Open Application for European Participation in the EMPOWERING CITIZEN-LED DEMOCRACY PROFESSIONAL FELLOWS PROGRAM For Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, & the United States

The 2022 Application Process is Now Closed. Please check back in early 2023 for updates on the next round of applications

28 selected participants will be included in two delegations to the United States for the fellowship program: First Delegation: September 23 to November 4, 2022 Second Delegation: Dates To Be Determined Spring 2023


This program is a two-way exchange involving 28 professionals from five selected European countries and 14 mentors from the United States who will effect positive change in their communities. European fellows and U.S. mentors will share professional expertise through in-person, virtual, and blended professional development program, including an expenses-paid six weeks fellowship in the United States. The two-week reciprocal visit will bring U.S. mentors to Europe to assist fellows on their six-to-nine-month individual project plan implementation and provide consulting and joint workshops. Fellows and their U.S. mentors will share experiences and promote mutual understanding and partnership between professional groups in the United States and their counterparts in the selected European countries.


We invite professionals from any region of Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia to apply for participation in an expenses-paid 42-day fellowship in the United States with pre- and post-program opportunities and requirements. We encourage submissions by professionals who are emerging leaders in civil society who have demonstrated expertise pertaining to the fellowship theme of governance, society, and citizen-led democracy. Professionals should be actively involved in programs and organizations related to this theme, including in non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), civic education organizations, citizen advocacy groups, community activists, and community organizers. Professionals should work with marginalized or rural communities.

The program

The program is funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Global Leaders Division and is organized by the Great Lakes Consortium for International Training and Development (GLC), a program of Great Lakes Community Action Partnership (GLCAP) of Northwest Ohio. The fellowship program is conducted in collaboration with CO-PLAN in Albania, Pro European Network Association (PEN) in Bulgaria, Civil College Foundation (CCF) in Hungary, CeRe in Romania, Center for Community Organizing (CKO) in Slovakia, and partners in the U.S. and Europe.

To Apply: You must first register your name, email, phone number, and country at

We will register you as applicant from your country and will wait for your application materials. Please REGISTER FIRST BEFORE APPLYING


  • Be age 25 to 40 at the time of application
  • Citizen, national, or permanent resident of their home country (Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, or Slovakia)
  • Live and work in her/his/their home country at the time of the application and during the preparation/pre-fellowship program process
  • Have at least two years of professional experience at the time of the application
  • Submit a complete application online with required attachment by the application deadline
  • Able to receive a U.S. J-1 visa
  • Committed to returning to her/his/their country after completion of the program
  • Proficient in spoken and written English at the time of the application


  1. To Apply: You must first register your name, email, phone number, and country at the registration form above

Please register early to participate in the online information session before submitting your application. Attendance is expected.

  1. Interested applicants will then need to fill out the Online Application Form, which is a multi-section form that you can save and continue later. Applications submitted late will not be considered.
    • Submission of an Essay in English is required on why and how you are working with minority/underrepresented or rural communities. List any field experience or success story that you may have in working with these communities. This should be no more than two typed pages, single-spaced. Please be ready to provide additional information on essay content if you are selected.
  1. After you are notified that you are selected as a finalist or alternate, we must receive a Letter of Acceptance or confirmation email from you within one week.