Marshall Memorial FellowshipThe Marshall Memorial Fellowship (MMF) is GMF’s flagship leadership development program.
The Marshall Memorial Fellowship is accepting applications from September 15 to November 11 for the program commencing in the fall of 2022. Successful candidates will be invited for an in-person interview in late winter/spring of 2022 in the regions from which they applied. We encourage all those interested to apply as soon as possible due to the length of the application process.
GMF accepts applications from all U.S. federal states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as from the member states of the European Union, the United Kingdom, Norway, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Moldova, and Turkey.
The Marshall Memorial Fellowship (MMF) is GMF’s flagship leadership development program. Created in 1982 to introduce a new generation of European leaders to the United States, it now prepares leaders from both sides of the Atlantic for transatlantic relations. The program relies on 6 months of distance learning and 24 days of first-hand experience to facilitate knowledge and network development for effective transatlantic engagement. GMF awards 75 Marshall Memorial Fellowships each year to candidates from all sectors, including business, government and civil society. The MMF alumni network numbers more than 2,500 leaders. Their transatlantic engagement continues throughout their careers with GMF alumni projects, seminars, and major events.
Buzz from the Fellowship
Follow the fellows on Instagram and Twitter using #GMFMMF as they make their way around Europe and the United States, and read their latest blog posts.
Do you have a question about the Marshall Memorial Fellowship? See if you can find the answer below. Otherwise, please direct your question to [email protected]
Frequently Asked QuestionsExpand All
Why is it called the Marshall Memorial Fellowship program?
The Marshall Memorial Fellowship program (MMF) is named in honor of George C. Marshall, a U.S. general and statesman who played a key role in transatlantic relations after World War II through his role in the Europe Recovery Program (1948-1951), more commonly known as the Marshall Plan.
What is the objective of the Marshall Memorial Fellowship?
- The program’s main objective is to enable leaders from business, government, and civil society to expand their understanding of transatlantic relations and create new forms of collaboration.
- The program does this through a combination of active distance learning and immersive exchange experience, during which participants come in contact with leaders who are pursuing solutions to key challenges in their spheres of activity, hear their strategies and best practices, and gain an understanding of the complex environment in which they operate.
- The program gives participants a unique ability to accurately ascertain and develop new opportunities for transatlantic collaboration, with a special emphasis on cross-sector collaboration.
What is the structure of the Marshall Memorial Fellowship?
- The MMF program consists of 6 months of preparations and 24 days of transatlantic exchange. During preparations, the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) introduces fellows to key components of the transatlantic relationship and asks them to identify their objectives for the remainder of the fellowship in order to expand their knowledge about regions across the Atlantic and secure at least one individual appointment in each community they are assigned to visit, except the final one.
- The preparations consist of a welcome call, a series of virtual briefings, an online course, and a pre-departure call alongside personal research and outreach that result in at least four individual appointments. The exchange program begins in Washington, DC, where all the fellows meet to learn about the similarities and differences between Europe and the United States. Each fellow then visits a total of five communities across the Atlantic and benefits from more than 100 engagements with prominent policymakers, opinion leaders, and decision-makers, as well as leaders of change.
- The majority of the program consists of a group experience, but time is set aside in each community for fellows to conduct their individual appointments. Regular debriefs provide an opportunity for fellows to reflect on their experience together and identify opportunities for transfers of knowledge and best practice.
- At the end of the exchange, each fellow submits an opinion piece or a photo essay on a shared transatlantic concern or professional leadership takeaway. A select few are then published on the GMF website. The program concludes with a final program debrief that takes place one month after the exchange program, after which lifelong engagement with GMF continues.
Who is eligible to apply for the Marshall Memorial Fellowship?
GMF selects leaders from all professional backgrounds, including business, government, and civil society.
Who is an ideal candidate for the Marshall Memorial Fellowship?
The Marshall Memorial Fellows (MMFs) are leaders with integrity and a strong commitment to diversity who align with causes greater than themselves. They recognize the reality of global interconnectedness and desire connectivity and collaboration. MMFs value personal experience and learn through exposure, dialogue, and reflection.
On what basis are the fellows selected?
- A profound sense of integrity
- Between 7 and 15 years of leadership experience
- A commitment to democracy and diversity across markers including profession, gender, race, and ethnicity
- A desire to affect real and sustainable change through creativity and innovation
- Proven ability to apply knowledge and leverage networks
- An ability to become a steward of the transatlantic agenda
Application ProcessExpand All
What is the application process?
Applications are made through our online application portal. We recommend starting your application early, so our team has adequate time to respond to any questions you may have. All applicants will be contacted regarding their application status by e-mail. The application form includes short-answer questions, three essay questions, a résumé/CV, and two letters of recommendation.
Candidates should not ask for a letter of recommendation from a family member, and applicants should not submit letters of recommendation for other applicants. If a candidate meets the eligibility factors but does not have a nominator, the candidate may instead submit the application form and check the self-nomination box.
All interviews take about 20 minutes and are conducted in person and in English. Interview dates and locations will be provided to applicants as early as possible, and candidates are expected to hold this date and make themselves available for interviews. Candidates are responsible for the costs of travel and lodging for the interview. In special circumstances, a travel stipend can be granted.
May I submit parts of my application after the deadline?
No. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that all application materials, including two letters of recommendation, are submitted by the application deadline. Only complete applications will be considered.
Are there any age restrictions?
No, we do not impose age restrictions for applicants. However, MMF fellowships are aimed at individuals at the mid-stage of their career and who have between 7 and 15 years of proven leadership experience.
Who evaluates the applications?
Applications will be evaluated by a committee drawn from GMF senior management. All application materials and the committee’s evaluations remain confidential. The committee will not provide feedback on individual applications.
What happens after the interview?
Applicants who are successful in their interviews will be notified by email and receive contracts setting out the terms and conditions of the fellowship.
Applicants who are unsuccessful in their interview will be notified by email. We regret we cannot provide feedback on applications to candidates.
If selected, what is the required time commitment as a fellow?
Following the fellowship award announcements each spring, selected fellows receive a detailed schedule of what to expect in the months leading up to their date of travel. In the leadup to the in-person program, fellows engage in synchronous and asynchronous preparations. The former consists of mandatory Zoom sessions which include a welcome call, a series of virtual briefings with required readings, and pre-departure calls. The latter involves an online course which introduces fellows to the other side of the Atlantic and transatlantic relations. Each Zoom session lasts an hour and is scheduled well in advance to avoid any conflicts. Next comes the 24-day exchange program followed by a final debrief call one month after.
In addition to the briefings and travel, fellows are required to schedule individual appointments with a local leader in most of the communities they will visit. This task involves research and outreach over the course of the three months leading up to the transatlantic exchange.
During the program, fellows will represent GMF and are expected to conduct themselves in a manner reflective of this special relationship. Fellows are expected to attend and fulfill all activities during preparations and to participate fully in all 24 days of transatlantic exchange; no late arrivals or early departures will be accommodated. Fellowships can be withdrawn if full participation is not met.
Can GMF provide appropriate health insurance for the duration of the fellowship?
GMF does not provide health insurance during the trip. Fellows are advised to check with their healthcare providers to ensure coverage during the immersive part of the fellowship program. If medical assistance is required, fellows should consult with MMF staff or local coordinators. European fellows will need to obtain health insurance for the duration of their MMF travel as a requirement of the J-1 visa application process.
Do I need a visa to travel during the fellowship?
All fellows must possess passports valid for at least six months beyond the assigned travel dates. European fellows are required to obtain a J-1 visa to participate in the MMF program because it is officially registered with the U.S. Department of State as an educational exchange program. As required by the U.S. Department of State, all international visitors traveling to the United States for educational purposes must obtain the J-1 visa. This applies to all European participants, regardless of their country’s participation in the visa waiver program. Long-term tourist visas and diplomatic passports cannot be used to participate in the MMF program. GMF provides all fellows with comprehensive instructions and the necessary paperwork to obtain their visas.
Are there any costs involved with the fellowship?
GMF invests approximately $25,000 in each fellow. Fellows meet this investment by covering their registration fee upon acceptance into the program of $3,000 for Fellows with a corporate or business background, $1,500 for American Fellows, and $1,250for European Fellows coming from the non-profit or government sector.* In addition, we estimate out-of-pocket expenses during the program of $1,500 on average. Financial assistance is available to those individuals who demonstrate a clear financial need and inability to cost-share this way.**
* Prices are subject to change
**Applicants from Eastern Partnership countries are exempt from the obligation to pay this fee.
Why is there a different fee for corporate/business participants?
It is expected that participants accepted into the program coming from a corporate/business background can offset the cost as professional development and/or have their companies cost-share the fee.
What is included?
- Two practical phases (stages) at leading institutions in the United States and Europe (24 days of firsthand transatlantic experience).
- Six months of distance learning.
- The first phase prepares fellows to explore opportunities for transatlantic collaboration, while the second brings them in contact with leaders across sectors to hear their perspectives, strategies, and best practices and to develop a comprehensive understanding of transatlantic trends alongside an influential network.
- The distance learning component includes reading assignments an interactive dialogue on key transatlantic issues led by a subject-area policy analyst or leader. Sessions will last one hour each and on average three to four are held over the six-month period.
- All accommodation and travel from the program’s beginning to its conclusion.
- Lifelong engagement opportunity in the GMF Alumni Network with a possibility to join our Alumni Leadership Council:
What is the fellowship start/end date?
The program will resume in 2022 and we will update the dates as soon as the global situation around the coronavirus pandemic has subsided.
Is there a possibility to stay connected after the fellowship?
More than 3,000 leaders have participated in GMF Leadership Programs, creating a vibrant and far-reaching network that is a great asset for the transatlantic relationship.
As an alumnus of a GMF Leadership Program, you will be part of a vast network of alumni, as well as a range of additional leadership development opportunities that will enable you to increase your transatlantic engagement. These currently include seminars, seed grants for alumni projects, and major conferences.
I applied for the fellowship in the past, may I reapply?
Yes, candidates may apply more than once for the fellowship. If a candidate’s application is unsuccessful, candidates may reapply for future calls. Reapplications will not be disadvantaged in the selection process.