Harold W. Rosenthal Fellowship in International Relations

College or universities should submit all application materials to RosenthalFellowship@ourpublicservice.org.

Students, contact your school directly for more information on the nomination process.

Federal agencies or congressional offices, if you are interested in serving as a host office for the Rosenthal Fellowship, contact RosenthalFellowship@ourpublicservice.org

2019 Fellows Reception honoring Rick Gilmore

Quick Details

DATES

Applications close December 6, 2019

AUDIENCE

Graduate students in international affairs

Contact

If you have any questions or would like further information about the Rosenthal Fellowship, please email RosenthalFellowship@ourpublicservice.org.

Interested in learning more about the Partnership? Sign up for our emails to learn more.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The Rosenthal Fellowship is a prestigious program that offers our country’s most outstanding and civic-minded graduate students in international affairs the opportunity to spend a summer working to solve some of our biggest national and global challenges.

The program was established in 1977 to honor the memory of Harold Rosenthal, a Senate staff member who was a victim of a terrorist act while on official duty at age 29. The fellowship provides a select number of students with summer funding and work opportunities in a congressional or executive branch office. Fellows will benefit from unparalleled work experience while also participating in an orientation and roundtable discussions.

Fellows are selected based on their outstanding scholarly achievements, commitment to the study of international affairs, extracurricular experience and demonstrated interest in public service. Fellows may receive a summer stipend, an internship opportunity with a congressional or executive branch office, and/ or invitations to participate in summer roundtables and events.

The Rosenthal Fellowship is a program of the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that strives for a more effective government for the American people.

Eligibility

  • One year remaining in an international relations or international affairs graduate program.
  • Executive branch positions are available only to U.S. citizens. Dual citizens and non-U.S. citizens may apply for a limited number of congressional positions. Please note that the Fellowship will not provide any assistance in securing visas for non-U.S. citizens.

Application and Nomination Process

Interested students must ask their career or placement office for an application, which the student must return to that office along with:

  • Resume.
  • Signed letter of recommendation on letterhead stationery from a professor or former work supervisor, providing input on the candidate’s character and aptitude for future success and focusing specifically on the student’s suitability for this fellowship. Available undergraduate and/or graduate academic transcripts.
  • Available undergraduate and/or graduate academic transcripts.
  • Two-page original writing sample on a topic in international affairs. Institutions are only allowed to nominate up to three graduate students for the summer 2020 fellowship. Students should not submit application materials to the program directly.

College or universities should submit all application materials to RosenthalFellowship@ourpublicservice.org.

Timeline

  • Prior to December 6, 2019: Check with your career or placement office to learn when applications are due. 
  • December 6, 2019: Nominations are due to the Rosenthal Fellowship selection committee. 
  • January 25, 2020: Schools submit fall semester transcripts. 
  • February 3, 2020: Students will be informed if they have been selected as finalists. 
  • March 2-3, 2020: Virtual interviews conducted.
  • March 13, 2020: Finalists notified of placement.

Fellowship Positions and Funding

Students are encouraged to apply for a summer position in a congressional or executive branch office and pursue funding opportunities while they are being considered for the Rosenthal Fellowship. Students who already secured a summer position, but no funding, may be eligible for a stipend from the program. Alternatively, students who have funding from another source, but no summer position, may be eligible for a limited number of positions secured by the program. Students who do not have a summer position or funding may receive both from the Rosenthal Fellowship program. 

If selected, all students are expected to treat the Rosenthal Fellowship as their first choice for the summer of 2020. Students who successfully attain funding from other sources, including from their host office or their graduate program, are not eligible to receive funding from the Rosenthal Fellowship. For students who are offered Rosenthal Fellowship funding, receipt of that funding is contingent upon successfully completing all requirements to commence the qualifying summer position, including any necessary security clearance requirements.

FAQs

Who is eligible for the Rosenthal Fellowship?

Prospective fellows must be international affairs graduate students who have exhibited outstanding scholarly achievements, commitment to the study of international affairs, and interest in public service. Fellows must have at least one year remaining in their studies following their fellowship.

Which offices will have positions available this summer?

Summer positions change each year depending on the needs and space constraints of participating executive branch and congressional offices. In recent years the program has sent finalists to interview with the Office of the Secretary of Defense; various offices at the Department of State, the Department of Treasury, and the Department of Labor; the United States Trade Representative; and numerous congressional offices. Each year an increasing number of fellows identify their own positions ahead of the interview process, particularly at the Department of State and in the Intelligence Community.

How does the selection process work? 

Students must apply for the fellowship through their career or placement office at their graduate institution, which will in turn nominate up to three students for the fellowship. The program will review the applications, and a selection committee, made up of public and private sector leaders and program alumni, will interview top candidates to determine finalists. All interviews will be conducted virtually. From there, candidates who have not already secured a summer position will interview with congressional and executive branch offices who will make final selections. 

If I don’t already have a job and I’m selected as a finalist, will I have a choice as to which office I interview with?

The interview panel will inform finalists which offices have made positions available and will ask each finalist to identify the offices of greatest interest. While we make every effort to match finalists with the offices of greatest interest, we cannot guarantee that all finalists will be able to interview with their first choice. The hiring offices have ultimate discretion as to whether to extend a summer position to a given finalist.

How much is the stipend?

The fellowship stipend for 2020 is $2,000. For students who are offered Rosenthal Fellowship funding, receipt of that funding is contingent upon successfully completing all requirements to commence the qualifying summer position, including any necessary security clearance requirements. The stipend is generally treated as taxable income.

Do I need a security clearance to apply for the fellowship?

Some positions at executive branch departments and agencies may require that fellows hold a security clearance before they begin work. While fellows are usually able to secure an interim clearance by the beginning of the summer, any factors that delay clearance processing could in turn delay a fellow’s ability to begin work.  Fellowship positions in congressional offices do not require security clearances.

Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to apply?

Executive branch positions are available only to U.S. citizens. Dual citizens and non-U.S. citizens may apply for a limited number of congressional positions. Please note that the Fellowship will not provide any assistance in securing visas for non-U.S. citizens.

What summer events are available for Rosenthal Fellows?

In addition to a program orientation, each year the Rosenthal Fellowship hosts roundtables with recognized experts on a range of foreign policy issues as well as a session on career planning. Fellows also frequently organize informal lunches, happy hours, and other social occasions.

What happens if a student receives funding from another source or receives another internship offer after accepting a Rosenthal Fellowship?

After accepting a Rosenthal Fellowship, fellows are expected to treat the program as their first choice for the summer of 2020. Please note that students who successfully attain funding from other sources, including from their host office or their graduate program, are not eligible for funding from the Rosenthal Fellowship.

How should university nominating officials submit application materials?

Once institutions have finalized their nominees, all application materials should be submitted electronically as one PDF file for each student to by December 6, 2019.  Please also include a nomination cover letter signed by your program’s dean (one letter may endorse all nominees). Students should not send application materials to the program directly. 

How should schools submit transcripts? 

Each school must submit fall graduate transcripts (unofficial accepted) for nominees as soon as they become available.  We understand that this date will vary from school to school, but we ask that transcripts are submitted no later than January 25, 2020. Schools with later grade release dates should notify the Fellowship when nomination documents are submitted

I would like for my agency/congressional office to host a fellow. How can we participate?

If you are interested in serving as a host office for fellows, please contact mwalker@ourpublicservice.org. We are always looking for executive and legislative branch partners that offer meaningful opportunities for fellows to gain direct experience in the field of international relations.

How is this program funded?

This program is made possible through the support of individual donors and The Robertson Foundation for Government. Program supporters care deeply about our government and international affairs and national security. We invite you to learn more about supporting this program by contacting bfenity@ourpublicservice.org.

My university offers a graduate degree in international relations/international affairs. Are we allowed to nominate students? How do we submit nominations?

The Rosenthal Fellowship program accepts up to three nominations from deans of accredited graduate programs in international relations. Please contact mwalker@ourpublicservice.org or rosenthalfellowship@ourpublicservice.org if you are interested in nominating students. The following universities submitted nominations for 2018-2019:

  • American University’s School of International Service
  • Baruch College’s Marxe School of Public and International Affairs
  • Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs
  • University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies
  • Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy
  • Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service
  • The Graduate Institute in Geneva
  • George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs
  • Harvard University’s Kennedy School
  • Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies
  • University of Michigan’s The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
  • University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs
  • University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
  • Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
  • Sciences Po’s Paris School of International Affairs
  • Syracuse University’s The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
  • Texas A&M University’s The Bush School of Government
  • University of San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy
  • University of Wisconsin’s La Follette School of Public Affairs
  • Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs

Staff

Members of the Partnership staff will work with you throughout the Rosenthal Fellowship to ensure that your experience goes smoothly.