How to Apply

Stanton Fellowship

We are seeking the most knowledgeable, inquisitive, ambitious, creative, influential and highly networked leaders – the ones who are best positioned to identify and make headway on a big question.

We favor adaptive strategies, not technical fixes. We assume that the Stanton journey may not be linear, will likely involve both known stakeholders and new partners, and that it will require patience, perseverance and flexibility. Whether or not the challenge is resolved, we expect Stanton Fellows to share their lessons learned with colleagues in the field, so others can build upon that knowledge.

Each fellow designs his or her own inquiry and plan. We are looking for proposals that build on the fellow’s expertise and allow him or her to reach in new directions. Fellows should present plans that they would not otherwise be able to pursue in the course of their day-to-day work, if not for the Stanton Fellowship.

Possible use of the funds might include domestic or international travel, attending conferences, hiring research assistants or consultants, or a writing retreat. The goal is to enable fellows to expand knowledge, hone professional skills, form strategic alliances, and advance their work to the next level. The inquiry will require the fellow’s focused dedication to Stanton time, for a minimum total of three months over the two-year fellowship in blocks of two weeks or longer.

Eligibility

Individual candidates for this program should:
  • Be an outstanding thought leader with a demonstrated track record for at least 7 years
  • Be in a position to influence peers, policymakers and/or the general public
  • Desire to participate in a cross-disciplinary network of leaders
  • Present a clearly articulated proposal to work on a complex issue over a two-year period
  • Develop a plan for devoting a minimum of three months over the two-year fellowship period to the project, in increments of no less than two weeks at a time
  • Need financial assistance to underwrite the project
  • Commit to participating in three overnight retreats and quarterly day-long meetings over a two-year period
  • Not be employed full-time at an institution of higher education

Review Criteria

The Stanton review panel will consider each application in light of these questions:

Is this the right person?
  • Is the candidate a thought leader in his/her field and widely recognized?
  • Does the candidate have a track record of accomplishment around the proposed issue?
  • Does the candidate have a platform and network for learning and dissemination of knowledge? (leadership position at an agency, influential community presence, media voice, etc.)
  • Would the candidate be an engaged participant in the peer cohort, interested in sharing information, and learning from others?
Is this the right inquiry?
  • Has the candidate clearly articulated an inquiry that addresses a complex challenge?
  • Does the proposed inquiry break new ground?
  • Will the proposed inquiry have direct impact on Los Angeles?
  • Is the work plan sufficiently sketched out to be feasible in the Stanton time frame?
  • Has the candidate given adequate thought to how s/he will expend Stanton resources and his/her time?
Is this the right time?
  • Is the applicant at the right point in his/her career for a Stanton inquiry?
  • Are there factors that suggest that this is the optimal time to pursue this inquiry?

Program Timeline

2019

February 2019: Applications open for 2020-2021 cohort

July 17, 2019: Application Deadline

September 2019: Finalist Interviews

January 15-17, 2020: Mandatory Orientation

APPLY

View Sample Application
(Have you read the review criteria and FAQs?)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an example of a Stanton Fellowship inquiry?

Stanton Fellowship inquiries vary depending on the subject area on which they are focused, so there is no one model. Please look at the descriptions of past fellowships, which can be found by clicking on the profiles. However, the Stanton Program presumes that the inquiry will be substantially different from the candidate’s day-to-day work, and that the goal is to advance the needs of the field. Strategic planning for your organization, evaluations of existing programs, supporting the launch of a pilot program that has already been designed, or investment in a project already underway are not appropriate activities for a Stanton proposal.

Do I have to be in a full-time paid leadership position to apply?

No. Stanton Fellowships are now open to changemakers in the nonprofit sector and government, as well as artists, movement leaders, and social entrepreneurs. One of the purposes of the program is to cross-pollinate ideas and approaches from different arenas. 2019 is the first year in which the program has been open to candidates who are not working full-time for an agency.

Why aren’t applicants who work in post-secondary education eligible?

The purpose of the Stanton Fellowship is to provide time for research, travel and thinking to leaders who do not usually have the opportunity to pursue these activities. Even though we recognize that there need to be more resources available for postsecondary education, there are virtually no opportunities for leaders who are not in higher education to obtain grants to think deeply about the issues they work on.

How are the Stanton Fellows selected?

The Fellows are selected by a review panel of past Stanton Fellows, and Durfee trustees and staff.  They are guided by the review criteria and seek to create a vibrant, cross-sector cohort of Fellows.

What expectations does the Foundation have about the Fellows' outcomes?

We recognize that one individual is unlikely to resolve a challenging issue facing the future of LA in the short span of two years. We hope the fellow will help to move Los Angeles forward by asking critical questions, advancing ideas, expanding his or her practice, deepening roots in the community and, above all, sharing lessons learned with others who need to know. Success for the Stanton program is collective wisdom and a community moving forward together.

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