Application Information

The Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship


Do you want to spend a year fighting hunger and poverty with a tight-knit community of emerging leaders? Emerson Hunger Fellows shape and implement local anti-hunger programs all over the U.S., and then research and support national policy initiatives in Washington, D.C. Applications are encouraged from candidates reflecting diverse personal, educational, cultural, and experiential backgrounds. Apply now!

Application Requirements

Applications to the Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship will be accepted online only. Apply here.

The application has three parts: an information form, a 3 page application document, and letters of recommendation. Applicants can complete the form and upload their application document online; recommendations are accepted by email, fax or mail. Application documents should consist of one .pdf or MS Word document, three pages in length (single spaced): the first page should be your resume, the second page your personal statement, and the third page your answers to two short essay questions. Please give your document the filename: Last name_First name_Middle initial.doc.

Resume: Please be certain to include your email address and phone number.

Personal Statement: What values, principles, and identities (race, class, gender, etc.) have shaped your interest in participating in the Emerson Hunger Fellows Program? What particular qualities, knowledge, experiences, and skills will you contribute to your field and policy placements? How do you expect this fellowship to contribute to your professional goals?

Short Essay Questions:
1. How have your community work and life experiences changed your perspective on poverty over time?
2. What role do you believe the government plays or should play in addressing complex social problems such as hunger, poverty, and racism?

Two Letters of Recommendation: Please ask your recommenders to evaluate your written and oral communication skills, demonstrated leadership qualities or experience, and professional skills, if applicable. At least one letter should be from a supervisor (as opposed to a professor or advisor). Letters should include a telephone number and email address, and should be sent by the recommender via email to, via fax to 202-547-7575, or via post to:

Emerson Selection Committee
Congressional Hunger Center
400 North Capitol Street, NW
Suite G100
Washington, D.C. 20001


The application deadline for the 2016–2017 class of Emerson Fellows is January 13, 2016.

Selection Criteria

  • Commitment to racial equity and social justice
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities and skills
  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience
  • Flexibility and ability to adjust to new situations
  • Creativity and initiative in problem solving
  • Enthusiasm for learning from experts in the field, and searching for new models in anti-hunger and anti-poverty work
  • Experience working in low-income communities
  • Excitement about peer learning in a tight-knit community of Fellows


Phone interviews will be scheduled in early February and semifinalist selection will be complete by mid-February. Interviews will be scheduled in Washington, D.C. in March and final selection decisions will be made in April.

Congressional Hunger Center
400 North Capitol Street, NW
Suite G100
Washington, D.C. 20001
Phone: 202-547-7022 x29