Becoming a Fellowship Organization

The 2022-2023 Host Organization Application is Open

Deadline: August 17th, 2023. 

You may access the Princeton in Africa host organization application form by completing this application request form. Within a few business days of submitting this form, you will receive access to our online portal, where you will be able to complete the host organization application. If you do not receive a follow-up email or have additional questions, please reach out to piafapp@princetoninafrica.org.

About Fellowship Organizations

Hosting a PiAf Fellow benefits both Fellows and host organizations by creating opportunities for talented young people to serve in Africa and by providing bright, hardworking recent graduates for organizations working on the African continent. Fellowships last 12 months and begin between June (anytime after PiAf’s mandatory Fellows’ orientation) and the second Monday of September each year.

Funding

Princeton in Africa seeks to ensure that the basic costs of each fellowship are covered (thereby keeping these fellowship experiences open to all applicants). Fellows are not expected to profit and are expected to live frugally.

Depending on the location where a Fellow is based, fellowships have typically had a total cost of $15,000 – $25,000, as well as a mid-year retreat where all the Fellows are brought together to reflect on their experiences. This aims to cover the Fellow’s costs, including housing, food, local travel, visas, and other basic living expenses, as well as ongoing personal and professional support, insurance, and other assistance provided by PiAf. Placing Fellows in more rural locations would obviously decrease some of those costs. While funding arrangements vary between posts, we do ask that fellowship organizations to cover the cost of the fellowships. Click here to read more about the Princeton in Africa Funding Structure.

What to Expect From a PiAf Fellow

Overview
Princeton in Africa Fellows are recent university graduates; some are enrolled in or have completed graduate-level studies. They have specialized in a variety of fields—from politics and public policy to biology and engineering. Many hold African Studies certificates or have previously spent time in Africa or abroad.

Selection and Placement of PiAf Fellows
We receive hundreds of applications each year for our program. Fellows are chosen by Princeton in Africa through a rigorous and lengthy process to identify the students with the greatest chance at success. Candidates must submit a written application, professional or academic references, and an academic transcript. The process continues with in-person interviews and review by a selection committee. PiAf then presents organizations with several candidates for their review. Once Fellows are chosen, PiAf helps prepare both Fellows and field offices to utilize Fellows as effectively as possible.

Fellows are matched with host organizations based on their capabilities and, where appropriate, their technical knowledge and language skills. Relevant language skills among candidates include English (first language), French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Kiswahili.

Possible Roles for Fellows
PiAf Fellows fit in well to a general information/reporting officer role. Their writing skills are strong and they are able to synthesize significant quantities of information quickly. Fellows make strong assistant program officers/program officers, overseeing, for instance, a specific project and focusing on monitoring and evaluation. They also are well-prepared to play a coordination role with different organizations.

While not yet specialists at this stage in their careers, many applicants have the ability to work more broadly on issues such as health, education, and sustainable development. Applicants have included pre-medical candidates who have worked in health clinics; biology and engineering majors who have worked to improve solar panels and designed sustainable water filters; and individuals with teaching certificates or other education or mentoring experience.

Our History

In 1999, a group of Princeton alumni, faculty, and staff launched Princeton in Africa as an independent affiliate of Princeton University inspired by the University’s informal motto, “Princeton in the Nation’s Service and in the Service of All Nations.” In 2010, the program opened up to include graduates of any US accredited university in order to meet the growing demand from host organizations and allow more young professionals access to the unique opportunities afforded by PiAf. During the past 20 years, we have placed over 600 Fellows with more than 100 organizations in 36 countries, while developing more strategic partnerships across Africa and creating more opportunities for our alumni community to engage with the continent and with one another.

Testimonials

The International Rescue Committee has been so fortunate to have had a longstanding relationship with Princeton in Africa since our very first Fellows landed in Rwanda in 1999.  Whether it was Emily or Renee in 1999 or the 110 Fellows across 14 IRC countries over the years, we have been blessed by the relationship, the quality of the Fellows and the impact on what IRC does on the ground every single day.

Brian Johnson
Chief Human Resources Officer
International Rescue Committee

My fellowship has been the most impactful personal and professional development opportunity of my life. I wanted a post-college experience that would push my limits, expand my comfort zone, and help me discern the next steps in my career journey. And this has been the case.

Ryan Elliott
2014-15 Fellow
Baylor Pediatric AIDS Initiative in Lesotho

I can honestly say that this year has changed my life and my view of what’s possible for the future. Princeton in Africa isn’t just a one-year fellowship, it’s an introduction to a particular way of life and a new way of thinking about the world. I feel like so many doors are open now that I never would have considered before.

Katie Fackler
2010-11 Fellow
UN World Food Programme

My Princeton in Africa fellowship was everything I could have hoped for and much more. The myriad of experiences makes my head swim, and it has strengthened my desire to help underserved populations worldwide.

David Bartels
2006-2007 Fellow
Baylor Pediatric AIDS Initiative

Princeton in Africa was an invaluable experience for me. I learned an infinite amount through my work and through living in Uganda. I also realized that I want to continue working on African issues as long as I can.

Alexis Okeowo
2006-2007 Fellow
The New Vision

The International Rescue Committee’s experience with Princeton in Africa has been exceptional. Each Fellow brings excellent writing and analytical skills as well as unique interests and passions that enrich the program and the field office environment. We were so pleased we expanded the program to more field offices.

Susan Riehl
Human Resources, IRC

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has been working in Africa for over 11 years through its Secure the Future program.  One common theme in all aspects of program implementation is having passionate, energetic individuals on the ground who can think outside the box and then transfer the skills for sustainability.  The Princeton In Africa Fellows have been a huge asset in this regard and our programs and patients have been better for it.

John Damonti
President, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation