Gates Fellowships FAQ

Yes. The foundation has a fellows program. Fellows are placed across program areas for a term of two to three years. Fellows have the opportunity to work on crosscutting projects and are likely to rotate among foundation teams. Fellows can be placed in Global Development, Global Health, Global Policy and Advocacy and US Program.

The fellows program has two primary objectives:

  1. Promote programmatic innovation and support the foundation’s ability to solve complex problems by accessing exceptional, global talent with diverse backgrounds and experience.
  2. Develop fellows who become future leaders in sectors and regions that align with our missions by enhancing their capabilities and skills and their understanding of the foundation, our objectives and partner organizations.

No. The program has been placed on hold for a year to review past performance and redesign the program to be more effective for both participants and the foundation.

At this time, it is estimated the redesign process will be completed in 2021 which would allow fellowship applications to be accepted for terms that begin in the Fall of 2022.

To date the foundation has hosted fellows in Seattle. However, as part of the program redesign effort consideration is being given to hosting fellows in offices outside of the foundation’s Seattle headquarters.

  • Significant opportunities to learn about the foundation’s approach to investments, grant-making and partnerships by working closely with program staff and external partners
  • Deep engagement on strategic issues being pursued by the foundation, with opportunities to make a tangible impact
  • May rotate within and/or across program divisions and/or regional offices
  • Coaching and mentorship by foundation staff who are leaders in their respective fields
  • Bilateral learning sessions involving the fellows and senior leadership across the foundation
  • Cohort experience to develop fellows’ professional and support network with peers
  • Leadership development programming and transition support to help the fellows identify their next professional opportunity
  • Membership to the foundation’s alumni network

Based on the outcome of the redesign effort there may be different and/or additional requirements. However, historically the application process was extensive and required the following:

  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Professional statement, no longer than 500 words in length, that highlights:
    • How your academic and professional background support innovation and the foundation’s ability to solve complex problems
    • How a fellowship with the Gates Foundation will help you reach your professional goals and contribute to a world where more people can lead healthy, productive lives
  • Two letters of recommendation that can speak to your ability to realize the professional aspirations outlined in your professional statement. We encourage you to provide diverse letters of recommendation from individuals that know you professionally or from academia. Ideally letters should be provided by those that have worked with you in the past twelve to eighteen months.

As the redesign effort is completed around the Fall of 2021 this page will be updated to reflect new information about the program, its purpose and how individuals can apply.