Penn IUR Fellows in Urban Leadership

Application deadline: April 1, 2019

Advancing Cities, Learning From Leaders

The Penn IUR Fellows in Urban Leadership Program, open to Penn undergraduates, engages a small cohort of selected students with high-level local, regional, and national leaders drawn from government, business, and civil society to discuss decision-making in urban places. Now in its second year, students will gain an insider view of how cities work, strengthen their understanding of how public and civic actors approach urban challenges, and broaden their capacity to address urban problems in their careers.

The Penn IUR Fellows in Urban Leadership program is an initiative of the Penn Institute for Urban Research, a university-wide institute dedicated to advancing urban-focused research, instruction, and civic engagement, and fostering collaboration among scholars and policymakers to inform urban policy.

As a long time urbanist, I appreciate Penn IUR’s work engaging our faculty and students interested in urban-focused research and practice. I am excited that this Penn IUR Fellows in Urban Leadership Program will offer students a unique opportunity to study urban leadership and to learn, first-hand, what it takes to build inclusive and sustainable cities now and in the future.  

Wendell Pritchett, Provost; Presidential Professor of Law and Education

Fellow Experience

  • Orientation: A session in September 2019 led by the Penn IUR co-directors and members of the Penn IUR Advisory Board.
  • Monthly Meetings: Meet with public and civic sector leaders from October through April to learn how they manage complex urban systems and discuss the value of civic engagement and public-private partnerships.
  • Reflections: The program’s wrap-up event to celebrate the completion of the program.

Fellow Commitment

  • Participation: A commitment to a full academic year of monthly meetings with public and civic leaders, typically scheduled for Fridays.
  • Engaged Preparation: A commitment to be read prep materials (light readings send out each month) and be prepared to talk with leaders about their experiences in Philadelphia.

Selection Criteria

  • Rising sophomores, juniors, or senior undergraduates in the 2019-20 year.
  • Recommendation letter from a professor.
  • 400-500 word essay demonstrating interest in urban-focused issues.
  • Most recent transcript showing academic excellence.
  • Semi-finalists will have a short phone or in-person interview with selection committee members in late April.
  • Selected Fellows will be notified in early May.

Application Process


  • The application deadline is April 1, 2019.
  • Semi-finalists will be interviewed in late April, 2019.
  • Finalists will be notified in early May.

Application Links:

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