Bush Fellowship

Accepting applications 8/30-9/29

Bush Fellowship

The Bush Fellowship is a recognition of extraordinary achievement and a bet on extraordinary potential. The Fellowship provides people with an opportunity to pursue the education and experiences they need to become more effective leaders in their community. 

Bush Fellows have a record of accomplishment and want to make an even bigger impact in their community. Fellows determine what they need to become a more effective leader and receive a grant of up to $100,000 to make it happen. 

The Fellowship is one way the Bush Foundation works to inspire and support creative problem solving – within and across sectors – to make our region better for everyone. Since 1965, Bush Fellowships have been awarded to more than 2,200 people across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography.

Meet the 2016 Bush Fellows

Learn more about the 2017 Fellowship application process and ask us questions during our webinars:

All webinars take place Central time.

2015 Bush Fellows

Are You Ready To Be A Bush Fellow? Video #3

Are You Ready To Be A Bush Fellow? Video #2

Are you ready to be a Bush Fellow?

Meet the 2014 Bush Fellows

Meet the 2014 Bush Fellows
Fellowship experience

The Bush Fellowship provides resources, experiences and time to people with the potential to advance our region.

The Fellowship is awarded annually to as many as 24 people from across the region. Bush Fellows receive a flexible grant of up to $100,000 that they can use over 12 to 24 months to pursue the education and experiences they need to become more effective leaders in their community.

The Fellowship allows people to access programs, mentors and networks that might not otherwise be available to them. The experience allows them to develop an even greater vision for what is possible in their communities—and a deeper commitment to taking action.

What we fund
Definitions

Bush Fellows receive a flexible grant of up to $100,000 that can be used over 12 to 24 months to pursue the education and experiences they need to become more effective leaders in their community.

Bush Fellows may use the grant to pursue a self-designed leadership development plan. Fellows may not direct grant funds to another person, organization or project.

They may also use the grant to start or complete a degree-seeking program, anything from an undergraduate degree to a PhD. 

Whether a Fellow is pursuing a self-designed leadership plan, or a degree-seeking program, they may use the grant to cover living expenses (including childcare), tuition, fees for workshops and seminars, travel and equipment purchases that are necessary to carry out the Fellowship.

There are some restrictions on the ways certain government and elected officials, and their spouses, may use the Fellowship. Download the Government Official Restrictions PDF for more information.

Fellowship amounts and terms

The Bush Fellowship provides a flexible grant of up to $100,000 that be used over 12 to 24 months.

Start dates for the Fellowship are June 1 or August 1 of a given year

Eligibility

To be eligible for a Bush Fellowship you must be:

  • at least 24 years old at the time of the application deadline
  • a resident of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota or one of the 23 Native nations that shares the same geography, for one continuous year immediately prior to the application deadline

You are ineligible if you have previously received a Bush Fellowship, Bush Artist Fellowship, Bush Leadership Fellowship, Bush Medical Fellowship or Enduring Vision Award.

There are no specific citizenship requirements to be eligible for the Bush Fellowship. However, if a Fellow is not a U.S. citizen or resident alien, the Bush Foundation may be required to withhold income taxes on Fellowship payments and report such payments and withholdings to the Internal Revenue Service.

How to apply

The Bush Foundation will accept applications between August 30 and September 29, 2016. A link to the application will be available here on August 30.

Deadlines

The deadline for Bush Fellowship applications is September 29, 2016 at noon Central. 

All applicants will be notified whether or not they are moving forward to the semi-finalist round the week of December 5, 2016.

Semi-finalists will be notified whether or not they are moving to final selection the week of January 30, 2017.

Bush Fellowship finalists must be available for an in-person interview with the Bush Fellowship Selection Committee on the following days: February 20, 23 and 27, 2017

The 2017 Bush Fellows will be announced in March 2017.

Selection criteria

The Bush Fellowship is a recognition of extraordinary achievement and a bet on extraordinary potential.

We are looking for people who:

  • Have a record of accomplishment and want to make an even bigger impact.
  • Think bigger and differently about what they can accomplish in their community.
  • Know they need to strengthen a specific skill, or set of skills, and have a clear plan for how to make it happen.

The Fellowship selection criteria are organized around three areas of focus: The person. Their potential. Their plan.

Person 

Record of success.

Someone who makes the most of opportunities they are given regardless of where they are in their career.  They continuously find ways to have more impact inside or outside of their job, or both. They are persistent and resilient in the face of difficulty.

 Outstanding character.

They are admired and respected by others. They demonstrate integrity and generosity of spirit.

 Active Learner.

They can recognize their own strengths and weaknesses. They seek and incorporate feedback.  They have an inquiring mind, actively searching out new ideas and new experiences to broaden their perspective and increase their effectiveness.   

Potential

They demonstrate the vision and the drive to be an extraordinary leader and the capacity to make a far greater impact in their community than they are making now. They are committed to working to benefit people and communities in MN, ND, SD and the 23 Native Nations that share the same geography.

Plan

They clearly articulate how the Fellowship will be transformative to changing the trajectory of their career and life. They clearly articulate how they will be a stronger more effective leader after the Fellowship than they are today.

Selection process

The selection process is designed benefit all applicants. Whether or not an applicant receives a Fellowship, the process provides an opportunity for them to reflect on their accomplishments and create a plan to achieve their aspirations.  

There are three main stages in the Bush Fellowship selection process: 

  1. A preliminary selection committee of Foundation staff and previous Bush Fellows select up to 75 semifinalists. We require applicants selected as semifinalists to provide more information about how they will use the Fellowship through a second stage application, phone interview and references. The Bush Foundation may conduct formal background and public records checks on applicants who are invited to move forward to the second phase of the application process.
  2. A final selection committee of Foundation staff will select up to 36 finalists. We will assign each finalist a time for a half-day, in-person interview with the final selection committee scheduled for late February, 2017, in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
  3. Fellowship selection committees of made up of community leaders and board members will select up to 24 Fellows.
We're here to help

Please contact the Leadership Team at 651-379-2249 or Fellowships@BushFoundation.org.