Frequently Asked Questions

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Eligibility and Selection Criteria     |     Application Guidelines and Overview     |     Letters of Recommendation     |     Application Guidelines Booklet    |     Apply


1. Q: I am not sure I am eligible for the program.

A: Please review the eligibility and selection criteria available in the packet on page 7 and 8.


2. Q: I submitted an application last year. Do I need to submit another one again with new letters of recommendation?

A: Yes, you will need to submit a new application as we have changed some of the questions from the previous years. However, if you did submit an application for the class of 2016 or 2015 we can retain your letters of recommendation through our system and add them to your 2017 class application file. Please reach out to Sadaf Minapara ( if you would like your nomination letter retained for your new application.


3. Q: How do I access the application portal?

A. Visit:


4. Q: What are the dates for the 2016 program?

A: Sunday, July 16, 2017 - Friday, August 4, 2017.


5. Q: What if I cannot attend the entire length of the program?

A: It is required that all fellows attend the entire duration for the program. You must check with your employer to make sure that you can take three weeks away from your responsibilities to attend the program. No exceptions will be made.


6. Q: What are the deadlines for the application process?

A: The application form and two letters of recommendation are due by Wednesday, November 16, 2016.


7. Q: I have unreliable or inconsistent Internet access in my home country and cannot submit an electronic application. Would it be possible to submit a paper application?

A: Yes. If you send us a fax number, we are happy to fax you a hard copy of the form. We are unfortunately unable to receive and send hard copies of the applications by mail. You can contact us at to make this inquiry.


8. Q: I have submitted my application but still not heard back from the program. It has been over three months!

A: Due to the high volume of applications received to the program and the review process, applicants will be informed of their selection to the program by April 2017.


9. Q: I submitted my application form but want to make a change? Can I re-access it through the system?

A: It is not possible to draw up either form to edit or revise. It is very important that you make sure your application forms are complete to your liking before submitting them in the system.


10. Q: I was typing into the application form and it cut me off mid-sentence. What is the problem?

A: Our application system has a word count limit and will track your word count for you on the form. It is important that applicants be concise in answering questions, so please focus on the most important points that you want to convey.


11. Q: I was not accepted to the program. Will I find out why?

A: Due to the high volume of applications received, the program will not be able to follow up with each individual applicant concerning their application.


12. Q: Can I reapply to the program next year if I was not accepted this year?

A: Yes, you can re-apply provided you meet the core criteria. Many applicants decide to re-apply once they have gained more professional experience and can benefit and contribute more fully to the program. The ideal candidate has over 10 years of professional experience in a position of influence within the field of democracy, development, and the rule of law.


13. Q: My CV is longer than 3 pages, will the system accept it?

A: Your CV should be no longer than 3 pages in length and contain the information outlined in the Resume/CV section above. The program team will not review CV's longer than 3 pages in length. The must be uploaded as an MS World Document (.doc) or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf). All other file types will not be accepted.


14. Q: How do I know if my letters of recommendation have been submitted?

A: The system will send you an email message when your letters of recommendation have been submitted to the application system. It is also your responsibility to check the status of your letters of recommendation through the application portal and follow up with your recommenders directly about the Wednesday, November 16, 2016 deadline.

If a letter of recommendation has been uploaded to the system you will see a note in the "Status" field that reads: “Your letter of recommendation has been received from this recommender and is complete. No further action for the applicant is required at this time." If a letter of recommendation has not been uploaded to the system you will see the following note in the "Status" field: "This person has been contacted but no letter of recommendation has been received as of today."


15. Q: Who should write letters of recommendation on my behalf?

A: You must request a letter of recommendation from your current supervisor at your institution of employment. If you are the founder or head of that respective institution then it is suggested that you ask a board member or senior advisor to the organization to draft the letter on your behalf. If you are currently unemployed or between jobs then it is suggested that you ask your previous supervisor for a letter of recommendation.

If you were nominated to the program by an alumni of the Draper Hills Summer Fellows, please ask that individual to write a letter of recommendation for you highlighting why you would be a good fit for the program. We take recommendations from our alumni very seriously and this will certainly help boost the success of your application.

We will not accept letters of recommendation from your family or friends and will require each recommender to state their relationship to the candidate. The strongest letters of recommendation are from those who can comment on your professional contributions to the field of democracy, development, and the rule of law.


16. Q: How will I know when my application is complete and ready to be reviewed by the committee?

A: The system will send you an email message when your application file is complete. It is the applicant's responsibility to follow up with their recommenders. If two letters of recommendation are not submitted, your application cannot be judged complete.


17. Q: When will I find out if my application was successful?

A: We will inform applicants of the status of their application by April 2017. Please do not follow-up with the program team before that time concerning the status of your application.


18. Q: I would like to bring my family with me to Stanford, will the program accommodate them?

A: No. We do not have the funds or accommodations to host family members. All rooms are single-style or shared and family members are not permitted to stay. In addition, the fellowship is an opportunity for the fellows to connect outside of the classroom through informal activities and dinners in the evening. Family members can prohibit this type of interaction and are not encouraged to accompany participants to Stanford.