellows will collaborate with their peers and mentors to gain a deeper understanding of the various sub-sectors related to their fields of focus while honing their project management, policy analysis, and development skills.

The fellowship empowers young leaders on their policy journey. Each session is crafted to be unique and impactful, giving fellows invaluable knowledge, skills, and experiences that will shape their future through workshops and discussions (often in collaboration with YIP’s other departments). Fellows will work on numerous fronts and focus on topics including social change, urban renewal, public policy reform, SMART infrastructure/technology initiatives, and education to create a brighter and more collaborative future for all.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the day-to-day look like?

In short, there is no day-to-day; the program was created around busy schedules! There are two mandatory weekly synchronous meetings every week on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. The program also includes one independent group policy review project with a synchronous presentation and one independent individual capstone project.

Most fellows report approximately 3-5 hours in terms of weekly commitment including all synchronous meetings and asynchronous work. Don't let time be the barrier to participating!

How does the program work?

After qualified applicants are selected to participate in the fellowship program, they embark upon an immersive journey of personal, professional, and political growth through engaging seminars, thought-provoking debates, interactive workshops, and exclusive guest speaker opportunities. Throughout the program, fellows will also work with their peers on writing an original policy brief and presenting it, as well as developing their own original capstone project. Fellows receive ongoing guidance and mentorship throughout the program to ensure that they are building a unique skill set of policy analysis, communication, articulation, nonpartisan thinking, debate, and problem-solving. We like to think that what you get out of the fellowship, is what you put into it!

Who is eligible?

The fellowship program is open to all high school and undergraduate students ages 14-22 with interest or experience in social impact, community organizing, civic engagement, design thinking, advocacy, and, of course, discourse! The fellowship is open to international applicants, but meetings are scheduled based on U.S. time zones and the workshops largely focus on U.S.-oriented public policy and political systems.

How do I apply?

Applications are closed for 2023; 2024 applications will open up in mid to late October. To become notified when our 2024 cycle information is finalized, you may fill out our general interest form.

The application form will ask you to tell us a little bit about yourself and some technical questions. It’s important to include as much information as possible to make sure your application stands out!

How often does this program take place?

Our programming for 2023 consists of four cohorts:
Winter, January - March
Spring, April - June
Summer, June 17th - August 26th
Fall, September 9th - November 4th

The applications for our Fall cohort are now closed, but clicking the apply button at the top of this page will bring you to a general interest form. We will contact those who fill out the form with more information about the 2024 cycle once programming has been determined, around mid-October.

What happens after the program is completed?

Fellows are given priority consideration and direct access to YIP's C-suite and SVPs in terms of hiring and other positions. They also get direct access to recruiters for other positions within the Institute's broad partnership network through our new Alumni Relations program! Additionally, your capstone project will be posted on this page! Feel free to check out some of the older ones — which can take any form including essays, illustrations, videos, websites, presentations, infographics, and material policy proposals. The creative limitations of these projects are nearly nonexistent.


You've scrolled until here, so thank you for your interest in the Effective Discourse Fellowship! To apply, please complete the online application form found above. We look forward to reviewing your application and being part of your policy journey, helping you to develop the important skills necessary to revitalize democracy. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team at [email protected]. Best of luck!