Fellowship FAQs

Is the fellowship paid?

FUSE fellows are independent contractors and receive an annual $90,000 stipend, paid monthly over the course of their 12-month engagement. As an independent contractor, taxes are not withheld and benefits are not provided.

When do the fellowships begin and end?

2020 Spring Cohort

The Spring 2020 Cohort begins April 27, 2020 and ends April 26, 2021.

The fellowship begins with a four-day orientation from April 27 – April 30, 2020.

Fellows begin their first day of providing services to the host agencies in their respective cities and counties on Monday, May 4, 2020.

Fellows’ year of service ends Monday, April 26, 2021.


2020 Fall Cohort

The Fall 2020 Cohort begins September 21, 2020 and ends September 20, 2021.

The fellowship begins with a four-day orientation in Washington D.C., September 21 – 24, 2020.

Fellows begin their first day of providing services to the host agencies in their respective cities and counties on Monday, September 28, 2020.

Fellows’ year of service ends Monday, September 20, 2021.

When do you begin accepting applications?

General applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. Applications for specific projects open in January for the spring cohort and in May for the fall cohort.

How long does it take to fill out the application?

The application has been designed to take less than 30 minutes to complete. Among other common application questions, you will be asked to upload your resume and provide a brief statement of interest in the FUSE fellowship in lieu of a formal cover letter.

Can I work on the fellowship part-time?

No. This year of service represents a full-time year-long commitment to the work of the fellowship project as a singular professional priority for the entirety of the engagement. Additionally, fellows must either live within a commutable distance to the host city of the placement or be willing to relocate temporarily, if selected, as projects will likely require daily on-the-ground and in-person interaction with the host agency. About one-third of our fellows accept fellowships in states or cities or counties where they do not currently reside. FUSE does not provide relocation benefits to candidates who are interested in moving for a specific project. Depending on the host government agency and project, there may be some flexibility around how often fellows need to be in the office and how much flexibility they have around their day-to-day schedule.

How long is the interview process?

The interview process can take anywhere between two and 12 weeks, depending on how close you apply to the fellowship start date. After reviewing applications, FUSE Corps schedules a 30-minute phone interviews with candidates to assess the technical skills needed for the project. Those initial conversations are also the appropriate time to discuss candidates’ interest in other projects they might like to be considered for.

Selected applicants are moved forward to a video interview, which lasts about 45 minutes and is conducted by our former fellows, who are closely engaged with our recruiting efforts.

Finally, we select two to four candidates to meet with the stakeholders from each of the agencies that represent our city and county partners. These are in-person interviews. For the spring cohort, they begin in April. For the fall cohort, they begin in September.

From there, the cities and counties select the fellow who they believe will be the most successful with their particular project in their agency. Candidates who are not selected for a FUSE fellowship are certainly encouraged to consider opportunities with future FUSE cohorts.

What do people do after their year of public service as a FUSE fellow?

About half of FUSE fellows remain in either the public or nonprofit sector in some capacity. If both the fellow and agency are interested, FUSE offers an executive advisor program, an opportunity for fellows to extend their original contract to continue the work for another 12-month fellowship. Executive Advisors are paid $120,000 as independent contractors, and they benefit from opportunities specifically tailored for them to meet the elevated expectations of their second year of the fellowship.

How often do fellows interact with their cohort?

Fellows have ample opportunity to interact with each other through a variety of avenues:

    • Orientation: We kick off the year with a week-long orientation, an opportunity for fellows to get acquainted before their first day with their host agencies.
    • Slack Channel: Fellows are provided a dedicated Slack channel, an online messaging platform for groups, where they can stay in contact.
    • Weekly Newsletters: Fellows receive weekly newsletters to keep them apprised of each others’ accomplishments and program updates.
    • Mid-Year Retreat: We reconvene all fellows in person at the six-month mark as a chance to reconnect face-to-face and lean on each other for solutions to obstacles they may be facing going into the final stretch of the fellowship.
    • We do our best to ensure we have multiple projects in each city and county so fellows have more opportunities for face time with their cohort.
Can I be considered for more than one opportunity?

Unlike a conventional talent acquisition process, the FUSE team evaluates your skill sets against all of our projects, beginning with the one that you specifically applied for. We consider candidacy for all listed projects based on candidates’ skills and expertise. Candidates need only to apply to one of the fellowship projects. Candidates can inform interviewers of their interests in fellowship opportunities other than the ones they applied for.