Offered in partnership with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), the Faculty Fellows program provides a unique faculty development experience, offering faculty from all disciplines the opportunity to pursue their professional, disciplinary, and personal interests in a challenging and dynamic professional environment—and to reinvigorate their work as scholars, teachers, advisers, and educational leaders.
Sponsored by their home institutions, Faculty Fellows spend one full semester in the Washington, DC area, working at government agencies, non-profit organizations, national associations, museums, foundations, and other sites related to their individual expertise and professional interests. Past hosts have included the National Science Foundation, the Institute for Health Policy Solutions, the National Council for Science and the Environment, the Arts Education Partnership, and the International Economic Development Council. During their time in Washington, Faculty Fellows also have opportunities to engage with colleagues in their disciplines and with higher education experts.
The Faculty Fellows Experience
- Faculty Fellows spend a fall, spring, or summer term in Washington, DC, applying their expertise and skills in professional settings. Some Fellows may seek to work in an area directly related to their ongoing research and teaching interests, while others may take this opportunity to explore new areas of interest.
- For four days each week, Fellows actively contribute to the work of the host organization, performing tasks that may include research, writing, or project management. The Faculty Fellow is paired with a senior employee of the host organization who helps plan a set of experiences that will allow them to meet their mutual goals. In brief, by learning to translate their academic knowledge and skills in "real world" contexts, faculty experience as fellows what their students experience as interns.
- One day each week, Fellows can network with professionals in their field as well as experts in higher education, opportunities facilitated by the partnership between the Washington Internship Institute and AAC&U. Fellows can, for example, meet with AAC&U staff and learn about current initiatives and broader issues in higher education. Those Fellows interested in focusing on such issues can also consider a placement at AAC&U. Fellows also meet regularly with the President of the Washington Internship Institute to reflect upon their experience and discuss ways in which their experience connects to their teaching, research, and service on campus.
- During their time in Washington, Fellows are encouraged to share their experiences with their peers, students, and the general public through a blog, a medium that enables Fellows to reflect on what they are learning. Previous Fellows have also produced articles and conference presentations based on their experiences.
A truly holistic faculty development experience, the Faculty Fellows program allows faculty to:
- revitalize their approach to teaching (past Fellows have used the insights gained from their experience to create new classes, for example);
- expand or refocus their research agendas to make them more applied;
- ground their service to their home institutions in deeper knowledge of contemporary issues and best practices in higher education;
- serve as models for how learning can be applied outside of academia;
- draw on their firsthand knowledge of the benefits of experiential education to enhance their ability to advise students.
Other benefits include a complimentary two-year Associate membership in AAC&U and an invitation to join regional planning committees for AAC&U's Network for Academic Renewal conferences.
Eligibility and Application Process
Faculty in good standing from any accredited institution of higher education may apply by submitting the following to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Letter of interest, indicating
- Areas of interest and connections to teaching, research, and/or service;
- Prospective organizations of interest and desired term of participation;
- Demonstrated interest in helping students connect classroom and experiential learning;
- Ideas for how this experience may benefit future teaching, research, and/or service.
- Curriculum Vitae
- Letter of support from provost, academic dean, or department chair.
- Fall Semester (early September to mid-December): April 1
- Spring Semester (mid-January to mid-May): August 1
- Summer Term (late May to early August): January 15
After being accepted into the program, Fellows will work with the Washington Internship Institute to determine the ideal placement based on their interests.
The Faculty Fellow's home institution provides $6000, matched by the Fellow's host organization, to cover housing costs, as well individualized placement options, orientation materials, advising, and evaluation. Institutions who are members of AAC&U or partners with the Washington Internship Institute will receive a $1000 discount. In the letter of support from the applicant's home institution, an indication of the institution's financial support of the applicant, as well as its AAC&U membership status, should be included.
The Faculty Fellow is responsible for transportation to and from Washington, DC and daily living expenses, including
- Public transportation
Each Faculty Fellow lives in a furnished efficiency or one-bedroom apartment selected by the Washington Internship Institute for location and access to public transportation. Availability of parking is not guaranteed nor included in program costs.
Submit the form below to learn more about the program.