Application Information

The application for the 8th class of Leland Fellows is now closed. 

The Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellows Program

Become a Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellow! Applications are encouraged from candidates reflecting diverse personal, educational, cultural and experiential backgrounds.

Leland Fellows must be authorized to work in the United States for the full duration of the program. The procurement or extension of this authorization is the responsibility of the applicant.

Applicants to the Leland Program apply to a specific placement rather than to the fellowship itself. Please click on Fellowship Placements to see the list of the opportunities available for the 8th Class of Leland Fellows (2015-2017). From there you will be able to access a detailed overview of each placement, including a description of the host organization and outline of the fellow’s proposed scope of work for the field and policy years. Qualification requirements vary by placement, so please review these carefully.

The application for each fellowship placement can be accessed only from that placement’s description page. 

You may apply to a maximum of TWO fellowship placements. If applying to more than one placement, you will need to submit a separate application for each. Also, we recommend that you tailor your application, particularly the cover letter, to each placement.

*Note: Unfortunately, the site cannot save a partially-completed application. If you close out of the site before completing your application, all of the information will be lost. 

Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Strong commitment to fighting hunger
  • Graduate degree or equivalent experience in a relevant discipline
  • One year of combined work or volunteer experience in a developing country
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities and abilities
  • Ability to communicate and work across cultural contexts
  • Critical thinking skills and a high degree of self-motivation
  • Ability to work independently as well as on a team 
  • Flexibility  

How to Apply

Applications to the Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellowship will be accepted online only.

The application has three parts: an on-line information form; an uploaded application document consisting of a cover letter, resume and two short essays; and two letters of recommendation. Current students will also need to upload a transcript of their coursework; the transcript can be either official or unofficial.

Your cover letter, resume and short essays should be combined into ONE .pdf or MS Word (.doc or .docx) document, no more than 4 pages in length: a one-page cover letter, 1-2 page resume and one-page short essay sheet. Please give your document the filename: Fellowship Number_LastName_FirstName.doc (ex. 6-01_Smith_Jane.doc).

Resume: Two pages maximum. Please be certain to include your email address and phone number.

Cover letter: Please write a standard cover letter addressed to the host organization (not to the Leland Program). It should convey those skills, experiences and qualities that make you a good match for the specific fellowship placement to which you are applying. If applying to two placements, we recommend that you tailor your cover letter to each. Please be sure to also reference the fellowship number in the letter.

Short essay questions: Using this form  please answer the following questions, staying within the given word limits. Note that your answers will also serve as a writing sample.

1. What is your primary motivation for applying to be a Leland Fellow? (150-200 words)

2. What valuable lesson have you learned from previous overseas experience and how does it affect your approach to working in international development? (150-200 words)

Transcript (students): If currently a student, please upload a transcript of your coursework, either official or unofficial, in PDF format.

Two letters of Recommendation: Using the reference form linked below, please ask your references to evaluate your qualifications to be a Leland Hunger Fellow, with emphasis on demonstrated leadership qualities and experience as well as professional skills. At least one letter should be from a supervisor (as opposed to a professor or advisor). Candidates applying to more than one placement should use the same two recommendation letters for both placements (i.e. please only submit two recommendation letters, not four). Letters must be sent by the reference by email to; by fax to 202.547.7575 (attention of the Leland Program Selection Committee); or by post to:

Selection Committee
The Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellows Program
Congressional Hunger Center
400 North Capitol St. NW
Suite G-100
Washington, DC 20001


Applications are due January 25, 2015. Reference letters sent by mail must be postmarked by this date.

Selections timeline

Mid/late February: Telephone interviews
Late February/early March: Semi-finalists notified
Mid-March - Mid-April: Semifinalists interviewed by Leland Program staff in Washington, DC
Mid/late April: Finalists interviewed by host organizations
Early May: Fellowship offers made

The 8th Class of Leland Fellows will serve from September 20, 2015 - August 31, 2017.


Questions about the Leland Fellows Program or application process should be directed to Leland_Applications@hungercenter.orgPlease no inquiries about whether we have received your recommendation letters or the status of your application. 

Reference_Form_8th class.doc35.5 KB
Short Essay_Template.doc22 KB