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Updated for 2021 Applicants

Bush Fellowship Application Questions

The 2021 Bush Fellowship application questions are provided as a reference and are what you can expect to see in the online application.

Your Track Record

We want to understand who you are and the difference you have made through your leadership.

  1. Each person’s experience is unique. What is important for us to understand about you and how you have made the most of opportunities in your life? (Maximum 2,400 characters, approximately 400 words)
  2. We are looking for candidates who have a strong record of success and are effective at leading change. Please explain how this describes you, and the impact you have made. (Maximum 1,500 characters, approximately 250 words)

Your Potential

We want to know that investing in your leadership development will be transformational for you and your community. We want to understand your vision of change for you and your community.

  1. What is your vision for the large-scale change needed in your community or region and why do you believe you can help lead this change? (Maximum 3,000 characters, approximately 500 words)
  2. Given your desire to lead large-scale change, please describe the leadership skills, experiences and connections you need to effectively engage and activate your community to make change happen? (Maximum 1,500 characters, approximately 250 words)
  3. How will obtaining the leadership skills, experiences and connections you described be transformational for you and strengthen your ability to make a significant difference for the people and issues you care about? (Maximum 1,800 characters, approximately 300 words)

Your responses to the following questions are not used for selection, but are useful in helping us  understand who is applying for the Fellowship program.

What is your date of birth?

What gender do you identify with?

  • Female
  • Male
  • Other
  • Transgender
  • I prefer not to answer

Which racial/ethnic group do you identity with?

  • American Indian/Alaska Native
  • Asian/Asian American
  • Black/African American
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
  • Some other race
  • White
  • I prefer not to answer

If you selected Black/African American or Asian/Asian American in the question above, please also select one of the following options, if applicable.

  • African Immigrant/Refugee
  • Southeast Asian

If you are currently enrolled in a tribe(s), please select which tribe(s) from the list below.

  • Bois Forte Band of Chippewa
  • Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
  • Crow Creek Sioux Tribe
  • Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe
  • Fond Du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  • Grand Portage Band of Chippewa
  • Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
  • Lower Brule Sioux Tribe
  • Lower Sioux Indian Community
  • Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
  • Oglala Sioux Tribe
  • Prairie Island Indian Community
  • Red Lake Chippewa Indians
  • Rosebud Sioux Tribe
  • Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
  • Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe
  • Spirit Lake Nation
  • Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
  • Three Affiliated Tribes
  • Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa
  • Upper Sioux Community
  • White Earth Band of Ojibwe
  • Yankton Sioux Tribe
  • Other

Select the option that best describes where you currently live.

  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Native nation: Bois Forte Band
  • Native nation: Cheyenne River Sioux
  • Native nation: Crow Creek Sioux Tribe
  • Native nation: Flandreau Santee Sioux
  • Native nation: Fond du Lac Band
  • Native nation: Grand Portage Band
  • Native nation: Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
  • Native nation: Lower Brule Sioux Tribe
  • Native nation: Lower Sioux
  • Native nation: MHA Nation
  • Native nation: Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
  • Native nation: Oglala Sioux Tribe
  • Native nation: Other
  • Native nation: Prairie Island
  • Native nation: Red Lake Nation
  • Native nation: Rosebud Sioux Tribe
  • Native nation: Shakopee Mdewakanton
  • Native nation: Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate
  • Native nation: Spirit Lake Nation
  • Native nation: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
  • Native nation: Turtle Mountain Band
  • Native nation: Upper Sioux Community
  • Native nation: Urban
  • Native nation: White Earth Nation
  • Native nation: Yankton Sioux Tribe

Select the option that best describes your current area of work.

  • Academic
  • Business
  • Nonprofit
  • Public

How did you hear about the Fellowship program?

  • Bush Fellow
  • Email
  • Flyer
  • Magazine
  • Other
  • Referral
  • Website/Internet search

If referred by a Fellow, Bush Foundation staff or a member in our community, please list their name and
email address below.


Please provide your resume (typically 2-3 pages) in whatever format is easiest for you. Acceptable file types are: .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx and .pdf. For any uploaded document, please include your name in the file name and in the document itself. We will not review or consider any additional attachments other than your resume.

If you are selected as a quarterfinalist, you’ll be asked to provide answers to the following questions:

Your Potential

We want to understand your vision for your community, your leadership and how investing in you at this time will have a positive impact in our region.

  1. It has been a few months since you submitted your first application. You may have had new or refined ideas since then. Please share any updates to your vision and/or the leadership skills, experiences and connections you need to achieve that vision. (Maximum 1,500 characters, approximately 250 words)
  2. Why is now the right time for you to pursue the Bush Fellowship? (Maximum 2,400 characters, approximately 400 words).

Your Plan

Your leadership plan is a description of how you will use this once-in-a-lifetime Bush Fellowship to transform your leadership and acquire the skills and experiences you need to achieve your vision for community change. We fully expect your Bush Fellowship plan to evolve over time.

  • Are you seeking a degree or are you pursuing a self-designed Fellowship?
    • Academic plan
    • Self-designed learning plan
  • Please share the action steps you will take to build the skills, experiences and connections you outlined in your application. (Maximum 1,800 characters, approximately 300 words)
  • How will the action steps you outlined above prepare you to lead visionary, transformative change in your community? (Maximum 1,800 characters, approximately 300 words)


Please provide the names of three references and how they’re connected to you. If you are selected as a semifinalist the three references you provide will be asked to participate in a 30-minute phone call with a Bush Foundation representative to discuss your leadership. The three references should include:

  • One person who has led you (for example, a work or volunteer supervisor, mentor, Board chair).
  • One person whom you have led. 
  • One person of your choosing who can speak to your leadership ability and/or potential.

At least one reference should be a person who lives in the region. Please do not include family members. It is more important that you choose three people who know you well and can speak to your leadership skills and/or potential rather than a well-known person in the community who does not know you as well.

A Bush Foundation representative will only contact references for applicants selected as semifinalists.

Legal history

Having a criminal history does not automatically preclude you from receiving a Fellowship.

  1. List any federal, state, or municipal law violation convictions. Exclude traffic violations or any violations which occurred prior to your 18th birthday. If none exist, write "n/a" in the box.
  2. List any legal judgments, bankruptcy proceedings, lawsuits or legal claims pending or docketed against you. Exclude claims for less than $100. If none exist, write "n/a" in the box.