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Donald Kennedy Public Service Fellowship

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Deadline Month: 

Through the Donald Kennedy Summer Fellowship, students develop and implement innovative service projects in collaboration with communities to address identified needs.

The fellowship provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to design and implement summer service projects resulting in tangible deliverables used to sustain service to a community. Fellows work to alleviate some of society’s most pressing concerns across the United States and in other countries. Projects vary in size and scope, work with diverse constituencies, and address a wide range of issues. Fellows may work in any field of interest. Students are encouraged to think about how their academic background and prior experiences might be useful to organizations and communities trying to develop better ways of addressing challenges they face.

Applicants must propose their own placements with organizations with which they have corresponded before the application deadline and effectively demonstrate that their intended partner organization is a well- run organization, where they will receive adequate guidance and supervision. Fellowship funding cannot be used for programs that require a participation fee.

Each Donald Kennedy Public Service Fellow receives a base stipend of $5,000 to support travel and living expenses during the summer. Financial aid and supplemental funding is available to students who qualify. An additional $1000 for project expenses is available to each fellow.

The Haas Center for Public Service inaugurated the Donald Kennedy Summer Fellowship Program in 1984 to honor former Stanford President Donald Kennedy’s commitment to public service.

Meet the current fellows


The Donald Kennedy Public Service Fellowship i is designed for students willing to devote their summer to a project that is student designed, student implemented, has an immediate impact within nine weeks, provides the community partner with a tangible deliverable, and is sustainable beyond the summer. Fellows are required to work on their project for at least 35 hours/week for nine consecutive weeks. Fellows are expected to work on-site with their host organization, and have a designated full-time professional staff member on-site as their supervisor/mentor.  Please review the entire FAQs section for program policies. Other program commitments include the following:

Spring Quarter

  • Meet with academic mentor at least once.
  • Enroll and participate in EDUC 170, designed to help fellows prepare for the summer experience.
  • Design a personal learning plan for the summer and share the plan with community partner and academic mentor.
  • Students participating in an international service project must attend the IPREP workshop.


  • Submit a brief preliminary report.
  • Submit a final report, complete a program evaluation, and correspond with fellowship donor(s) as requested by fellowships program staff.

Autumn Quarter

  • Meet with academic mentor at least once.
  • Attend a de-briefing meeting for the purpose of reflecting upon and evaluating summer projects.
  • Present project at the Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Public Service (SURPS).
  • Participate in outreach activity to share your experiences and help publicize the program.

Fellowships will be awarded to currently enrolled undergraduate students from any academic discipline. Priority will be given to students who have completed less than two previous Cardinal Quarter opportunities. Graduating seniors may apply with the understanding that preference may be given to competitive continuing undergraduate applicants. Applicants vary in academic interests, community service involvement, and experience.

Selection Process: 

For those who seek assistance, advising is offered at the Haas Center to help students develop their applications and/or to identify potential partner organizations.

Students are strongly encouraged to discuss ideas for projects with Fellowships Program staff well before the application deadline to identify appropriate/relevant opportunities and prepare effective application materials.  Developing a suitable summer project takes time, so it is important to start the application process early and consult with professors, advisors, and community partners regularly. 

This fellowship is intended for individuals whose application, references, and interview demonstrate the following:

  • need for the project and potential impact on the community (short and long term)
  • feasibility and viability of the project
  • quality of direct interaction and collaboration with the community partner and community being served
  • innovation in the project design
  • relationship of the project to the applicant’s background and future plans
  • ability, initiative, motivation and demonstrated commitment of the applicant
  • flexibility and willingness to adjust project plans in accordance with community needs

Additional considerations for applicants proposing international projects include the following:

  • the applicant’s ability to speak the native language
  • prior experience in the country or local community
  • adequate in-country community connections (international projects require a local community partner, U.S. representatives or affiliates are not acceptable substitutes)
  • safety: the safety of travel to any international destination is reviewed up until time of departure. The fellowship program must adhere to the Provost’s International Travel Policy which states "Stanford-sponsored or Stanford-organized trips involving undergraduates to countries where a State Department Travel Warning has been issued is prohibited. No university funds can be used to support travel to these locations." The U.S. Department of State posts travel warnings.

Complete applications are screened, finalists interviewed, and fellows selected by a committee with the intention to award fellowships prior to spring break. Committee decisions are final.



The safety of travel to any international destination is monitored up until time of departure. The Haas Center must adhere to the Provost’s International Travel Policy, which states that Stanford-sponsored or Stanford-organized trips that involve sending undergraduates to countries where a State Department Travel Warning has been issued is prohibited. University funds cannot be used to support travel to these locations. The U.S. Department of State posts advisories.


Application : 

The application for summer 2018 is here

The recommendation link is here: can include Stanford faculty, staff, graduate teaching assistants, residence fellows, appointed lecturers, former employers, teachers etc. Fellow undergraduate students should not serve as recommenders.

Haas Center for Public Service
External or Stanford Fellowship: 
Administered by Stanford
Open to: 
Graduating students

For more information, contact Hilary Douglas.