Founded by Leonard D. Schaeffer '69 P00, the Leonard D. Schaeffer Fellows (LDSF) in Government Service program works to provide undergraduate students the opportunity to learn about government service and public policy through a 10-week internship every summer. Each summer, 10 PICS students are selected to be part of this prestigious Fellowship. The Schaeffer Fellowship is a national program which also includes students from Harvard University, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Southern California, and the University of Virginia. Schaeffer Fellows from each of the school convene in Washington, DC each summer for a summit to discuss their internships and learn more about each other, and government service.

As a part of PICS, students working with eligible Community Partners will be invited to apply to become a Schaeffer Fellow. Federal, state, and local government Community Partners are eligible to host a Schaeffer Fellow.

Student Eligibility & Benefits of Becoming a Fellow

Students must be a current second- or third-year student at the time of their application to PICS, and their internship must be 10 weeks.

Benefits of participating in the LDSF program include an invitation to the annual Schaeffer Fellows summit, featuring distinguished speakers in public service, and also connecting with a supportive alumni network with experience in:

  • interacting with government officials and constituents
  • tracking legislation
  • conducting research
  • drafting policy memos and constituent letters
  • attending meetings, hearings, and events
  • supporting program development and implementation
  • contributing to daily office operations
  • developing lasting professional networks with government officials and other interns

To learn more about being a Schaeffer Fellow, please email PICS Program Director Emily Sharples.

Selection Process

Students accepted to intern at an eligible Community Partner will be invited by the PICS Program Director to apply to be a Schaeffer Fellow. Based on a review of your application and eligibility, you may be invited to interview with the Selection Committee, which will determine the 10 students who will represent PICS and Princeton for the summer. Interviews will take place in early-to-mid March. 

Following a successful interview, students will be invited to participate in the program.