Application FAQs

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Please review the most frequently asked questions about the ELP application process. If you have any additional questions, please email

Is the application due on or before March 1st?
Applications will be accepted until March 1 at 11:59pm Pakistan local time.

Should I submit my application before my recommendation letters are sent?
You may submit the application and letters at any time within the deadline. Recommendation letters will be matched to applications, and applicants will be contacted if components are missing.

How can I confirm my application has been received?
All applicants will be emailed after the deadline to confirm receipt of application. Recommendation letters will be matched to applications. If any components of the application are missing, applicants will be emailed directly.

Who will cover the expenses for the Fellows visit to the United States?
All costs related to airfare, accommodation, food, and transport during the US visit will be covered by the South Asia Center.

Can I apply for the program despite having briefly traveled to Europe? Am I eligible to apply if I visited North America or Europe when I was a child?
No, unfortunately you are not eligible to apply.  Fellows cannot have any previous travel experience to North America or Europe. This is a core requirement and differentiator for this program. Travel to the United States or Europe disqualifies you from the program, regardless of the duration of the trip or time of travel.

If I use the online application form, do I need to submit my application by mail or email also?
No, if you submit the application online, you do not need to submit it via email.

If I submit my application by email, may I save my application as a Microsoft Word file?
Yes, you may attach your application in a Microsoft Word file.

If I submit my application by email, may I submit my essay responses as a separate Microsoft Word file?
Yes, all 7 essays can be written in Microsoft Word and saved as one document. Please include your name and the page number on every page of the document.

Who can write my letter of recommendation? Can it be written by a teacher or professor?
Recommendation letters should be written by individuals who know you well and can speak to your current leadership capabilities or potential for leadership. We suggest identifying two people who know you in different capacities so that they can address your different skill sets and abilities.

How should I send my recommendation letter?
Please have your recommenders directly email a letter to Letters can be attached as Word or PDF documents and include your full name, as it appears in your application, so we can easily match recommendations to applications. You will be contacted if we are missing any components of your application.

Is there a difference between references and recommenders?
A recommender will write your letter of recommendation, which needs to address at least the following questions:

  • How long and in what capacity have you known the applicant?
  • Why do you recommend this applicant to ELP?
  • Describe some of the applicant’s strongest professional skills that s/he will be able to showcase and teach to other Fellows.
  • In what ways do you think the applicant will contribute to ELP?

A reference is someone that we may contact later during the application review process to provide additional information in support of your candidacy.

How will I know if you received my letters of recommendation?
Applicants are encouraged to contact their recommenders after March 1st to confirm that their letters have been submitted. However, applicants will be emailed if any component of their application is missing.