NU Public Interest Program

Building a Network of Engaged Citizens to Inspire Change

Community Partners

The NU Public Interest Program places top recent graduates from Northwestern University in one-year paid fellowships at Chicago-area nonprofits and civic organizations. Candidates for NUPIP Fellowships go through a rigorous screening process, which includes interviews with Northwestern faculty, staff, and alumni, and culminates with host organization interviews of final candidates.

Once the Fellowship year begins, NUPIP provides biweekly professional development and educational seminars, a mentorship program, and periodic networking activities for Fellows. Host organizations commit to providing a modest monthly stipend, access to basic health benefits, and a small placement fee to help support NUPIP programming and their Fellows’ professional development activities.
Why Participate?

  • Expand Staff Capacity: Hosting an NUPIP Fellow offers an opportunity to expand organizational capacity with a limited financial investment, and without a long-term commitment. NUPIP is a great way to fill grant-funded or term-limited positions, or to increase short-term staffing while building long-term funding streams.
  • Access Skilled Applicants: NUPIP Fellows are drawn from a competitive pool of outstanding recent graduates committed to public interest work. Organizations access an exceptional candidate pool with: strong technical skills; training in writing, analysis, and research; communication and teamwork skills; creativity, initiative, and problem-solving skills; a responsible work ethic; and an ability to prioritize and meet deadlines.
  • Benefit from Screening & Matching Services: NUPIP narrows the applicant pool to 3-5 candidates who specifically match each organization’s stated needs. The organization then interviews and chooses among the selected candidates. (Organizations are NOT committed to taking a Fellow if they do not identify a good match during the interview process.) Many Fellows receive offers to continue to work at their host organization after the conclusion of their Fellowship term.
  • Develop Future Leadership & Strengthen the Nonprofit Community: NUPIP offers partner organizations the chance to introduce talented newcomers to the nonprofit community and foster a lifelong commitment to positive social change. Additionally, professional development seminars and mentorship from accomplished alumni provide Fellows with valuable skills that they can contribute back to their host organizations.

Learn about the matching process.

Check out our list of past host organizations here.

Application consideration & matching begins Wednesday, February 15 and continues until all fellows have been placed

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