Presidential Innovation Fellows

FAQs

Click here to apply for the next round of the program!


Q: When was the Presidential Innovation Fellows program created?
A: The Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) program was launched in 2012 under the direction of President Barack Obama and his Administration.


Q: What is the mission of the PIF program?
A: The PIF program was created to bridge the gap between the private sector and the public sector, to bring incredibly talented innovators into government to work collaboratively for a period of time with top government innovators to rapidly solve challenges of national importance. PIF projects are selected based on their potential to save lives, save taxpayer money, and fuel American job growth.


Q: When does the application period close?
A: Monday, April 7th, 2014, at 11:59pm EST.


Q: What type of individual is likely to be selected as a PIF?
A: PIFs are doers and change agents. PIFs have shown the ability to accomplish great things in an agile and collaborative way. PIFs want to produce the maximum amount of good in the shortest amount of time. You can learn about past PIFs here.


Q: Must I have a tech background or startup experience to be selected as a PIF?
A: No, while tech skills or entrepreneurial experience may be core to some of the PIF roles, they are not necessary for every role. The program is about improving the way things are done. And while technology often plays a role in bringing about those improvements, so do many other skill sets.


Q: How long does the Fellowship last?
A: Each project has its own timeline, but Fellowships generally last 6 to 13 months.


Q: Do I have to move to Washington, DC to serve as a PIF?
A: All PIFs must be able to work in Washington, DC, for at least the first few weeks of the program. Beyond that, decisions are made by each host agency on a case-by-case basis. Agencies are encouraged to support flexible work arrangements (including telework) as appropriate.


Q: How are PIFs funded? Do agencies receive additional funds to hire PIFs?
A: PIFs are hired by the General Services Administration and detailed to Federal agencies sponsoring PIF projects. These agencies receive no additional funding, but instead put existing appropriated funds to what they believe to be an efficient, high-value use.


Q: What are the salary and benefits for a PIF?
A: Salary and benefits vary according to a PIF’s qualifications. The General Schedule (GS) pay scale describes the annual salary levels of Federal employees and can be found here. Given the extraordinary abilities of PIFs, salary levels generally fall toward the higher end of the GS scale. Benefit eligibility is determined in the same manner as it is for other Federal employees.


Q: Are housing expenses covered?
A: No, PIFs should expect to arrange their own housing and cover their own housing expenses.


Q: When are the next PIFs expected to start work?
A: We expect the third round of PIFs will begin work in June of 2014.


Q: Why should I apply to be a PIF?
A: As a PIF, you can help move our country forward through groundbreaking work that saves lives, saves taxpayer dollars, or fuels job growth. You can help millions of people. You can effect change on a scale that’s hard to find anywhere else.


Q: What are the eligibility requirements?
A: PIFs must be able to fulfill the duties of the role for which they apply and must be legally able to work in the United States. In some cases, U.S. citizenship is required by law or by the agency’s policy to serve in a capacity at that agency.


Q: Are there age restrictions?
A: There are no age restrictions and there are no age preferences. PIFs should simply be enormously capable of doing the job for which they are applying.


Q. Does a candidate need to be of the same political party as the current Administration?
A: No, PIFs are selected solely based on ability. Political affiliation is not considered.


Q: Are applicants required to submit financial disclosures if selected? What happens if there is a conflict of interest with my investments and my assignment?
A: During their tenure, PIFs are typically Federal employees and as such are subject to the same ethics and conflict of interest rules as their peers.


Q: Are applicants required to undergo a security and background investigation?
A: Yes, PIFs must pass a security and background investigation prior to being hired. The depth of the investigation is determined by the hiring agency and depends upon the level of clearance needed for the PIF’s work during his or her tenure.


Q: How do I apply?
A: Click here to apply.