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John Gardner Public Service Fellowship

Thursday, January 9, 2020
Deadline Month: 

The John Gardner Public Service Fellowship provides opportunities for graduating seniors to invest their talent, energy and training in public service. Six fellows, three from Stanford and three from UC Berkeley, are selected each spring. Fellows work full-time for ten months with a government or nonprofit agency in the continental United States.

Placements are made through a facilitated process during spring quarter. Each fellow is matched with a mentor who is a distinguished leader at the placement organization.  The mentor agrees to guide the fellow's professional growth and development and to provide opportunities and exposure that exceed what is normally available to a recent graduate.

Each fellow is provided with a $38,000 award.  The fellowship also ensures that each fellow has health insurance; often, this is covered by the placement organization. Placements begin no later than October 1 after graduation.

To get a sense of the Gardner Fellowship, check out the 2013 Gardner Fellows' blog and  watch this short video.

Please note that Haas Center staff do not necessarily have direct experience with, nor do we professionally endorse, partner organizations.

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Gardner Fellowship

Meet the Gardner Fellows


Gardner Fellows commit to 10 months of full time work starting no later than October 1 after graduation. The Gardner Fellowship cannot be combined with other awards or employment or be used to start an organization. Placements and mentors are determined through a deliberative spring quarter process. Gardner Fellows must agree to fulfill the following requirements:

  • interview with prospective mentors prior to or shortly after graduation;
  • attend orientation sessions held in spring and late summer on one of the two campuses;
  • complete a workshop in Principles of Ethical and Effective Public Service;
  • design a personal learning plan in conjunction with the placement mentor;
  • participate in a mid-year meeting and an end-of-fellowship evaluation meeting;
  • write and submit a year-end report and stewardship letters.

Fellows are also asked to assist the program in future years by recruiting applicants and/or mentors, and by participating in information and training sessions.


To be eligible for a Gardner Fellowship, you must be a current graduating senior or co-term at Stanford University or University of California, Berkeley. Applicants are encouraged from any academic major and from a wide variety of service experiences.


Selection Process: 

Applicants are selected based on the following criteria:

Note: You should not and need not have a specific placement or mentor in mind to apply.

Interested students should submit an application online. Applicants must also solicit two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from a faculty member who is familiar with their college level work (see application information).

The selection committee reviews applications and develops a list of finalists to be interviewed. Awardees must commit by Friday, March 6, 2020. Following commitment, program staff assists fellows in selecting an appropriate mentor and organization. Fellowships traditionally begin in September; placements must be located within the continental United States.

Sponsored by: 
Haas Center for Public Service
External or Stanford Fellowship: 
Administered by Stanford
Open to: 
Graduating students

For more information, please contact Juaquin Sims at the Haas Center.

1 year program