Frequently Asked Questions

Fellowships are generally awarded for two to three years with the possibility of extension.

Stoneleigh Fellows come from a diverse array of backgrounds—they are attorneys, educators, physicians, public policy experts, program administrators, researchers, social workers, and more. Successful Fellows all have:

  • The demonstrated ability to design, lead, and execute complex, multiyear projects
  • A deep commitment to improving the lives of young people
  • A solid understanding of how public systems work and the ability to bring stakeholders with different perspectives together to develop shared solutions

There is no specific age or experience requirement, but Fellowship candidates should have established track records in their fields of focus and strong professional relationships. We know that changemakers don’t fit a specific profile; some Fellows use the Fellowship to launch the next phase of their careers, while others have decades of experience.

Fellowship projects must have:

  • An impact on policy and practice that affects young people in Philadelphia
  • Buy-in from key systems and project implementation partners
  • A clear theory of change and a work plan articulating goals and outcomes
  • Concrete plans for ensuring sustainability

Fellows advance change using one or more of the following approaches:

  • Research: Generating new knowledge through applied research
  • Policy: Changing how systems work to better meet the needs of young people
  • Practice: Developing new approaches to program design and delivery, and expanding promising programs

Because we believe that youth are best served when systems work together to holistically address their needs, Stoneleigh prioritizes projects designed to create or strengthen partnerships between or among agencies.

At a minimum, host organizations serve as fiscal agents for Fellowship funds. Depending on the design of the project, the host organization may also provide implementation support, office space/equipment, administrative support, or assistance with fundraising and communications.  They are typically:

  • Academic institutions (e.g., research centers, academic research hospitals, universities)
  • Nonprofit organizations (e.g., legal services providers, advocacy organizations, child welfare agencies, other service providers)
  • Public sector agencies (e.g., local/state government agencies, school district, police department, district attorney’s office, judiciary)

Our Fellowship is intended to allow individuals the freedom from day-to-day work responsibilities to devote themselves to a project they have identified. Therefore, while candidates’ current employers could serve as host organizations for a Fellowship project, candidates would need to demonstrate that they would be released from the duties of their current position and free to pursue their Fellowship for the majority of their time.

Fellows are not required to reside in Greater Philadelphia, but it is preferred. Beyond completing Fellowship work, we aim to build a network of change leaders in Philadelphia and ultimately advance the field in our region by investing in their leadership. Stoneleigh offers programming and professional networking opportunities throughout the year that are designed to amplify the work of our Fellows and foster connections and knowledge-sharing. In addition, current and former Fellows often collaborate with one another on proposals and projects and assist one another by sharing connections and expertise. If Fellows do not live in Greater Philadelphia, they will be expected to participate in selected meetings and events.

The award primarily covers a Fellow’s salary; in some cases, it also supports travel or other expenses related to advancing project work. While the amount depends on the personal circumstances of each Fellow and project, awards typically range from $100,000 to $150,000 annually. In addition to the financial award, Stoneleigh’s staff work closely with Fellows to amplify the impact of their projects and provide ongoing opportunities for networking and professional development.

To maintain our ability to be responsive to the needs in the field as well as the individual circumstances of each Fellow, the process for awarding Stoneleigh Fellowships does not operate on a fixed cycle. Candidates are encouraged to submit ideas at any time and will be considered on a rolling basis. Fellowships are approved by Stoneleigh’s Board of Directors at quarterly meetings that take place in March, June, September, and December.

Learn more about the application process here.

Stoneleigh looks for the following characteristics when evaluating Fellowship proposals:

  • Potential for Impact: The project has a strong potential to improve outcomes for youth in Philadelphia and a compelling case is made for why now is the right time to make an impact. The proposal clearly illustrates how this approach differs from and/or complements related work on the issue in Philadelphia or nationally.
  • Project Design & Feasibility: The proposal outlines a realistic approach for completing the project within the constraints of the Fellowship. If the project requires collaboration with other organizations or access to data, the necessary supports and/or approvals have been secured. In addition, candidates should clearly understand potential barriers to their success and what strategies they would employ to address them.
  • Candidate Qualifications: The candidate demonstrates a deep commitment to the issue being addressed, an established track record of impact, strong leadership, and an ability to cultivate partnerships.
  • Sustainability: The proposal articulates how the effectiveness of the project will be evaluated and how its sustainability beyond the duration of the Fellowship will be ensured.

More information about Stoneleigh’s priorities can be found on the issue area pages for youth justice, child welfare, education, and health.

We are particularly interested in supporting young people who are involved or at risk of involvement in the youth justice or child welfare systems. While we work on projects that affect youth of all ages, we are especially committed to supporting adolescents and youth transitioning into adulthood. We are also interested in two-generation strategies targeting both young parents and their children in our child welfare and health portfolios.

The Stoneleigh Fellowship is highly selective. We typically award up to five Stoneleigh Fellowships annually.

Yes, absolutely. We’d be happy to review revised proposals and/or new ideas from candidates who were not previously advanced.

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