Frequently Asked Questions

What if your question isn't answered below?
If you have any additional questions, please submit them via email ONLY to and our team will get back to you within 3-4 business days. TELEPHONE CALLS TO THE DETROIT REVITALIZATION FELLOWS OFFICE ARE NOT ENCOURAGED..

Can I apply to be a Fellow? 
Applications will open for the 2019-21 Detroit Revitalization Fellows in January 2019. 

What is expected of a Detroit Revitalization Fellow?
Detroit Revitalization Fellows are ambitious and energetic in their pursuit of stimulating progress for Detroit's civic, community and economic development landscape. They do so through full participation in transformative work at the organizations they work at, as well as through regular programming with the rest of their cohort of Fellows. While doing so, Fellows embody the following characteristics:

  • A belief that they can make a difference in and around Detroit through their work.
  • A desire to develop as leaders, whether that be out in front or from the middle.
  • A commitment to being diverse and multidisciplinary in their approach(es).

What is expected of the employers that host a Detroit Revitalization Fellow?
Each employer will provide their Fellow with a stable and supportive work environment while challenging the ambitious doer through a full-time two-year work assignment that addresses a pressing need related to their core mission. Employers will demonstrate that they:

  • Place a high value on talent.
  • Are aware of their capacity building need, and are willing to let someone else explore it.
  • See the possibilities in Detroit through both hyper-local and regional lenses.
  • Encourage leadership development.
  • Understand disparities in the city and region, and want to be part of addressing them.

What are the required qualifications for a candidate interested in being Detroit Revitalization Fellow?
All Detroit Revitalization Fellows have an undergraduate degree, and most also hold a graduate degree. Fellows will typically have somewhere between five to fifteen years of professional experience. It is required that each applicant's most recent experience be a work experience at the time of application (if you were working full-time and also in school that is fine). A Revitalization Fellow should be accomplished in her or his line of work, but also be willing to step out of that experience for a new and challenging professional opportunity. All Revitalization Fellow applicants are required to be U.S. citizens or otherwise Lawful Permanent Residents at the time of application. Neither Wayne State University nor any of the employers at which Fellows are placed can offer work visa status for nonresidents that may be considering applying to be a Detroit Revitalization Fellow.

What is the employment package for a Detroit Revitalization Fellow?
Fellows receive competitive salaries and benefits packages through their individual employers, where they serve as full-time employees for the two-year term of the fellowship. Base salaries range from $53,000 to $86,000 annually (with benefits in addition). Fellows also have access to a significant amount of group leadership development training, an individual professional development coach and an individual professional training allowance.

Where do Detroit Revitalization Fellows work?
Revitalization Fellows work at organizations at the forefront of some Detroit's most important civic, community and economic development efforts. To date, Fellows in the first two cohorts have worked at over thirty organizations in and around Detroit. A full listing of these organizations can be found at the Employers page.

If I don't live in Detroit, what resources are available to me in my move there?
For Fellows making a move from out of state, a moving stipend will be provided through their employers. In addition, the Detroit Revitalization Fellows staff and past Fellows, as well as others in our network are ready and willing to help new Detroiters arrive in the best way possible – that could mean everything from suggestions for places to live and send kids to school or even just being there to talk through the transition to a new place.

I have a family. Is the program child-friendly?
Yes. Several of our Fellows have started families while in the fellowship or already had children beforehand. Most of our monthly programming is for the cohort of Fellows only, but we also understand that things such as school and child care issues can come up. Additionally, there are occasionally events that the fellowship hosts which are purposely designed for families.

What kind of educational and professional experience is the fellowship looking for?
All Fellows must have a minimum of an undergraduate degree and five years of professional experience at the time of application. Additionally, each applicant's most recent experience at the time of application must be a professional experience and not an educational one. If you are currently a full time undergraduate or graduate studdent you should not apply, unless you are also working full time and will graduate before the fellowship starts in August of 2017. Most of our past Fellows have had between 5 to 15 years of professional experience and a graduate degree.

What are the selection criteria and the process for selecting Fellows?
Please visit the Application & Selection page for key dates in the selection process. The Detroit Revitalization Fellows staff curates a multi-step process to find the best possible match between a potential Fellow and employer. In the end, the final selections of each Fellow are made by employers in consultation with Revitalization Fellows staff. We aim to build a cohort that is diverse in numerous ways, including culturally, professionally, geographically and in terms of their work/educations/life experience. The first phase of the application process, which will result in 150 semi-finalists, is a blind review of applications by a team that includes staff, advisors, current and former Fellows (PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT ANY OF THEM INDIVIDUALLY DURING THE APPLICATION PROCESS). There are three main questions on which the first phase of the application will be reviewed:

  • Describe both your leadership experience and your leadership philosophy.
  • How do you define revitalization in an urban context?
  • What do you hope to achieve as a Detroit Revitalization Fellow?

Where do Fellows come from?
We aim to have a cohort that is diverse in many ways, including geographically. The best way to drive the kind of progress that Detroit needs, while remaining inclusive and addressing disparities head-on, is to ensure that opportunities and approaches incorporate a range of perspectives. Revitalization Fellows — 48 of them over the course of the last four years — have represented three distinct groups of Detroiters: newcomers who have never lived in Detroit before, former Detroiters who are returning home and Detroiters who have chosen to stay and contribute their considerable talent in their hometown.

What happens after the two year Fellowship concludes?
The Detroit Revitalization Fellows network truly is everything for us, and we encourage Fellows to remain connected after their two year commitment concludes. There isn't one specific measure of success, but there are several factors that come into play. First and foremost, every Fellow is supported in finding her or his next professional adventure. They are given access to the full resources of the program, its staff, advisors and the network to help decide what comes next professionally several months before the fellowship concludes. Any of the following are, among other paths not listed here, supported outcomes:

  • Some Fellows have stayed with their employers, often in an increased capacity or through a promotion.
  • Many Fellows also stayed in the Detroit area or close by, moving into more advanced roles with other organizations leading civic, community and economic development efforts.
  • A few Fellows have left Detroit, whether that be to explore more degrees, to be closer to the places that they grew up and/or family, or simply for another professional opportunity. Fellows who leave serve an important function in that they're ambassadors for both Detroit and program – telling people wherever they go the real stories of life and work in Detroit.