Gorton Leaders Program Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently asked questions are answered below.


I am a PhD student. Can I still apply for this fellowship?

Yes, applicants must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program (through the doctoral level) to be eligible for the fellowship.

Is preference given to graduate students who apply over undergraduate students?

No, applicants, whether an undergraduate or graduate student, are selected based on the overall strength of their application and on how well their interests and strengths align with the program’s goals.

Do I have to be an international relations or Asia specialist to be a fellow?

No, while many fellows will have an interest in policy and/or Asia, this program accepts applicants from international relations, political science, international law, foreign area studies, and related fields.

How many fellows does this program normally accept?

A given year’s cohort can range in size depending on the number of qualified students who apply and are accepted into the program. Cohorts in the past have ranged anywhere from six to 20 fellows.

I am an international student. Can I still apply for this fellowship?

No, applicants to the fellowship must be U.S. citizens.

I am a young professional who has graduated college or a graduate program in the last few years. Can I still apply for this fellowship?

No, applicants must be a U.S. citizen currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program to be eligible for the fellowship.

I am a student at a university outside the United States. Can I still apply for the fellowship?

Fellows must be U.S. citizens and be able to participate—in person—at NBR’s Seattle office.

How often will fellows meet during the six-month fellowship?

Fellows will meet in NBR’s Seattle office twice a month for 1.5-hour classes, typically on Friday afternoons, and once a month virtually for a networking/professional development session.

Can I defer my fellowship award?

No, applicants selected as fellows cannot defer the fellowship. Applicants who are still eligible may reapply for the fellowship the following year.

Can a previous fellow apply for the fellowship again?

No, applicants must not have previously participated as a fellow in the program.

How much is the modest award fellows receive at the end of the program?

Fellows who successfully complete the program will receive a $500 fellowship completion award, and additionally, one fellow out of each cohort will be selected as the Sally Gorton Award winner based on both their performance and a reflection essay written at the end of the fellowship.

Does the letter of recommendation have to come from a work supervisor, or could it also come from a professor?

Yes, letters of recommendation can come from either a work or academic supervisor: an academic supervisor who writes your recommendation letter will ideally be a professor who taught you in class and knows you well.

What should my writing sample be about?

The purpose of the writing sample is to demonstrate your analytical thinking, ability to clearly express ideas and arguments, and to provide an example of what you are interested in. The writing sample should best represent who you are, your abilities, and why you are an emerging policy leader and thinker.

About the Slade Gorton Policy Center

The Slade Gorton Policy Center, founded in 2010, is a policy research center at the National Bureau of Asian Research established in honor of former U.S. Senator Slade Gorton’s 60-plus years of public service to Washington State and the nation. The Center works to inspire the next generation of leaders in the field of international affairs. The Center’s work promotes Senator Gorton’s values of principled leadership, rigorous analysis, intellectual pursuit, integrity, effectiveness, bipartisanship, and public service.

Gorton Center Advisory Committee
More about the Gorton Center

The Slade Gorton Policy Center is located at The National Bureau of Asian Research at 1414 NE 42nd St., Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98105.

Gorton Leaders Program Alumni Network

Since 2014 when the GLP inducted its first class of 14 fellows into the GLP Alumni Network, the Gorton Leaders Program has grown to include a growing list of over 100 GLP alumni, spanning 12 states, the District of Columbia, and 12 countries. Learn more.