Public Service Fellowships

Graduate Fellowships that Match Exceptional Masters and Ph.D. Students with Public Service Sponsors

The central mission of the Center for Public Service is to promote and support public service throughout Oregon.

We do pursue this calling via a range of programs focusing on professional development, policy briefings and seminars, consulting and research services, and by providing our public and nonprofit clients with high potential talent through a series of paid graduate fellowships.

We have been sourcing exceptional graduate talent to Oregon’s public and nonprofit sectors since 2002. Our objective is to generate talent flow between our client agencies and leading graduate programs across the country. This aspiration is based on the premise that versatile, well-prepared, committed, and talented public servants can and do make a difference to their organizations and the citizens they serve.

This “pipeline” approach affords several advantages to our clients. It provides a return path to public service for students who have left Oregon to pursue their higher education elsewhere (we want them back!). It also gives our clients convenient, affordable, and low risk access to a bank of national class graduate-level talent—and to advanced degree specializations—that may be in short supply locally. Think of it this way: hiring is episodic, job-specific, and often rigid. Talent sourcing is continuous, strategic, and aimed at building adaptive capacity. The former is necessary and the latter is where our Center can help.

Our Recruiting Strategy

We actively recruit talent from our own university, of course, along with our brethren institutions in Oregon (UO, OSU, Willamette, UP). But our quest for graduate talent extends to more than 60 of America's leading graduate schools in public administration, public policy, and public affairs (along with other pertinent academic disciplines such as law, finance, information and data science, and public health, to name a few).

Our commitment to talent attraction stems from the belief that effective public service can no longer be attained by simply filling vacancies as they occur. Instead, a continuous, intentional effort aimed at attracting and cultivating high potential talent is in order. We believe tomorrow's public service workforce must be adaptively inclined and armed with 21st century tools, techniques, and thinking to deal with the opportunities and problems that lie before us (think climate change, social justice ad equity, traffic, homelessness, etc.). Tomorrow's workforce must also be able to engage, and be representative of, all the communities in our diversity-rich society.