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What to Expect on the 2020 STPF Application

You may have heard: the STPF application opens in June 1! Here’s a quick overview of the seven steps to the STPF application – and some tips for preparing a strong app in 2020. 

Steps 1-3: Eligibility, Applicant Background & Verification  

This is the easy stuff! Register your account, verify your email and complete the eligibility self-check. Not sure if you’re eligible in 2020? Read through STPF eligibility to be sure. In the initial stages you’ll also upload your CV, tell us about your qualifying degree and verify your education through a third-party.  

Tips for using the STPF application portal.

Step 4 - Fellowship Program Area Selection 

The first big decision for you to make: to which two program areas will you apply? Don’t delay in selecting your program areas! As soon as you pick your programs areas it will “unlock” your next step. Not sure where to apply? Learn about all four program areas here. Looking for more information? Hear from fellows first-hand during the upcoming 2020 Live Chats (Live Chat series page on DotOrg, once built). 

Step 5 – References 

You will select three references for each of your program area applications. Unsure who to select? Consider well-rounded references that can speak about different dimensions in your background and talk about them in connection to the fellowship selection criteria. References also take time, so give them as much notice as possible. Remember, your deadline is their deadline. Let them know ahead of time that you are requesting a reference letter, and to expect an automated email from our system once you enter their name and email. Entering references will “unlock” step 6, which will require your careful attention. The sooner you select references the sooner you can move forward. 

Step 6 - Applicant Interests, Skills, & Statements 

Finally – the step where you can let your enthusiasm shine through! This is where you’ll respond to essay prompts about your qualifications, areas of interest, and career goals. Be sure to tailor your candidate statement of interest for each program area. Haven’t unlocked this step yet? You can read the essay prompts here and then get a jumpstart on your responses. The best statements are well-written, interesting and grammatically correct. Have someone proofread for you. 

Step 7 - Applicant Agreement & Signature 

You will submit each of your program area applications separately. Beforehand, be sure that someone else has proofread your materials. If you’re struggling with how to approach any part of your application, we encourage you to join our Live Chat series (URL link). It offers a chance to ask your questions to fellows and to hear from other science policy enthusiasts.  

Whew! Now that you understand the STPF application, what is your next step? What do you commit to doing before the application opens on June 1? Here’s an idea: save the date for our first Live Chat on May 28. The 2020 Live Chat Series (Link to chat series once URL is available) runs monthly through the application season. We hope you can join us, and that we see your application. Good luck! 


Jessica Soule

Alumni Engagement Director

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