Application Process

The deadline to apply for the 2019-2020 program year will be on November 15, 2018, and the online application will be available in late summer 2018.

Please be sure to review both the instructions below and the frequently asked questions here prior to beginning your application.

Application Instructions

 Please review these instructions before completing and submitting your application:

  • The Alfa Fellowship Program application must be submitted online no later than 11:59PM EST on November 15, and any supporting documents not submitted online or via email must arrive in hard copy by the same date.
  • You may log into, edit, and log out of your application at any time until you have clicked on the “Submit” button. Once an application has been submitted, it is considered final. Please make sure to click “Save” in each section you edit before exiting your application to ensure that all data is saved.
  • Prior to submitting your application, please be sure to review the information you provided very carefully by clicking on the “Print Version” tab.
  • Once you have submitted your application, you will not be permitted to log in, view or make any changes to the information you provided. However, if you submit the application ahead of the deadline, your recommenders will still be able to submit their letters until 11:59PM on November 15.
  • We recommend saving your resume, personal statement, and writing sample as PDF files in order to avoid formatting issues.

The following documents are required as part of your Alfa Fellowship Program application:

To be uploaded by the applicant in the “Documents” section:

  • Current resume/CV
  • Personal statement

    Two pages maximum, in English; please make sure to include your name on this document.

    The personal statement should contain very specific information on the applicant’s background, experience, career aspirations, and interest in Russia. It should also include anticipated benefits of participation in the Alfa Fellowship Program for both the applicant and the host institution. It must also include realistic proposals for specific institutions that the applicant believes to be appropriate for his/her professional assignment.

    For a complete list of past Alfa Fellows’ work placements, please visit the Professional Assignments page. Please note that while the personal statement must contain proposals for specific organizations, it is not required to include institutions from this list.

  • Russian writing sample

          One page maximum on a topic of your choice. Please make sure to include your name on this document.

  • Please note: if you have ever studied Russian, you must submit a writing sample in Russian, regardless of your level. If you have never studied Russian, please submit a statement in English detailing other languages in which you are proficient, and when and where you acquired those language skills. Statements in languages other than English or Russian will not be reviewed.

To be submitted either in hard copy or electronically:

  • Official graduate transcripts from most recent/current degree

    Please note that official graduate transcripts are required even if your degree is currently in progress. These may either be emailed to by the registrar or mailed directly to the Alfa Fellowship Program in a sealed envelope.

    Please note: if your degree is from a European university that does not issue official transcripts to third parties, a high-quality color scan of an official version will suffice. If possible, please request a scan to be emailed to by your university registrar. If that is not possible, you can email it to us directly yourself.

    Please do not submit copies or scans of your diploma verifying your degree. Instead, we require a transcript that contains a list of courses you completed and grades you received. For German applicants, this is a Zeugnis.

    If you have multiple graduate degrees, especially if they are relevant to your area of expertise/desired field of fellowship, please submit an official transcript from your current/most recent degree and unofficial transcripts for all other degrees.

  • Two letters of recommendation

    At least one from someone who knows you in a professional capacity, ideally a current or former supervisor, either submitted by the recommender via the online system or mailed in a sealed envelope to the Alfa Fellowship Program. Please note: regardless of the method of submission, letters of recommendation must be on letterhead and be hand-signed by the recommender.

    Additionally, please note that all letters of recommendation must be in English and should be addressed to the Alfa Fellowship Program Selection Committee.

The following documents are optional and can be uploaded online by the applicant in the “Documents” section:

  • Undergraduate transcripts

    If you feel it would be in your favor for the Selection Committee to review your undergraduate transcript, please upload it. Please note: If you do not have a graduate degree completed or in progress, you must submit an official undergraduate transcript following the instructions for graduate transcripts that are outlined above.

  • Photo

    If you choose to upload a photo, please be sure that it is a professional-looking image that depicts you alone.

Please mail any hard copy materials to the following address:

Alfa Fellowship Program
Cultural Vistas
440 Park Avenue South, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10016

Please do not submit any documents other than those outlined above. Please note that we are unable to return application materials.

Application and Selection

Selection for the Alfa Fellowship Program will be conducted on a competitive basis. A joint Russian-U.S.-U.K.-German Selection Committee will nominate up to eighteen Americans, Britons, and Germans to be awarded Alfa Fellowships at selection interviews held in New York City for candidates based in the U.S., and in London for candidates based in Europe. Please see the Program Year page for additional details.

Notifications of selection will be sent within several weeks of completing the selection interviews.