What We Do:
The Florida Gubernatorial Fellows Program was created from the belief that the best way to ensure Florida’s greatness is to actively educate and cultivate its future leaders.
This non-partisan program immerses students from public and private universities in key areas of state government. During their nine-month tenure in Tallahassee, Fellows receive advanced on-the-job training as well as an invaluable front-line view of the inner workings of government.
As Fellows, participants fulfill roles of critical responsibility, interact closely with the state’s top leaders and employ their skills and abilities in a highly rewarding environment.
Who We Need:
The best and the brightest! Only the most exceptional Florida undergraduate and graduate students are selected for this prestigious fellowship.
Demonstrated achievement is an important place to start; however it takes more than that to be a Florida Fellow.
Fellows are passionate about public service and making our incredible state even better. They work well with partners and colleagues from a diverse spectrum of backgrounds, cultures and political affiliations.
They think on their feet and take the initiative when opportunities arise, conceive innovative solutions and contribute to major decisions. Sometimes all on their first day!
Each Fellow’s experience is unique, thanks to the broad diversity of projects through which they express their talents. But Fellows also come together for numerous activities. Here’s what to expect:
Fellows live and work in Tallahassee throughout the program year and participate in Fellowship events in Tallahassee at least once a week, and often more frequently. Fellows residing in the immediate Tallahassee area upon the awarding of the Fellowship will receive a $1,000 stipend. Fellows who do not reside in the immediate Tallahassee area upon the awarding of the Fellowship will receive a $2,000 stipend to help offset relocation expenses. Housing is entirely the Fellow’s responsibility.
This program is open to full-time undergraduate (juniors and seniors), graduate students, and immediate-graduate students statewide. In order to maintain full-time status, students take courses at Florida State University, online courses, or fulfill internship and directed independent study requirements.
The Fellowship maintains strong partnerships with public and private universities. In most cases, Fellows receive free tuition throughout the academic year.
For their project work, Fellows are considered Other Personal Services (OPS) employees and are paid a minimum of $13 per hour for their work week, which can range from 20 to 40 hours. They are treated as high-level staff and are expected to perform at that level.
Each week, Fellows congregate to discuss each other’s experiences and also hear from a guest lecturer (such as the Governor, Cabinet officers, agency heads or other top officials). Fellows are required to participate in a broad slate of government activities, including budget and policy briefings and press conferences.
Policy study trips:
Fellowship alumni consistently refer to these trips as among the most rewarding experiences they’ve had. In addition to getting an inside look into operations at several state agencies in the Tallahassee area, Fellows take field trips to other cities.
These journeys include:
-Visit to Florida’s military headquarters in St. Augustine and a tour of the Camp Blanding Joint Training Center near Starke
-Tours and various briefings at the Kennedy Space Center with Space Florida and various public-private partnerships with companies in the Space industry
-The crown jewel: a three-day visit in Washington, D.C. In the nation’s capital, Fellows get to meet and speak at length with an array of leaders, including Florida’s two U.S. Senators and members of Congress
Fellows are expected to take the lead in determining solutions to issues facing Floridians today and in the future.
Fellows direct an independent case study wherein they identify a problem confronting the state or its government. They conduct comprehensive research, interview involved parties and individuals and propose a sound solution through a policy proposal.
A special honor is reserved for the most outstanding proposal each year.
The application deadline for the 2024-2025 class is Thursday, February 1, 2024.