Each summer, Breakthrough seeks five to ten outstanding young analysts, writers, and thought leaders for the Breakthrough Generation Fellowship. Fellows will contribute writing and research to one our three main issue areas at the Breakthrough Institute: Energy, Conservation, or Food & Farming. Fellowships are highly competitive — only 5-10 percent of applicants are generally accepted — and involve cutting-edge writing, research, and public policy analysis. See below for more information on how to apply.
Since its inception in 2008, Breakthrough Generation has trained over 70 top young policy analysts and thinkers.
The fellowship runs for ten weeks between June and August and pays $600 per week. Fellows work 40 hours per week, and may be considered for full-time employment at the end of the fellowship. Breakthrough does not provide housing.
Who can apply?
Final-year undergraduates, college graduates, and postgraduates are eligible to apply for the fellowship. Fellowships are open to applicants from any country.
How do I apply?
When applications are open, you can apply through our online application form.
You will need to provide your basic information, a cover letter, resume or CV, references, and three writing samples (see details about these below). All uploaded documents must be in PDF format. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
When is the application deadline?
Applications for Breakthrough Generation 2018 are due February 13, 2018 at 11:59 pm PST.
When will I hear back?
We review applications as they come in, but we do not make final decisions about acceptances until after the final deadline. You will hear back from us within two to four weeks after the application deadline. There are two rounds of phone interviews before final decisions are made.
When does Breakthrough Generation take place?
Breakthrough Generation 2018 fellowships will take place mid-June to mid-August 2018. The first two weeks will be dedicated to Breakthrough Bootcamp, an intellectual crash course in Breakthrough's history and research. If you have a scheduling conflict with these dates, please email us as soon as possible to discuss.
Please indicate at the top of your cover letter which of the three research areas you wish to be considered for: Energy, Conservation, or Food & Farming. An excellent cover letter will display a thorough understanding of Breakthrough's work and ideas, and discuss at least one of our publications and/or An Ecomodernist Manifesto or Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus's book Break Through. Please limit your cover letter to one page maximum.
Please limit your resume or CV to two pages maximum.
Three Writing Samples
1) A 500-1000 word argumentative essay or op-ed (does not have to be published) on a subject of your choice that demonstrates an ability to make a focused argument in a clear, convincing, and accessible way. This writing sample is evaluated for evidence of critical thinking and general writing skills. For examples of opinion pieces written by Breakthrough staff, see here, here, and here.
2) A research paper, preferably between 15-20 pages. This does not need to have been published, but should demonstrate an ability to research and analyze a subject in more depth. It is recommended, but not required, that the topic of the research paper be relevant to the program area you are applying to.
3) An additional writing sample of your choosing — this can be an opinion piece, a research paper, a policy memo, or any other piece of writing that complements the first two samples.
Please submit a minimum of three professional references with contact information.
Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation are welcome but not required. Recommendations will only be accepted if the author of the letter, not the applicant, sends the letter directly to Breakthrough. Letters should be be attached to your application or sent separately to fellowships [at] thebreakthrough [dot] org with the subject “[Last Name] Generation Application References”
Any other questions or concerns?
Please email fellowships [at] thebreakthrough.org.