Deadline: October 23, 2020
Applications are open for the U.S. Department of State Veterans Innovation Partnership Fellowship 2021-2022. The Veterans Innovation Partnership (VIP) Fellowship is a unique twelve-month program funded and administered by the U.S. Department of State (State) that recruits talented veterans with masters in international affairs and political science degree fields.
The purpose of this program is to provide opportunities for educated, high achieving veterans to gain experience in foreign policy so they may continue to serve the U.S. beyond the military. Fellows will learn to build on their existing experience to make them more competitive for permanent positions in professional foreign policy and international development careers.
Selected veterans will integrate the knowledge and expertise earned from the Global War on Terrorism and professional military training and apply them to their roles at State. During their tenure, Fellows are encouraged to learn more about the entire department by taking part in 30 to 60-day rotations at other bureaus and offices. VIP offers an intimate look at how the U.S. government conducts foreign affairs in Washington, DC and is an opportunity to acquire a network of professional contacts in the foreign policy world.
- Each fellow is paid the same level and step on the General Schedule (GS) for Federal Government employees, which is currently a GS-9 level at step 01 and includes the DC locality pay adjustment.
- A GS-9-1 salary ranges from $59,543 to $75,411 with the higher end dependent upon previous experience and/or prior Federal Government employment. This is paid over the twelve months of employment as a part of the VIP Fellowship program.
- A request to negotiate to increase pay to a higher step will require extra documentation and proof of pay cut/reduction upon entry to the program. To request a higher step, soon-to-be Fellows must provide a clear and concise description of previous paygrade, salary or equivalent at the time of offer.
- Fellows will acquire Annual Leave (AL) as they did in the military or prior federal employment (which transfers over), as well as Sick Leave (SL), however Military Leave (ML) does not apply to a CS TA hiring authority.
- Participants are offered the opportunity to enroll in the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program (FEHB). However, the program does not provide life insurance or similar benefits. Housing is also the responsibility of the fellow to obtain. All eligible Fellows automatically qualify to receive Veterans Health Administration Benefits.
- VIP Fellowships are open to U.S. Armed Forces Veterans and Transitioning U.S. Military who are honorably discharged, provided they have completed a minimum of two years of time in service or are retired. Separating service members may apply with an official, signed letter providing a schedule date of separating and discharge, and as long as that date comes before the official start date for each cohort year.
- Eligible veterans must apply within two years of graduate degree completion, except for those precluded from doing so due to their U.S. Military service obligation, who will have up to six years after degree completion to apply. Exception for service time extends to six years from a final graduation date, not from military discharge or retirement.
- U.S. Armed Forces Reservists and National Guard Members are eligible, provided they have completed a minimum of two years of time in service. Please note that Military Leave (ML) as stipulated in the program’s Civil Service (CS) Temporary Excepted Appointment (TA) hiring authority is not available, however acquired Annual Leave (AL) may be used for military duty days, weekend drills and necessary travel time.
- Veteran status should be confirmable through U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Reserves and guard status must be confirmed by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) through official orders or documentation from the associated branch of service. All service branches are welcome to apply to the program, including: Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, and there is no age restriction or special needs limitation.
- Veterans and separating service members must have completed a Master’s Degree program or higher in the preferred fields of International Business, International Relations/Affairs, Political Science, Public Policy, Public Administration, Global Affairs, or a related field within two years of the application submission dates.
- An applicant’s cumulative master’s degree Grade Point Average (GPA) must be 3.2 or above on a 4.0 scale. If applicants went to a foreign university, they must provide a certified letter of GPA equivalent in English signed by a senior official in student records. Official transcripts may be required at a later time and any unofficial transcripts should be included unless otherwise unavailable due to extreme circumstances.
- Individuals scheduled to graduate within 4-8 weeks of the application closing date may still apply as long as their official start date occurs after their graduation date. The official graduation date should be highlighted in required documentation during the application process and mentioned during any interview that follows.
- Degrees outside preferred educational fields are still accepted, however it is suggested that applicants attempt to relate their educational background to current U.S. foreign policy priorities and within the framework of the position descriptions provided in the job announcements.
For cohort seven (Class of 2021), the application submission timeframe is October 15-23, 2020, closing on the 23rd at 11:59pm Eastern Time or when a maximum of 250 are received.