Higher Education Leadership Fellowships

The GradFUTURES Social Impact Fellowship Program has expanded, and now offers a Higher Education Leadership Fellowships option for Princeton graduate students.

Princeton’s goal of building closer ties to public higher education institutions and community colleges in New Jersey is part of our shared commitment to increased access, social mobility, and the power of higher education to advance inclusive economic development and innovation within our state and throughout the world. 

As part of the GradFUTURES Social Impact Fellowship Program, the new Higher Education Leadership Fellowships will offer Princeton graduate students the unique opportunity to learn first-hand from senior leaders at New Jersey’s public and private institutions– with a special emphasis on community colleges. Based on the popular University Administrative Fellowship program sponsored by the Graduate School, which offers Princeton graduate students the opportunity to learn about higher education administrative structures, policies, and strategies through a mentored experience, this new fellowship will provide graduate students with exposure to administrative leadership at various institutions throughout the state.

Graduate students receive one-on-one mentoring and coaching while gaining exposure to ways individual institutions fulfill their teaching, research, and social impact missions. The fellows gain exposure to organizational dynamics and leadership strategies via shadowing and participating in meetings and/or presentations. Host institutions work closely with the Graduate School to determine the learning outcomes and professional development goals for these immersive experiences and to ensure that the fellows acquire the competencies in the GradFUTURES professional competency model. The expectation is that the fellowship will be mutually beneficial and host institutions will benefit from the diverse ideas of graduate students in conjunction with meaningful project deliverables that address institutional and community goals while framing regional, national and global education challenges. 

The Graduate School at Princeton University provides the fellow with a stipend to fund this immersive experience. 

The goals of the GradFUTURES Social Impact Fellowship Program’s Higher Education Leadership Fellowships are to provide graduate students with opportunities to: 

• Participate in a unique learning experience to acquire and hone professional skills and competencies while gaining exposure to higher education leadership;

• Develop a broader knowledge of the higher education landscape, leadership structures and strategies, and the various administrative, academic, and social impact goals of the institution;

• Collaborate with team members and experienced staff to produce specific deliverables that address critical challenges and opportunities for the host institution;

• Receive mentorship from mid-level and senior leaders within the institution;

• Present projects accomplished during the fellowship to showcase skills learned and refine communication skills.

Specific goals for the Fellow’s personal and professional growth, project components and deliverables will be defined and mutually agreed upon.  

Time Commitment & Funding: 

Academic Year:  Throughout the academic year (August 1-May 31), graduate students may participate in an external fellowship up to 10 hours per week during a semester (16 weeks) with the approval of their faculty adviser. International graduate students may be subject to additional limitations based on their work authorization. Upon approval, the Graduate School provides the student with a stipend to fund this immersive experience.  

Summer:  With the approval of their faculty adviser, graduate students may participate in a summer fellowship for up to 8 weeks for either 10 hours/week or 40 hours/week. International graduate students may be subject to additional limitations based on their work authorization. Based on Princeton’s academic calendar and applicable graduate student enrollment and funding cycles, these opportunities are generally held between June 1 through July 30. Upon approval, the Graduate School provides the student with a stipend to fund this immersive experience.  

The Host Institution agrees to provide:  

1. An equitable recruitment and selection process within a framework of professionally accepted recruiting, interviewing and selection practices as stipulated in the Nondiscrimination Policy of Princeton University.

2. An inclusive and welcoming learning environment for the fellow that aligns with Princeton University’s conduct standards.

3. An academic partner profile for the supervisor/mentor on the GradFUTURES website to help promote the fellowship and share advice regarding professional development for graduate students.

4. Routine check-ins between the fellow and their supervisor/mentor to answer questions, offer professional advice, and share feedback on specific project-based deliverables (e.g. blog post, insights papers, research briefs, etc.).

5. The opportunity to meet with multiple other supervisors and/or key leaders across the institutions throughout the duration of the fellowship. These meetings will provide opportunities for networking, as well as broader insight into the wider range of roles and projects within the organization.

6. The opportunity for the fellow to deliver a capstone presentation. This will provide a chance for Fellows to reflect and synthesize their learnings while implementing the new skills gained through the experience.

7. Regular feedback to the GradFUTURES team regarding the intern/fellow’s progress and performance via periodic check-ins via email or phone. In addition, host organizations will be required to complete a brief survey at the end of the experience. (Graduate student fellows also complete a survey at the end of the experience to reflect on and assess their learnings from the program.)

To learn more, please email gradfutures@princeton.edu!