2019 YPFP Fellowship Program

Deadline to apply: 11:59 PM, Friday, February 15, 2019

The Fellowship Program at YPFP is designed to give young writers and foreign policy professionals a platform to develop their skills and present their ideas to a diverse global audience. Over an eight-month period, Fellows publish monthly op-eds, book reviews, or interviews, with help and guidance from a dedicated editorial team. Fellows have recently been featured in Business Insider, The Hill, The National Interest, The Huffington Post, The Diplomatic Courier, Fair Observer, and YPFP’s own Charged Affairs.

For more details on the Fellowship Program, please visit the Fellowship page.

To see our 2018 Fellows, please visit the Fellows page.

Position Description:


As a YPFP Fellow, you would join an elite team of early career professionals, graduate researchers, and academics in an eight-month program focused on developing and articulating your subject matter expertise and sharing it with a national and international audience. YPFP Fellowships are given based on a regional or thematic topic. Each Fellow will publish one article, interview, or book review each month. These will be supported by our elite editorial team that will help you not only produce top quality work but get it placed in national and international media outlets to build your voice and credibility in your field.


Up to eighteen candidates will be selected for fellowships. As of 2019, there is no longer a residency requirement for any fellowships. Successful applicants will have a demonstrated background in international affairs and record of interest in the affairs of the selected region.


Regional Fellows will need to have expertise in the internal politics, international relations, and key players and policies of the selected region. Candidates with a track record of engaging with the region will stand out. Available Regional Fellowships are listed below:

  • Africa
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Eurasia & Eastern Europe
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • South Asia


Thematic Fellows will be expected to understand the major issues, actors, and policies impacting your selected theme, and be able to write and discuss the topic in multiple international and regional contexts. Candidates with a track record of professionally engaging with such issues will stand out. Potential thematic-based fellowships are listed below, although candidates can apply for a topic that is not listed here:

  • Economics & Trade
  • Environmental & Energy Politics
  • Gender in Foreign Policy
  • Geostrategy & Diplomacy
  • Global Health
  • Human Rights
  • International Development
  • Security & Defense
  • Veterans


This position requires approximately 5 hours per week, and successful candidates will be able to fulfill an 8-month term.


Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Publish one 600-800-word article per month within the broader field of your specialization. Articles are usually op-ed style, but can also include book reviews (we help to connect you with publishers) or interviews (often leveraging the YPFP network).
  • Adherence to publishing deadlines, as well as prompt and professional communication with YPFP staff.
  • Work collaboratively with other Fellows, when applicable, by giving each other substantive feedback and occasionally covering the same topic from different angles or co-authoring.
  • Serve as an in-house expert for YPFP on your subject matter, when applicable, and get involved with the broader YPFP community.


Desired Skills and Experience:

  • A strong background in international relations, international affairs, or foreign policy.
  • Demonstrated interest and experience in the subject matter of this fellowship.
  • Stellar writing skills and an interest in analyzing and commenting on developments and issues in your field. A flawless command of English is required. Knowledge of a language relevant to the region/theme you specialize in is an asset.
  • Ability to work independently and meet strict deadlines.
  • Motivated to seize the opportunities of this fellowship, become an active member of the fellowship community.


Eligibility and Selection:

  • Early career foreign policy professional or current graduate student in a relevant field.
  • Fellowships are unpaid and part-time positions.
  • If not already a dues-paying member, the candidate must become a YPFP member upon acceptance of an offer.

2019 YPFP Fellowship Application Process

Copy of 2019 Fellowship Timeline

Please read and follow the instructions carefully.  We suggest you prepare all of your materials PRIOR to completing your application. You will not be able to save and return to the form.

Deadline to register and submit the application:  11:59 PM EST on Friday, February 15, 2019. The registration fee is $25 for non-YPFP members and will be waived for YPFP members. You must register in order to retrieve the link to the 2019 YPFP Fellowship application. 


After you register, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to the application. The application will require you to submit:

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • Writing samples of 2-3 pages (ideally op-ed style and related to foreign policy)


Applications close on February 15th, 2019, with the term beginning on April 1st, 2019.


Questions or concerns? Email fellowship@ypfp.org.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What type of background do Fellows usually have? Fellows come from a variety of backgrounds, including government, military, academia, business, and non-profits. Fellows typically have either a graduate degree or two to three years of professional experience. Fellows are expected to have credible experience in their desired topic of study.

What are the requirements for being a Fellow? Fellows must write at least one (1) op-ed a month and work with our editorial team to publish it in an external outlet. Fellows are normally given two weeks to write op-eds and two weeks to work on edits with our team.

Do Fellows need to be based in Washington, DC? NO. In the past, certain fellowships were required to be based in Washington. In 2019, however, all fellowships are open to applicants regardless of geographic location. Fellow applicants not based in DC should have the capability to be reachable by phone or Skype, however.

Which topic should I apply for? Applicants need to indicate their preferred topic or area for their fellowship (i.e. Europe, Africa, Energy, Trade, etc.). Applicants should choose a topic in which they have a keen interest to write and in which they have demonstrable previous experience studying, working, or writing on.

What type of writing sample should I include? Fellows will be writing short (800 words) op-eds as part of the program. Applicants are encouraged to submit a writing sample relevant to their desired topic that matches this style and length.

How should I apply for a thematic topic not listed in the fellowship description? Applicants can apply for custom thematic fellowships not listed in the position description. If doing so an applicant should make a case for why this topic should be included and why they are a good fit for it in their cover letter. Fellows are expected to write around 8 articles throughout the fellowship and so should take care to propose topics that will remain newsworthy throughout the year.   

How competitive are Fellowships? YPFP typically selects 16 to 20 fellows every year. The number of fellowships selected is solely up to the discretion of YPFP and every announced topic may not be filled in a given year. In previous years, the acceptance rate for fellows has been less than 10% of applicants.

This might not be the right year for me to apply to be a Fellow. Is there another way I can get involved?  Absolutely! Charged Affairs is YPFP’s own publication outlet that publishes pieces from YPFP members. YPFP’s discussion groups allow members to build specific subject-matter expertise and network with other young professionals who match your interests. Also, the Fellowship program employs a team of editors who help our Fellows craft their pieces and get them ready for publication.

To see the full array of YPFP positions visit: https://www.ypfp.org/build/join-our-volunteer-team/