GradFUTURES Social Impact Fellowship Program

GradFUTURES Social Impact Fellowship Program

Creating Dynamic Opportunities for Princeton Graduate Students and Our Nonprofit Partners!
Insights

Program Overview

During these unprecedented times, completing a fellowship or summer internship as part of doctoral training offers graduate students an opportunity to explore diverse career paths and gain invaluable experience. Announced in fall 2020, the new GradFUTURES Fellowship program offers highly curated experiential opportunities for graduate students at nonprofit or public sector organizations that have partnered with the Graduate School. 

Host organizations work closely with the Graduate School to determine the learning outcomes and professional development goals for these immersive experiences. Each fellowship is custom-designed for graduate students to apply discipline-specific skills, gain interdisciplinary project team experience, and receive one-on-one mentoring while contributing to the social impact mission of the organization. Fellows gain exposure to organizational dynamics and leadership strategies, participate in virtual meetings and/or presentations, and complete meaningful projects that address local, regional, national, and global challenges. 

GradFUTURES fellowships are offered throughout the academic year and/or during the summer. The average time commitment is 10 hours per week for the length of a semester and up to 40 hours per week during the summer. Additional features of the GradFUTURES Fellowships program include:

  • Projects designed in consultation with the organization to focus on the graduate student’s learning and acquisition of the competencies in the GradFUTURES competency framework
  • One-on-one mentorship for the graduate student as well as periodic check-ins by the GradFUTURES team with mentors and the graduate students throughout the program
  • Shared goal-setting for the experience between the graduate student and their mentor to focus on the individual needs and unique interests of the graduate student
  • An application process that involves oversight and/or vetting by the GradFUTURES team, consultation with the Graduate School’s academic affairs team and the Davis International Center (for international students), and approval by faculty advisers
  • Systematic assessment of the learning outcomes for these experiences in partnership with the organization is required
  • Culminating project presentations by the fellow(s) to a broad audience at the organization with members of GradFUTURES team in attendance, whenever possible

Working closely with our colleagues in Corporate Engagement and Foundation Relations, Community & Regional Affairs, the Bendheim Center for Finance, the Pace Center, and the Center for Career Development to identify potential partnerships, we look forward to offering a range of host organizations. (Please note there may be limited GradFUTURES fellowships available with private sector organizations whereby students would be compensated directly by the organization. Compensation for paid opportunities within the private sector must follow the Graduate School's guidelines for graduate student funding.)

GradFUTURES Fellowship Mentors & Fellows

Megan Armknecht, GS, HIS
"[T]his experience helped me form meaningful working relationships with other historians, and has been helpful in framing my prospectus for my dissertation. I am still exploring both academic and non-academic career tracks, and this internship experience was helpful in seeing what possibilities there were for a career outside of academia."
Leanne Clark-Shirley

"As ASA is largely reimagining and rebuilding its programs, we felt this was the perfect time to bring on a different, unique perspective to help shape our work. Having Pallavi Podapati's knowledge and experience in disability is adding so much value to our work on the intersections of ageism and ableism."

Jessica Dheere '93

"My career trajectory is far from predictable, from art history and Latin American studies to internet policy and the Middle East. But art history taught me how to look closely at things and describe what I see, rather than what I expect to see. Latin American studies, including a semester abroad in Mexico and a lot of other travel, taught me how interconnected we all are. In my career and in my life, I aim to synthesize the best of the analog world I was born into with the digital world that has since emerged and do my small part to make it a better, more inviting place for all..."

Anna Eddelbuettel Hancock, GS, CBE

I graduated in May 2020 with my B.S. in biomedical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis. I spent the summer after my graduation…

Alicia M. Ejsmond-Frey, *19, CLA
"My department was surprised but delighted to find out that I was going to pursue a career in government, and in his introduction to my FPO the director of graduate studies said I was a good example of the various doors that a PhD opens other than the obvious one into academia."
Lynne Guey, GS, SPIA

"One of my projects as a Responsible AI Institute GradFUTURES Fellow involved assisting the Department of Defense with a project to integrate responsible AI practices into its procurement process. This opportunity gave me the chance to direct my graduate studies towards helping an institution with a relatively under-the-radar but pressing issue."

Rebekah Haigh, GS, REL

After completing a BS at Rochester College and MTS and ThM at Emory University, Rebekah Haigh became a Fulbright Fellow at Hebrew University in…

Debbie Hart

Debbie Hart worked alongside NJ’s biotechnology industry leaders to establish BioNJ in 1994 and has been dedicated to building NJ’s life sciences…

Max Horder, GS, ANT

I'm a fourth year graduate student working on Brexit and populism in the United Kingdom, where I am currently based. Whilst conducting fieldwork,…

Florence Hudson, '80, MAE

Florence Hudson is Executive Director of the Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub at Columbia University, and Founder & CEO of FDHint, LLC, a…

Margaret Kurkoski, GS, ART

A scholar of Roman art and Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University, Margaret Kurkoski is primarily focused on the relationship between…

Cate Mahoney, *20, ENG
"In the spring I will teach my first class, and I'm super excited! I've found working with John and Stephanie to be like working with old friends."
Christos Maravelias

Christos Maravelias is the Anderson Family Professor in the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment and the Department of Chemical and…

Iris Palmer

Iris Palmer is a senior advisor for higher education and workforce with the Education Policy program at New America. She is a member of the higher…

Noel Park, GS, MOL

Noel is a PhD candidate in molecular biology at Princeton University co-mentored by Dr. Joshua Rabinowitz and LSI fellow Shawn Davidson.

Pallavi Podapati, GS, HOS

"My fellowship with the American Society on Aging focused my thinking on larger sociopolitical issues and allowed me to apply my research in rewarding ways, all while collaborating with a fantastic team of dedicated individuals."

Stephanie Pope, GS, ENG

"I would without qualification recommend an internship at the Foundation for anyone looking for a varied, challenging summer work experience and a cultural introduction to London."

Anne-Marie Slaughter , '80

Anne-Marie Slaughter is the CEO of New America, a think ​and action ​tank dedicated to renewing the promise of America, bringing us…

Elaine Tsui, GS, CHE

Elaine Tsui is a Ph.D. Candidate in Chemistry, where she studies the development of new catalytic methods in organic synthesis. Prior to coming to…