Application Process 

The application process for the 2023-24 Transition Term fellowship can be found here. The application period will be open from October 3rd to October 24th at 9:00 AM ET. For more information about Transition Term, please contact amymahler@hks.harvard.edu.

Important Dates:  

  • Information Sessions | Tuesday, October 3, 2023 at 5:30 PM at Littauer Building - L-324 FAINSOD 
  • Information Sessions | Wednesday, October 11, 2023 at 5:30 PM at Littauer Building - L-324 FAINSOD 
  • 1st Year RA Application Due Date: Thursday, October 12, 2023 at 9:00 AM ET. Submit interest via completed T-Term application 
  • Application Due Date: Tuesday October 24, 2023 at 9:00 AM ET 
  • Application Decision: Wednesday, November 15, 2023 
  • Transition Term Social (for those selected): Monday, November 20, 2023 at 5:30 PM at Taubman T-520 Allison Dining Room
  • Transition Term Orientation: Thursday, November 30, 2023 at 5:30 PM at Wexner Building – W-G02 Seminar Room + WEX-GO2A Garden 
  • TRANSITION TERM: Tuesday, January 2, 2024 – Wednesday, January 17, 2024 

Please subscribe to the Taubman Center mailing list to stay up to date about upcoming information sessions, news, and deadlines. 

 

Transition Term FAQs

Transition Term is a paid fellowship opportunity from the Taubman Center that allows HKS students to work with newly elected state and local officials during January Term to support their transition from campaigning to governing.

Teams of three fellows who have a mix of skills, geographic familiarity, and backgrounds that align with the needs of incoming administrations work to accelerate projects based on each host administration’s priorities. Examples may include research, data analysis, drafting memos or orders, engaging with stakeholders, and responding to rapidly evolving needs that arise during the intense early weeks of governing.  

Transition Term fellows get the opportunity to:

  • Work with state and local government offices, which are some of the most innovative and dynamic places to work in the public sector
  • Network with current and past Transition Term participants, including alumni of the program and state and local leaders who previously hosted fellows
  • Receive hands-on experience in state and local government in a short period of time
  • Apply the skills and experiences they have learned at HKS to real-world problems
  • Learn from elected leaders and their senior staff about running for office, managing campaigns and early administrations, and finding jobs in government service

Some fellows who have participated in the program continued to work in the administrations they served during the program as summer fellows, part-time researchers, and full-time staff members.

In past years, students have supported new administrations with research and recommendations on workforce development, environmental, and transportation policy; explored methods to improve rural broadband access; contributed to playbooks and memos on addressing blight, homelessness, and economic development; and helped develop COVID-19 vaccine distribution recommendations and vaccine procurement efforts. Students have also frequently helped new administrations operationalize their campaign promises into actionable game plans. 

Successful applicants will have an interest in state and local government and are considering a career in the field, experience working both independently and on a team, are curious and adaptable, and are comfortable with ambiguity. 

The application for the 2023-2024 Transition Term program will open October 3, 2023

The deadline for applying for this year's Transition Term is October 24, 2023 at 9:00am.

Applicants will be asked to submit:

  • Applicants link to their LinkedIn profile
  • The geographic regions where they have worked or lived
  • An approximately 150-word statement on their skills and experiences
  • An approximately 150-word statement on their long-term career plans
  • An approximately 150-word statement describing an example of when applicants have worked in a highly ambiguous environment
     

Below is a high-level program calendar (subject to change):

  • Late September: The application round for Transition Term opens
  • Mid-October: Applications are due
  • Early November: Election day for the mayors, county officials, and governors who may participate in Transition Term
  • Mid-November: The Taubman Center team shares application decisions with Transition Term applicants
  • Early December: Transition Term's mandatory orientation to help familiarize new fellows with the ins and outs of transitions and inform fellows where they will be placed and with whom they will be working. This year's orientation will take place November 30 and December 1 
  • Mid-December: After final exams end and before winter break begins, fellows and administrations will scope out some of the work to be completed during January Term.
  • January 3-17: Transition Term commences, fellows work full-time with their placement. Depending on the health policies of the host administrations and Harvard University, working in-person for the host-administration is a requirement of the program. Virtual work may be an option if conditions do not allow for in-person work, but must be approved by the host administration and the Taubman Center.  

The Taubman Center provides participating students with a stipend to cover travel, lodging, and living expenses in the host community. Fellows are expected to coordinate and share lodging costs with the other members of their team to maximize resources. Stipend amounts will be announced in fall 2023.