July 26, 2023

Applications open for 2024 Horizon Fellowship cohort

Applications for the 2024 cohort of the Horizon Fellowship are now open! If you are interested in working on AI, biosecurity, or related policy areas at a federal agency, congressional office, or think tank, you can learn more about how to apply at Become a Fellow. The application deadline is September 15th, 2023.

Fellows selected for the upcoming cohort would need to be available to start their placements in Washington, DC by the end of summer 2024. Selected fellows receive Horizon funding for an initial 12-month term at around $125,000 total compensation (living stipend plus benefits); junior fellows an initial 6-month term at around $90,000/year equivalent. All have access to a second term of funding conditional on good performance and involvement in the Horizon community, and thus far the program has had a 100% renewal rate.

This application round is for the third cohort of Horizon Fellows. The first two cohorts had 15 and 20 fellows respectively, and a 100% success rate in securing high-impact placements related to AI and biosecurity policy. Among many other host organizations, our fellows have placed at the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, the Senate Commerce and House Science committees, and think tanks such as the Center for Security and Emerging Technology and the Center for Health Security. You can learn more about past fellows and their placements at Meet our Fellows.

The Horizon Fellowship has three stages, which are designed to give fellows a great learning experience and maximal chances of success in securing an attractive placement:

  1. Training (January-March 2024): As a group, the selected fellowship cohort goes through training on how the US federal government works, applied skills (e.g. policy memo writing), and AI and biosecurity policy debates. The training is capped off by an extended in-person weekend in Washington, DC, during which fellows get to meet dozens of AI and biosecurity experts from across the policy world. The curriculum and networking are designed to maximize fellows’ chances of successfully matching with a host organization.
  2. Matching (April-May 2024): After training, fellows go through an individualized matching process during which they talk to many prospective host organizations within their track (federal agencies, congressional offices, or think tanks). Most fellows receive multiple placement offers after interviewing with prospective host organizations, after which they can decide where they want to match for their placement.
  3. Placement (Spring/Summer 2024 onward): After successfully matching, the fellow and their chosen host organization agree on the start date that works best for them. Horizon will begin paying the fellow upon the start of their placement. Fellows are expected to start their placements no later than end of August 2024.

Horizon aims to build pathways into public service for subject-matter experts who aren’t already deeply involved in policy, so applicants don’t need to have any prior policy experience. We are looking for individuals who are passionate about making a positive difference in the world and want to contribute their skills to solving challenging problems related to emerging technology. We care more about attitude, abilities, and knowledge than formal credentials. We have supported fellows at a range of career stages, from recent graduates to mid-career, and we are excited to receive applications from individuals with non-traditional professional backgrounds.

The fellowship application process consists of a mix of written questions, interviews, and short work tests. We designed it to help applicants test whether they enjoy the types of tasks that are representative of work they might do in their prospective policy roles, partly as a “fit test” for people who are unsure that policy work is the right fit for them or that they would be good at it. More generally, research shows that great candidates often disqualify themselves too quickly, especially if they are from underrepresented groups. If you are excited about the program but on the fence about whether you are eligible or qualified, we strongly encourage you to apply.

See the Become a Fellow and Applicant FAQ pages for more information on the program content, eligibility criteria, application process, and other details. The application deadline is September 15th. Potential applicants can also register interest here to attend an information session in August, during which you can ask questions about the program.