Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship

A one year fellowship for individuals seeking to make a difference in the struggle to eliminate hunger and poverty.

Emerson Fellowship: At a Glance


  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents
  • Fourth-year students and alumni

Selection Criteria:

  • Commitment to ending hunger, poverty and racism
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities and skills
  • Experience working in low-income communities
  • Enthusiasm for learning from peers and experts in the field

Candidates for the Bill Emerson Fellowship can affirm the following statements:

  • I can demonstrate my commitment to racial equity and social justice.
  • I have research, evaluation, organizing, advocacy, outreach, public education and/or problem-solving experiences and skills.
  • I wish to become an agent for change working on national anti-hunger and anti-poverty policy.

Extensive Description

What is the Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship? The Emerson Fellowship is a program of the Congressional Hunger Center, a bipartisan nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop, inspire, and connect leaders in the movement to end hunger, and to advocate for public policies that create a food-secure world. For nearly 30 years, Emerson Fellows worked in communities large and small, urban, suburban, and rural, with the shared goal of ending hunger and poverty in the U.S. Over 500 Emerson fellows completed the program, gaining experience in solutions to end hunger while expanding the capacity of nearly 300 organizations.

Duration, Placement, and Benefits: Over an 11 month period 16-20 fellows develop their leadership skills and gain hands on experience through placements with host organizations at the local, state, regional, and national levels. For the first six months Emerson Fellows are placed with organizations across the U.S. Following their field placements, fellows shift their focus to national anti-hunger and anti-poverty policy. During their time in the fellowship, Emerson Fellows receive more than 30 days of professional and leadership development training. Emerson Fellows typically receive financial packages ranging from $38,000 to $45,000. Emerson alums pursuing Masters’ degrees in public health or public policy at select institutions of higher learning are eligible for significant discounts on tuition.

Deadline Information

Deadline: Friday, January 14, 2022


Fellows participate in intensive training, workshops and retreats.

Eligibility Requirements

This is a highly competitive fellowship, with the following selection criteria:

  • A commitment to ending hunger and poverty in the United States
  • An ability to adjust and adapt to new situations
  • A commitment to racial equity and social justice
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities and skills
  • An ability to solve problems in creative and innovative ways
  • Enthusiasm for learning from a wide variety of individuals with expertise in the area anti-hunger/anti-poverty space; and a willingness to search for new models in anti-hunger and anti-poverty work
  • A lived experience with hunger and poverty
  • Experience working in low-income communities
  • Excitement about peer learning in a tightknit community of fellows
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent legal residency

Application Process

Apply using the online application form. Submit a three-page document, saved as a single PDF, which must include:

  • A one-page resume
  • A one-page personal statement, single spaced
  • A one-page response two essay questions, single spaced.

Further detail and advice on preparing your application is available here, page 14. For writing support, please contact Sandra Zupan by January 5.

For more information on this opportunity, please contact: 
Sandra Zupan