Minerva Programs

Application and selection process

The health, safety, and well-being of our participants, host organizations and communities are essential priorities for the program. Therefore, we are continuously evaluating the pandemic's impact both in the US and in placement countries as we assess the program’s feasibility for 2021-2022. Our plan is to tailor the resumption of in-person fellowship activities on a country-by-country basis based on consultation with our partners and information provided by the CDC, the US State Department, and local embassies. Additional factors influencing this decision are the availability for participants to obtain visas and travel safely; the host organization’s operating status and ability to provide local support; as well as accessibility to health care within the region. We are hopeful that we will be able to resume a select number of fellowship placements in the coming year. Therefore, the application process for the Minerva Fellowship Program will be moving forward as normally scheduled.

January 15, 2021 @ 5pm: Deadline for all applications!

Please click here for the application. The application consists of an online application, a CV, two references, and an open-ended component. The format of the open-ended component must be submitted online (please see the application for further details). Students should copy and send this link: Minerva Fellowship Reference Form to two referees.

Minerva Fellowship Program Information and Timelines:

The Minerva Fellowship Program offers Union graduates a unique opportunity to partner with international organizations and participate in community engagement with the aim of addressing global challenges in innovative and meaningful ways.

Information sessions are held in the fall term.

All Union College students, who anticipate graduating in June of their senior year, are eligible to apply.

Applications are due Friday, January 15. Those chosen as semi-finalists will then be scheduled to partake in virtual interviews in mid-February. Fellows will then be selected and announced by mid- March.

The application is a two-part process. There is an online application, which aims to identify those students who are interested in the program as well as their qualifications and suitability. The second part of the application is open-ended. The applicant is free to provide whatever material makes the best case possible for their selection. We hope students will use this opportunity to present themselves in a distinctive way and demonstrate what makes them an exceptional candidate. Some applications have been traditional with an essay, transcript and references; other applications have been in poetry, a scrapbook, sculpture, or a video as examples. While there are no firm restrictions, we do request you keep video content under 7 minutes in duration.

Fellows have been selected from the full range of applications. Outstanding Fellows are caring, committed, creative, driven, responsible, mature, adventuresome, entrepreneurial, prudent, and more.

The selection committee generally consists of faculty, administrators, and a former Minerva Fellow. All members of the committee are equal. Decisions are made after extensive discussion that usually leads to a consensus. To some extent, the needs of the vetted locations are taken into account. For those applicants being considered for either Barefoot College or Witkoppen placements, there will be an additional interview in late February with the organization.

*Please note that if you receive a Fulbright or Watson Fellowship, Minerva Fellows policy dictates that you must decline inclusion or acceptance to Minerva Fellowship opportunities.

2020-2021 Minerva Fellows important dates:

2021-2022 Minerva Fellows important dates:

  • January 15 @ 5pm: Deadline for all applications! Please be aware, the application consists of an online application, a CV, two references, and an open-ended component.
  • Early February: Semi-Finalists are notified
  • Mid-February: Virtual Interviews
  • Mid-March: Finalists are notified