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Donald Kennedy Public Service Fellowship

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Haas Center for Public Service inaugurated the Donald Kennedy Summer Fellowship Program in 1984 to honor former Stanford President Donald Kennedy’s commitment to public service and provides students with support to develop and implement innovative service projects in collaboration with communities to address identified needs.  Up to 25 Donald Kennedy Fellowships will be awarded in 2016.

The fellowship provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to design and implement summer service projects with an immediate impact resulting in a tangible deliverable used to sustain service to a community. Fellows may work in the United States or abroad. Fellows work to alleviate some of society’s most pressing concerns across the United States and in other countries. Projects vary in size and scope, work with diverse constituencies, and address a wide range of issues. Fellows may work in any field of interest. Students are encouraged to think about how their academic background and prior experiences might be useful to organizations and communities trying to develop better ways of addressing challenges they face. Fellowship funding cannot be used for programs that require a participation fee.

Applicants must propose their own placements with organizations with which they have corresponded before the application deadline and effectively demonstrate that their intended partner organization is a well- run organization, where they will receive adequate guidance and supervision.

Each Donald Kennedy Public Service Fellow receives a base stipend of $4,000 to support travel and living expenses during the summer. Financial aid and supplemental funding is available to students who qualify. An additional $1000 for project expenses is available to each fellow.


The Donald Kennedy Public Service Fellowship is designed for students willing to devote their summer to a project. Fellows are required to work on their project for at least 35 hours/week for nine consecutive weeks. Please review the entire FAQs section for program policies. Other commitments include the following:

Spring Quarter

  • Meet with academic mentor at least once.
  • Enroll and participate in EDUC 170, designed to help fellows prepare for the summer experience.
  • Students participating in an international service project must attend the IPREP workshop.
  • Design a personal learning plan for the summer and share the plan with community partner and academic mentor.


  • Submit a brief preliminary report.
  • Submit a final report, complete a program evaluation, and correspond with fellowship donor(s) as requested by fellowships program staff.

Autumn Quarter

  • Meet with academic mentor at least once.
  • Attend a de-briefing meeting for the purpose of reflecting upon and evaluating summer projects.
  • Participate in outreach activity to share your experiences and help publicize the program.

Eligibility and Selection Process


Donald Kennedy Public Service Fellowships will be awarded to currently enrolled undergraduate students from any academic discipline. Applicants vary in academic interests, community service involvement, and experience.

Selection Process

For those who seek assistance, advising is offered in January to help students develop their applications.

We strongly encourage students to discuss ideas for projects with fellowships program staff at the Haas Center well before the application deadline. Developing a suitable project takes time, so start the application process early and consult with professors, advisors and community partners regularly. This fellowship is intended for individuals whose application, references, and interview demonstrate the following:

  • need for the project and potential impact on the community (short and long term)
  • feasibility and viability of the project
  • quality of direct interaction and collaboration with the community partner and community being served
  • innovation in the project design
  • relationship of the project to the applicant’s background and future plans
  • ability, initiative, motivation and demonstrated commitment of the applicant
  • flexibility and willingness to adjust project plans in accordance with community needs

Additional considerations for applicants proposing international projects include the following:

  • the applicant’s ability to speak the native language
  • prior experience in the country or local community
  • adequate in-country community connections (international projects require a local community partner, U.S. representatives or affiliates are not acceptable substitutes)
  • safety: the safety of travel to any international destination is reviewed up until time of departure. The fellowship program must adhere to the Provost’s International Travel Policy which states "Stanford-sponsored or Stanford-organized trips involving undergraduates to countries where a State Department Travel Warning has been issued is prohibited. No university funds can be used to support travel to these locations." The U.S. Department of State posts travel advisories.

Complete applications are screened, finalists interviewed, and fellows selected by a committee with the intention to award fellowships prior to spring break. Committee decisions are final.


Submission deadline for application materials, including unofficial transcript and recommendation, is February 9, 2016 at 11:59 pm (PST). All documents are time stamped upon receipt. Application materials received after the posted deadline are not accepted.

A complete fellowship application includes the application form, a résumé, a recommendation form, and an unofficial transcript.

An unofficial transcript can be obtained via Stanford Axess:

  • Go to the Student Center tab from the Axess home page.
  • Click on "My Academics."
  • Click on “View my unofficial transcripts.”
  • In the drop down menu marked as “Career” select “undergraduate.”
  • Click the green button “View Report.”
  • Save pdf file with your name and upload to your application.

Contact Information

For more information, contact Hilary Douglas.