About the Program
The Russia Innovation Fellows are a part of the Professional Fellows Program (PFP) with a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. It is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. For Russia, PFP is administered by American Councils for International Education:ACTR/ACCELS.
The Professional Fellows Program is merit-based and it affords promising young professionals from Russia the opportunity to gain practical experience in, and exposure to, United States policies and offices related to innovation and entrepreneurship. The fellows will be part of a larger cohort of the Professional Fellows Program, joining fellows from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Turkey and Ukraine working on different PFP topics. The knowledge and interest of our Russia innovation fellows will be expanded through short-term fellowships in a variety of American organizations and state bodies across the United States that address innovation/entrepreneurship policy issues. All finalists are assigned individual placements based on their application, goals, professional background and sphere of interest.
Applicants from Russia working in private sector in the capacity of entrepreneurs and applying elements of innovation to support buisness development are eligible to apply.
1. Strengthen understanding of the U.S. policies related to innovation and/or entrepreneurship
2. Create partnerships between innovation focused institutions in the U.S. and Russia.
To be eligible for PFP, applicants must:
- Be a citizen of Russia and currently reside in your country of citizenship. Applicants living outside of their country of citizenship will not be considered eligible to apply;
- Be 25 to 35 years of age at the time of application;
- Be a college graduate (equivalent of a Bachelor's degree or higher);
- Be proficient in English. If you are selected as a semi-finalist, we will give you a free institutional TOEFL exam, unless you have a valid TOEFL score over 500 (paper test) or over 60 (iBT test) or its equivalent (for example, valid IELTS band 6 or higher);
- Have relevant experience in and commitment to a career in the public sector and/or nonprofit sector ; and
- Be involved (full time or part time) in the ecosystem or policy-making in the innovation and entrepreneurship sector (i.e., accelerators, incubators, mentors, non-profits, government offices, etc.) Entrepreneurs are eligible for the program!
- Be involved (full time or part time) in private business which supports and impacts innovation and entrepreneurship in Belarus and Russia.
- Be involved (full time or part time) in private business which uses and employs innovative entrepreneurship tools to promote business development in Belarus and Russia.
- Have demonstrated leadership and collaborative skills (please elaborate on your leadership and collaborative activities in essays in the end of this application, and submit/upload any certificates/materials that can prove your leadership skills).
Individuals in the following circumstances are NOT eligible to apply to participate as Fellows in the Professional Fellows Program:
- U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States
- Individuals currently participating in academic, training, research programs, or who are currently working in the United States
- Individuals who have already been recipients of and participated in LEAP/LFP/PFP
- Individuals currently residing or working outside their country of citizenship
- Individuals who have participated in an exchange visitor program sponsored or funded by the U.S. government (e.g., Public Affairs Sections at U.S. embassies or other U.S. government agency) and who have not fulfilled their two-year home residency requirement by the time of the application
- Individuals who have applied for U.S. permanent residency in the past three years
- Persons arrested for, charged with, or convicted of a crime as further detailed by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
Examples of Past Placements
During past years' programs, participants have been placed in the following venues:
- Accelerators and Incubators around the United States
- Business Accelerator Programs
- University Technology Transfer Offices
- Offices supporting local or regional economic development
- University Offices focusing on social entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship and other related topics