Congressional Fellowship: 2021-22 FAQs

FAQ: Congressional Fellowship Application

1. What is the application timeline?

  • The deadline to apply for the Fellowship is at January 31, 2021 at 11:59 PM
  • First round (applications) decisions made by February 26, 2021
  • Second round (interviews) decisions made by March 22, 2021
  • Final round (interview with Congressional Staffers) decisions made by May 2021

2. How much is the grant and what are the other benefits of the Congressional Fellowship program?

APAICS Fellows are awarded a grant of $27,000 to be distributed on a monthly schedule throughout the course of the 9-month fellowship. APAICS will reimburse up to $200 of a health care plan cost following submission of proof of enrollment.

3. When does the Congressional Fellowship begin and when does it end?

The 2021-2022 Fellowship begins on September 7, 2021 and ends on June 4, 2022.

4. Selection Process

The APAICS Congressional Fellowship Program is a highly competitive program. Applications are reviewed in a multi-step process by a Selection Committee that includes program alumni, staff, and board members.

Round 1 – Application review: Applications are reviewed individually and scored by the Selection Committee. Applications are scored based on evidence of leadership and leadership potential, including community involvement, commitment to public service, clarity of writing, and ability to challenge self.

Round 2 – Interview: Top candidates receive an invitation to interview with members of the Selection Committee. Interviews are scored based on leadership qualities and experience, professionalism, commitment to public service, and future plans and aspirations.

Round 3 – Finalist Interviews: Top candidates following Round 2 will be designated as finalists by the selection committee. Finalist application packages are forwarded to congressional office partners for interviews and placement.

5. Final Round Interviews & “Finalist” designation

Being a finalist does not guarantee a placement in a host office. Finalists will need to be interviewed by legislative staffers in host offices who review applications. Finalists may receive more than one request for an interview. In the case that one or more offices want to place a finalist in their office, finalists get to make the decision on what office they will be placed in. Additionally, finalists may not get a request for an interview at all. Candidates are only officially designated as an APAICS Fellow following acceptance of a placement offer from a congressional office and contingent upon passing a background check.

6. Which office will I be placed in?

APAICS prioritizes placements in the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) member offices. Fellows are placed across House and Senate personal offices, in leadership offices, on committees, and administrative offices. For a full list of alumni and previous placements, please visit our Fellowship alumni page here.

7. Recommendation Letters

You will need to submit two (2) letters of recommendation through our application portal. If you recommender does not want to submit the letter directly to you, they can email the recommendation letter to programs@apaics.org using the subject line “APAICS Congressional Fellowship Recommendation Letter for [YOUR NAME]” 

  • Note: If you’re recommender chooses to email the letter, you will still need to upload and submit a pdf document on the application portal with the content “My recommender [RECOMMENDER NAME] sent recommendation letter by email” as a placeholder for our records.

8. Is the Fellowship limited to specific political parties?

No. APAICS is a non-partisan organization and encourages applicants interested in serving in both Democrat and Republican offices to apply. Our goal is to provide the best Congressional Fellowship experience regardless of party affiliation.

9. Can DACA recipients apply?

Yes.  Individuals who are seeking consideration under the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival”

(DACA) policy must possess an Employment Authorization Document at the time of application that is valid throughout the program.

10. Is housing assistance provided?

No. Unfortunately, APAICS does not provide housing assistance for Congressional Fellows.

11. If I am not accepted, can I apply again in the future?

Yes. We encourage applicants who have not been accepted to do so.

12. Is it possible to defer my placement as a Congressional Fellow?

No. If you do not participate in the program for the term in which you were admitted, you must submit a new application to reapply for a different term.

13. Additional Questions?

Please email: programs@apaics.org

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Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies

Congressional Fellowship Program