Who should apply?
We look for highly qualified and motivated graduate students who are pursuing a career in advocacy that is related to government relations and lobbying.
What are the criteria for the fellowship?
In addition to the pursuit of a career in government relations and lobbying, a student must be employed full-time and enrolled part-time in a graduate level program of study.
What does the Foundation look for in an applicant?
The fellowship committee will review and select finalists from all applications received by the deadline. Fellowship finalists will be interviewed and the committee will select the Bryce Harlow Fellows. While demonstrated academic achievement is not a measured criteria, it is expected of all candidates given that applicants must be accepted into a graduate program. Criteria include:
- Strong interest in a career in advocacy related to government relations and lobbying
- Professional achievement and leadership potential
- Knowledge of the advocacy process and demonstrated high standards
- Knowledge of Bryce Harlow himself
- Financial need
How is the evaluation criteria weighted?
- CAREER (50%) — Strong interest in a career in advocacy related to government relations and advocacy
- LEADERSHIP (30%) — Professional achievement and leadership potential
- ETHICS & INTEGRITY (20%) —Knowledge of the advocacy process and demonstrated high standards
Although not measured criteria, financial need, knowledge of Bryce Harlow himself, and for return Fellows, engagement with the Foundation will also be taken into consideration.
I’m interested in a career in advocacy, but not necessarily lobbying; can I still apply?
Advocacy takes on many shapes and is commonly associated with public interest advocacy, especially the work done by NGOs and other government agencies interested in improving the lives of people affected by particular issues. However, for the purposes of the Bryce Harlow Fellowship, we seek to award students who will engage in the professional practice of government relations, which includes lobbying governments for the purpose of advancing specific public policy outcomes for organizations or companies. We understand that it may take some years to gather experiences to be successful within the profession, but your career path must be described as clearly as possible in your essays and on your resume.
Where can I find more information about the Bryce Harlow Fellowship on my university’s website?
What are the participating schools?
American University, The Catholic University of America, George Mason University, The George Washington University, Howard University, The Johns Hopkins University, the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), the University of Maryland, and the University of Virginia.
Can I apply even if I am enrolled in a non-participating university?
Yes. Although the Foundation targets nine local universities, students who attend non-participating universities and meet ALL of the other criteria are encouraged to contact the Foundation office to be considered.
Can incoming graduate students apply?
Yes. Several prior fellowship winners were just beginning their graduate work. Please contact your university for further information, and include a letter of acceptance in your application (in lieu of graduate school transcripts).
Is the fellowship only offered to certain majors?
No! We recognize that there are many paths to becoming a successful government relations professional, so most graduate degree programs qualify — Bryce Harlow himself was a graduate student in history and worked as an assistant librarian at the beginning of his career. Typical courses of study among applicants include law (JD), business (MBA), and public policy (MPA, MPP), but the most important requirement is a career interest in advocacy that is directly related to government relations and lobbying.
Can undergraduates apply?
No, the Bryce Harlow Fellowship is for graduate students only.
Can I apply if I’m taking a full-time course load, but still working full-time?
Yes. However, you must be able to verify that you work full-time in addition to taking classes.
Can I apply if I work 20 hours each week?
No. To be considered for the Bryce Harlow Fellowship you must be working the equivalent of a traditional 40-hour week, preferably in a position that is part of your plan to achieve your career goal within the profession of government relations and lobbying.
Application Process Questions
Do you accept on-line applications?
Yes; all applications must be submitted on-line. The Bryce Harlow Fellowship application consists of five components. All forms and uploads must be completed in one session – THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT OR YOU WILL LOSE YOUR WORK AND WILL NEED TO START OVER.
Why do you have university contacts?
Each university has an official Bryce Harlow contact person who has worked with us over the years and really understands the criteria for the fellowship. The university contact is a good resource if you have questions about the fellowship.
Who are the university contacts?
Please click here for a list of university contacts.
Is the fellowship renewable?
There is a two year cap on receiving the fellowship. However, it is important to note that if you have been awarded the fellowship it does NOT mean you will automatically get it for your second year. Bryce Harlow Fellows are encouraged to re-apply as long as they are eligible. Fellows who reapply must compose new written statements, perhaps incorporating some original work if it is still relevant. This is very important – cutting and pasting from last year is easy to spot and frowned upon.
Can I re-apply if not chosen?
Yes. If your circumstances have changed or you feel you might be in a better position to be accepted, we encourage you to reapply.
What should be included in the completed on-line application?
- Application form – please gather the necessary information to efficiently fill in this form in one sitting.
- Written statements – This is the heart of the fellowship application. Thoughtfully compose your essays in Microsoft Word and when you are ready to apply, simply cut and paste your statements into the application. Be mindful of the maximum word usage. If you are a current Bryce Harlow Fellow, you must compose new written statements, perhaps incorporating some of your original work if it is still relevant. This is very important – cutting and pasting from last year is easy to spot and frowned upon.
- Letters of recommendation – Scan and upload two letters from people who know you and your work well.
- Resume – upload your one-page resume.
- Undergraduate and graduate transcripts – Scan and upload your complete undergraduate transcript and your most current graduate transcript. If you have not yet started your graduate study, please scan and upload a copy of your acceptance letter. If you attended multiple undergraduate universities, please submit them all. You do not need to copy the back side of the transcript or the page that explains the university’s grading system.
Should I have my official transcripts sent directly to the Foundation?
No. Official transcripts should be scanned and uploaded as directed in your on-line application.
Is there an interview?
Yes. If you are chosen as a finalist you will be contacted to schedule an interview. We hope to speak to you in person but if you are not already in Washington, DC we will set up a telephone interview.
Do you consider financial need when selecting Bryce Harlow Fellows?
Financial need is a consideration for the fellowship but since this is a merit (not needs-based) award there is no salary cap above which a student is prohibited from applying for the award. The committee will consider such factors as education debt, other debt, other tuition benefits and unusual circumstances in addition to an applicant’s salary level.
Am I disqualified if I already receive tuition remission?
No, but it must be disclosed and it will be considered as part of your application in full.
What is the amount of the award?
The award is currently $8,000, paid in two installments — $4,000 in the fall semester and $4,000 in the spring.
How are the funds distributed?
The funds are paid directly to the university, for deposit into the fellow’s student account.
What happens if my qualified educational expenses are less than the award?
The left-over Bryce Harlow Fellowship funds must be refunded back to the Foundation.
When will I be notified?
Applicants will be notified of the Foundation’s decision in early August.
When will the funds be distributed?
The first installment of funds will be paid directly to the university in mid-August. The second installment will be sent to the university in December, before the start of the spring semester. Please contact your university contact for more information about specific dates.
Can you give any advice for applying? What is the committee looking for?
We look for clear, concise writing skills, some knowledge of Bryce Harlow himself, familiarity with the government relations and lobbying profession and above all, a commitment to practice the art of lobbying with the highest degree of integrity and competence. We are not looking for students pursuing a career in social justice advocacy.
What is the average GPA of a Bryce Harlow Fellow?
The average graduate GPA of the 2011–12 fellows is 3.56 and the average undergraduate GPA for the same class is 3.55.
How many applications do your receive, and how many awards are given out each year?
In 2016–17 we received about 70 applications and selected 23 fellows.