NU Public Interest Program

Building a Network of Engaged Citizens to Inspire Change

Community Partners

The NU Public Interest Program places top recent graduates from Northwestern University in one-year paid fellowships at Chicago-area nonprofits, government agencies, and civic institutions throughout the Chicagoland area. Candidates are rigorously recruited and carefully screened, then matched with organizations that fit their specific interests and skill sets. Once the fellowship year begins, NUPIP provides regular professional development seminars, mentorship with experienced alumni, periodic networking and social activities, and support from the NUPIP staff and community.

Host organization placements cross a wide range of issue areas and types of work. Placements must be full time for 9–12 months, and must consist of challenging, meaningful projects, with support and feedback from supervisors, and dedicated time for the Fellow’s professional development. Host organizations provide a modest stipend and basic benefits to the Fellow, and contribute a small fee to support the NUPIP program and their Fellow’s professional development.

Why Participate?

  • Expand Staff Capacity: Hosting an NUPIP Fellow offers an opportunity to expand organizational capacity with a limited financial investment and without a long-term commitment. NUPIP is a great way to fill grant-funded or term-limited positions, or to increase short-term staffing while building long-term funding streams.
  • Access Skilled Applicants: NUPIP Fellows are drawn from a competitive pool of bright, motivated recent graduates committed to public interest work. Organizations access outstanding candidates with: strong communication and interpersonal skills; technical proficiency; training in writing, research, and analysis; organizational, leadership, and problem-solving skills; and an ability to take initiative and produce results.
  • Benefit from Screening & Matching Services: NUPIP narrows the applicant pool to 3–5 candidates who specifically match each organization’s stated needs. The organization then interviews and chooses among the selected candidates. (Organizations are not committed to taking a Fellow if they do not identify a good match during the interview process.) Many fits are so strong that Fellows receive offers to continue to work at their host organization after the conclusion of their Fellowship term.
  • Join the NUPIP Network: Partner with Northwestern University and gain access to resources offered by the University and the NUPIP program, as well as ongoing support and consultation for Fellows, supervisors, and host organizations throughout the Fellowship year. Plus join a network of dozens of Chicago-area nonprofits and civic organizations, and a community of supervisors, mentors, faculty, and alumni affiliated with Northwestern and other universities.
  • Develop Future Leadership & Strengthen the Nonprofit Community: NUPIP offers partner organizations the chance to introduce talented newcomers to the nonprofit community and foster a lifelong commitment to positive social change. Additionally, professional development seminars and mentorship from experienced alumni provide Fellows with valuable skills that they can contribute back to their host organizations.

Learn More

Apply Here!