Addressing racial wealth gaps

Our Commitment

Updated for 2023 Applicants

Bush Fellowship Application Questions

The 2023 Bush Fellowship application questions are provided in the tabs below and as word documents for your reference. They are what you can expect to see in the online application. The word documents are for your use only in helping to prepare your responses and should not be submitted. Please apply through 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)

Before you begin the application, you will be asked the following six questions to determine if you are eligible to apply.


  1. Are you a resident who currently lives in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota or one of the 23 Native nations within the same geography?
  2. Have you lived in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota or one of the 23 Native nations within the same geography for one continuous year immediately before applying?
  3. Will your primary residence remain in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota or one of the 23 Native nations within the same geography throughout the application process and your Fellowship?
  4. Will you be at least 24 years old on September 29, 2022, the closing date for the Fellowship application?
  5. Have you previously received a Bush Fellowship, Bush Artist Fellowship, Bush Leadership Fellowship, Bush Medical Fellowship or Enduring Vision Award?
  6. Are you a family member of an individual who is on the Bush Foundation staff or Board of Directors? A family member includes any spouse, parent, grandparent, great grandparent, child, grandchild, great grandchild and spouses of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

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.

IRS regulations restrict how certain government and elected officials can use their Fellowship. Visit https: Restrictions for Government Officials for more information.

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


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 your current area of work.

  • Academic
  • Business
  • Nonprofit
  • Public


How did you hear about the Fellowship program?

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


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

We ask for this information so we can thank people who refer applicants and make sure they have up-to-date information about the program.

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, so please indicate your current thinking.

  • 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 need to grow as a leader. (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 disqualify 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.