Fellowship FAQs

Who is Eligible to Apply for this Fellowship?

Santa Clara University juniors from all majors may apply. This is a highly competitive fellowship process and the strongest applications normally come from students with over a 3.0 GPA.

What is Required of the Fellows?

This fellowship blends education, service and research. This fellowship requires a sustained, year-long commitment, roughly equivalent in time and effort required for a minor, beginning in the spring quarter of the junior year. Fellows are required to take a social entrepreneurship course in the spring; spend about 5 weeks during the summer in the field with one of our partner organizations; spend 2 weeks volunteering during the August GSBI Accelerator; take a research and reflection course in the fall of senior year; and write up a research project by the end of winter quarter. This research can be applied toward senior thesis or capstone projects for a major.

Where are the Fellows Placed?

Fellows will be placed in pairs with social entrepreneur organizations that participate in the Center's network, with groups that have worked with the Center for several years. The majority of these are based in the developing world (Asia, Africa and Latin America). Some fellows may be placed with US organizations that work domestically, or in foreign countries. For example, fellows might be placed with organizations that foster economic education for rural enterprise development; sell micro-solar lighting technologies to communities without grid power; or provide instruction in computer skills to help urban slum dwellers gain employment. These placements might be in countries such as Kenya, Paraguay, or India. Some fellows may be placed with US-based organizations.

How Do Fellows Help Their Host Organization?

This fellowship blends education, service, and research. The service that fellows provide will vary by organization. Fellows might produce some kind of digital media (webpage or video documentary), enhance some dimension of a business plan, or evaluate some technologies. This service will begin in the field but will likely be completed back on campus. In the same way, research will be begun in the field but completed during the senior year. These research projects will advance the social entrepreneurship field by explaining the dynamics of its success and failure.

Is This a Paid Internship?

Each fellow will receive a support package to cover international travel, in-country expenses, research costs, and a modest summer stipend. The award size will depend on the specific project, but full costs for students will be covered to ensure the program is accessible to the most qualified, regardless of socioeconomic background.

How are the Applicants Selected?

Successful applicants will demonstrate academic excellence, a commitment to community service, and the personal responsibility necessary to live and work in a developing world context. Experience of community service in the developing world would be advantageous. You can learn more about the selection process on the Fellowship Program Detail page.

Is There a Foreign Language Requirement?

No. However, you should identify any foreign languages in your application. Some of the organizations we work with require Spanish proficiency.

Are the Spring and Fall Classes Mandatory?

Yes. They are required and integral to the fellowship. The spring orientation class will provide an overview of the social entrepreneurship movement; essential tools for understanding the strategies of the organizations where fellows are placed; an orientation to living in the developing world; and skills essential to completing the research dimension of the fellowship. The fall research and reflection class will provide you the tools and skills you need to prepare for the winter quarter research symposium, and help you reflect on the implications of your fellowship experience for your future profession and service. Fellows will sign a learning contract that commits them to participate in classes, field experiences, and research activities.