What is the application process, when is the deadline, and what is the timeline?

The initial application process is online (hard-copy materials cannot be accepted or processed). Applications open the second Monday of September, with a deadline of 11:59 pm (Eastern Time) on the first Monday of November. No late applications are accepted.

A review committee surveys the entire applicant pool and selects the most qualified candidates for interviews that take place from late November to early January. Only semifinalists will be contacted and invited to interview. Because of the volume of applications, PiLA cannot respond to individual inquiries regarding the status of an application or feedback on why the application was unsuccessful. Hence, please do not contact PiLA regarding application status. All applicants will be notified via email by early February regarding application outcomes.

Finalists emerge through the interview process, and based on their interests, experience and skills, they are invited to select up to three preferred partner organizations, where their dossiers are forwarded. Then interviews ensue between finalists and the partner organizations, which make final selections and offers, based on their needs for the coming year. It is important to understand that being named a PiLA finalist does not guarantee placement, as final offers are made by PiLA’s partner organizations.

Placements are finalized any time between February and late April, depending on the partner organization’s timeline. Patience is essential to the placement process. When finalists receive an offer, they have five (5) business days to accept or decline; they reserve their placement by submitting the non-refundable placement fee. If an offer is declined, PiLA maintains a waitlist and uses it to fill every available placement. PiLA fellows begin their field placements any time after the early June fellows' orientation in Princeton, through September, as negotiated with the partner organization at the time of the offer.