How To Apply

Have you been thinking about how to make a difference in the world beyond your discipline? Do you enjoy engaging with people in other disciplines and in your community? Do you want to join a life-long, diverse professional community that shares these values? If so, we hope you will apply for ELISS!

Applications for the class of 2016 will be accepted in the Spring of 2015 from graduate and professional students at select partner campuses. 


To be considered for ELISS, all applicants must:

  • Be enrolled full time in a graduate or professional program at an ELISS partner campus through at least December, 2015.
  • Commit to full participation in all components of the ELISS program
  • Commit to being physically present on one’s home campus during the program.

Both U.S. and non–U.S. citizens and students from all disciplines - including professional degree programs, social and natural science, engineering, humanities, and the arts - are encouraged to apply.

2015 Application Timeline

  • Step 1: Confirmation of Eligibility (May 6  - June 20, 2014) 
  • Step 2:  Written Application (June 20 - July 20, 2014)
  • Step 3: Semi-Finalist Essay & Supervisor Approval (August 18 - August 29, 2014)
  • Step 4: In-Person Interviews (September 8 - September 19, 2014)
  • Step 5: Sign Participation Agreement (finalists notified by mid-October have one week to decide)

Selection Criteria

The ELISS review committee will evaluate applications based on the following selection criteria:

Leadership Potential

  • Ability to develop and organize projects and people toward positive outcomes
  • Strong interpersonal skills (e.g., listening and speaking effectively, self-awareness, empathy, conflict resolution) 
  • Takes initiative to solve problems that affect one’s work place and/or community
  • Skilled at acquiring information, connections, and resources to make things happen

Commitment to Collaborative & Interdisciplinary Approaches

  • Works well in diverse teams
  • Able to communicate complex concepts clearly to many different audiences
  • Interested in issues that cross the boundaries of disciplines and the walls of the university

Commitment to Service

  • A demonstrated interest and passion for serving society beyond one’s own discipline 
  • Willingness to go out of one’s way to help others
  • Highly motivated to engage with members of one’s community

Adaptability & Openness

  • Committed to testing ideas and assumptions, considering multiple perspectives, and challenging one’s own opinions
  • Comfortable with some risk and uncertainty, taking action without having the full picture, revising plans to better advance goals
  • Willing to take different roles as a situation demands

Scholarly & Professional Success

  • Evidence of high quality scholarship and/or research and coursework
  • Above average progress toward mastery of a discipline 
  • Dedicated to doing one’s best in scholarly and/or professional work

Commitment to Fellowship Objectives & Opportunities

  • Personal interest in expanding one’s skill–set beyond one’s graduate or professional degree program
  • Commitment to personal growth resulting from exposure to various views and environments
  • Commitment to devote the time to be successful both as an ELISS fellow and in one’s graduate or professional program

In addition to individual merit, the ELISS review committee will consider the representation of skills, disciplines, experiences, and perspectives in the overall cohort of fellows.