Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center

Ellis Civic Fellowship

Designed for incoming students, the Robert Lee Ellis Civic Fellowships offer financial, academic, and advising support to students throughout their 4-year undergraduate experience at the University of Washington.  Ellis Fellows are selected from among incoming students each Autumn Quarter from those who are eager to make a commitment toward service, personal growth, and community engagement.

Learn more about the history of the Ellis Civic Fellowship and Robert Lee Ellis.


Ellis Civic Fellowships can be understood as a series of building blocks, beginning in the first year with a broad overview of the Seattle community, moving in to a service partnership with a community organization, developing deeper integration between each Civic Fellow’s academic work and service commitments, and culminating with a community-based capstone project.

The purpose of the Ellis Civic Fellowships is to support students in making a commitment to our community with core objectives including serving in the community; learning about yourself, the community, and the intersection of your academic study and community service work; and developing skills and experience in leadership, fellowship, and empathy.

Every Ellis Civic Fellow will be supported with individual mentoring and a flexible leadership curriculum as they move towards graduating as an Ellis Civic Leader.

Ideal Candidates for this Fellowship will be able to express:

1) a clear commitment to service as shown through past experiences,
2) an interest in a particular social issue, and
3) ideas about future goals and what you hope to gain as an Ellis Fellow.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Documented financial need as determined by the Financial Aid Office.
    Most students fill this requirement by filing a FAFSA for the current academic year, but the Carlson Center will also accept applications from students that are not eligible for federal financial aid that can verify their financial need.
  • Incoming student at the UW Seattle campus, with an anticipated graduation date in in 2019 (or beyond).
  • Committed to weaving public service and civic leadership development throughout your academic study at the University of Washington. (See detailed expectations outlined in the application).