Fellowship Programs & Applications

Deadline for 2025-2026 fellowships – FRIDAY, 9 DECEMBER 2024, 12:00 PM ET



IEEE-USA is seeking members interested in serving as advisors to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Known as an IEEE-USA ENGINEERING & INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT FELLOW, you will spend a year, beginning in September, living and working in Washington, D.C. The fellowship offers an opportunity for member of the science, technology, and engineering community to provide valuable technical expertise to USAID while learning about and contributing to the foreign policy process.


The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID’s work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity, demonstrates American generosity, and helps people progress beyond assistance. U.S. foreign assistance has always had the twofold purpose of furthering America’s interests while improving lives in the developing world. USAID carries out U.S. foreign policy by promoting broad-scale human progress at the same time it expands stable, free societies, creates markets and trade partners for the United States, and fosters good will abroad.

On behalf of the American people, we promote and demonstrate democratic values abroad, and advance a free, peaceful, and prosperous world. In support of America’s foreign policy, USAID leads the U.S. Government’s international development and disaster assistance through partnerships and investments that save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people emerge from humanitarian crises and progress beyond assistance.

USAID works in over 100 countries to:

Learn more at www.usaid.gov.

USAID’s fellowship programs provide researchers, scientists, and engineers the opportunity to use their technical expertise to address critical challenges in development while gaining firsthand experience working at USAID. Fellows apply their diverse backgrounds and technical knowledge across USAID’s sectors to support new approaches to development.

USAID Fellowship Application Info

USAID LogoIf you wish to apply for an IEEE-USA USAID Fellowship, please apply directly to IEEE-USA using the application provided on this page. Do not apply to AAAS for the IEEE-USA Fellowship.

Please send your application to Erica Wissolik at e.wissolik@ieee.org. We must receive your application via e-mail by the deadline for it to be considered valid.

PLEASE NOTE:  You may apply for one, two, or all three of the IEEE-USA fellowships (Congressional, State, USAID) in any one year.  However, you must submit a separate cover letter and separate supporting packages (application forms and reference letters) for each type of fellowship.  Each letter must carefully illustrate your understanding of the specific fellowship, and an awareness of the distinctions between the responsibilities of legislative and executive branch personnel. IEEE-USA will not accept one application package in which you state you are interested in all three types of fellowships.

Additionally, before you apply for a State Department fellowship, please consider whether or not you think you will be able to obtain a U.S. Government security clearance. Ability to obtain a security clearance is a prerequisite to working as a State Department fellow. If a fellow fails to obtain the necessary clearance, the fellowship will be rescinded and all stipend funds, if issued, must be returned to IEEE-USA. If you have any questions about the process, this website provides additional information: https://www.state.gov/security-clearances

To be considered for an IEEE-USA Engineering & International Development Fellowship, applicants must meet the following basic eligibility requirements:

  • Applicants must be an IEEE Member (which includes those in graduate student membership status) in good standing at the time of application.
  • Applicants must possess either:

i.) a Ph.D.; or

ii.) a Master’s degree plus a minimum of five (5) years of full-time, professional work experience.

Applicants who are in the final stage of obtaining a Ph.D. may apply and interview for the Fellowship. However, the applicant must provide official transcripts confirming possession of a Ph.D. prior to the start of the Fellowship on September 1st. The degree must be granted by an accredited program in a subject field that falls within the science, engineering, computer, or allied disciplines eligible for IEEE membership. In exceptional cases, the Government Fellows Committee may waive the Masters plus work experience or Ph.D. requirements for candidates with extraordinary compensating experience. Work experience must consist of full-time, relevant professional employment and does not include internships or student-related employment.

  • The required five years of work experience must consist of full-time, relevant professional employment and does not include internships or student-related employment and research positions.
  • An applicant must be a U.S. citizen at the time of application or, at the latest, prior to selection.
  • An applicant must possess or be able to obtain a security clearance prior to the beginning of the fellowship. Please do not apply for the USAID fellowship if you suspect there is something in your background that will prevent you from obtaining a security clearance.

Please review the Program Policies & Procedures and the USAID position description documents for complete information on eligibility requirements.

A joint IEEE-USA and USAID committee reviews finalists, with USAID giving final approval of the fellow selection. The selection committee may establish additional criteria. Specifically excluded as selection criteria are age, sex, creed, race, ethnic background, and partisan political affiliations.

The fellow does not act as a representative of IEEE-USA during the fellowship term, and is not considered an employee of IEEE-USA.

If the Government Fellows Committee selects you as a finalist, you will be invited to interview in-person in Washington, D.C. at IEEE-USA’s expense. IEEE-USA will reimburse reasonable travel and lodging expenses associated with the interviews. Finalists must be able to attend in person. Rescheduling the face-to-face interview is not an option.

The interviews are pre-determined for two days in February of each year and are approximately 45 minutes long. You must be here for only one of those days. Scheduling will occur at the time of notification of an interview.

If selected for an IEEE-USA USAID fellowship, the fellow may also be required to spend one week in early April, interviewing and exploring available opportunities at the agency. Dates vary by year. Again, IEEE-USA will reimburse reasonable travel and lodging expenses associated with this week.

IEEE-USA has no role in selecting the fellow’s assignment, the fellow does not act as a representative of IEEE-USA during the fellowship term, and is not considered an employee of IEEE-USA.

IEEE-USA USAID Fellows must obtain the background investigation required by the USAID placement, which will either be a secret-level security clearance or Facility Access background investigation. If a successful candidate does not already possess the required clearance, the USAID hiring office will assist with requesting one after successful placement with the Agency. A security clearance currently requires a 4-6 month background check. The fellow will be asked to complete a clearance form, provide contact information, and make various disclosures. For more information, see:

Fellows will receive a stipend of $85,000. Stipends are normally paid in two equal lump sum payments at the beginning and mid-point of the fellowship. Alternative payment schedules can be negotiated. An additional, supplementary expense allowance of $5,000 is given to offset the costs of relocation to Washington, DC, but can be used for any fellowship expense, or wrapped into the fellowship stipend at the fellow’s discretion.

Stipends are non-negotiable and the Government Fellows Committee retains sole discretion to determine which stipend a fellow will receive based upon an applicant’s experience and education. For more details, please review the Policies and Procedures.

Payment of the fellowship stipend is contingent upon the fellow’s receipt of an appropriate security clearance, and reaching agreement with USAID on a suitable assignment.

When making arrangements to supplement the fellowship stipend through a continued salary from an employer, applicants must consider potential conflicts of interest.

Staff Contacts

Erica Wissolik
Program Manager, Government Activities
Phone: 202-530-8347
Email: e.wissolik@ieee.org