An official website of the United States government Here's how you know

Official websites use .gov

A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS

A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


  • The application form is an interactive form containing fillable fields and it must be completed using Adobe Acrobat Reader (see download link below).

Fellowship Activity Period: August 1, 2021-July 31, 2022

Application Form Basics

Please read these instructions carefully and in their entirety.

  • Locate the application form.
    • Click on the link. The form will open – DO NOT start filling the form here.
  • Download the form into your computer and Save on your device FIRST, and then proceed to fill the fields.
  • Open the form in Adobe Acrobat Reader. Make sure you open the form in Reader, a MAC will automatically default to Viewer. If you do not have Adobe Reader on your device, you can download it here: Download Adobe Reader™.
  • If Adobe Reader is not the default program for “.pdf” documents on your device, make sure to select it prior to completing the form. You will not be able to save or submit the form if a different software is used.
  • ‘Save As’ using the following format LastNameFirstInitial.pdf (e.g., Jane Doe = DoeJ.pdf) then start to fill the fields. Save again when finished, and then submit to with the following subject line format PDF Application LastNameFirstInitial (e.g., Jane Doe = PDF Application Doe J).
  • The form you use must be a new, blank fillable form; Do NOT use software tools to type over blank form fields of a previously scanned form.
  • With the exception of completing the existing fields of the form do not alter the form in any way; altered forms will not be accepted.
  • Applications that are incomplete, late, or contain ineligible expenses (see Eligibility Requirements, below) will not be forwarded to the next part of the selection process.
  • Applications must be received by FLO via email no later than 11:59pm EDT on April 30, 2021.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be the EFM spouse or MOH partner of a direct-hire U.S. government employee (“sponsor”) assigned to and residing at an overseas post under Chief of Mission authority during the fellowship period. “Spouses” for the purpose of this announcement does not include Foreign Service Officers (FSO) in Leave Without Pay (LWOP). “Partner” for the purpose of this announcement includes domestic partners not on orders. Applicants must be accompanying their sponsor to post. Spouses and partners of those employees assigned to unaccompanied posts are eligible to apply only if they are residing overseas during the fellowship period.
  • PDF selectees must reside overseas during the 2021-2022 PDF period. If selectees temporarily return to the United States, they may continue their PDF as long as the time in the U.S. does not exceed one month. If the period in the U.S. exceeds one month, the selectee will need to inform FLO as PDF activities must be executed while overseas.
  • Spouses and partners of employees on domestic assignments, on TDY exceeding 30 days in the U.S., or in long-term training in the U.S. are not eligible to apply. Spouses and partners of employees on unaccompanied tours, who are residing in the U.S. during the fellowship period, are not eligible to apply.
  • Applicants who have received a previous PDF and who meet the eligibility requirements may reapply. However, applicants who have received fellowships for the two preceding consecutive program periods must wait one program period before reapplying.
  • Prior selectees from either of the two preceding consecutive program periods who withdrew or otherwise did not complete their program activity and did NOT notify FLO by January 5 of either program year are not eligible for consideration for a PDF for the next two consecutive program periods.

Application Form Instructions

Section 1: Personal Data
  • Fill in each blank.
  • If you received more than one PDF in the past, indicate each PDF period and describe how you used each award. (For example, “In 2020-2021 PDF cycle, I received an award for,” “In 2019-2020 PDF cycle, I received an award for…”)
  • Accurately list your post (not country) and dates of your assignment that fall within the PDF period. PDF activities must be completed while you are living overseas. You may continue with your activities if you go from one overseas post to another during the fellowship period, with less than thirty days in the United States in the interim period.
  • When listing post use only the post name. (e.g. Paris, Mexico City, The Hague. NOT Paris, France or U.S. Embassy Paris, France).
Section 2: Proposal Description
  • Project Type
    • Select the topic that best describes your project proposal. If more than one (or none) applies, choose “other” and explain in your synopsis.
  • Proposal Synopsis
    • Use your own words to provide a clear and concise description of your project proposal.
  • Background
    • Summarize your professional background, especially as it applies to your project proposal.
    • Describe your current situation as it relates to challenges in pursuing your professional goals.
    • Do not cut and paste your resume or CV into the space.
Section 3: Detailed Description
  • Include only project activities that will take place during the PDF period of August 1, 2021 through July 31, 2022.
  • Clearly describe and explain your proposal in as much detail as possible in the space provided.
  • Address any of the “Selection Criteria” listed in the Program Guidelines that apply.
  • Show what you plan to accomplish and how this links to your overall professional development plan.
  • Your proposal can contain multiple activities, but they must all support the same professional development plan (e.g., education coursework and a certification in Teaching English as a Second Language could support the same project proposal, but a recertification in dental implants, and a fitness class would not.)
  • Provide ‘Name of Provider’ and web address (not hyperlinks) for each planned activity and only note expenses in the space provided. Do not embed links in the space above. Check that the provided address links directly to the activity and related cost(s), i.e., not to the landing page.
Section 4: Budget
  • The following are ineligible expenses and should not be included in your budget:
    • Membership fees and subscription costs (except those for the purpose of providing electronic access to course content)
    • Travel
    • Transportation
    • Lodging
    • Per diem
    • Childcare
    • Startup business costs and course supplies such as but not limited to supplies, assessments, test kits, tool kits, uniforms, materials used to make goods, equipment or tools used to provide services or goods.
    • Hardware, software or equipment
    • Books, except those required for course completion
    • Printing costs
    • Salary or other payment for services of assistants, translators, etc.
    • Shipping and handling fees
    • Bank fees
    • Late fees; cancellation fees
    • Any costs not included in the approved PDF application
  • If a provider has not yet published updated costs for the PDF period, the most recently published costs may be used. List the amount in U.S. dollars and round up to the nearest dollar. If the expenses for your project are in a foreign currency, use the exchange rate at to estimate the cost in U.S. dollars. Only enter U.S. dollars, NOT foreign currency, on the form.
  • Only list expenses that will occur during the PDF period of August 1, 2021 through July 31, 2022.
  • If you are on OpenNet or any other network that does not allow Java script, you will need to manually calculate the costs. Calculate the Total Reimbursable Project Expenses, the Minimum amount of Applicant Responsibility and Requested Fellowship Amount.
  • Enter the Requested Fellowship Amount. DO NOT leave this field blank. Important: The maximum allowable PDF is $2,500, and the minimum amount is $1,000. The applicant is responsible for 25% of the cost; therefore, the minimum Total Reimbursable Project Expenses are $1,334.
  • The requested amount must fall between $1,000 – $2,500. Any amount outside this range will be found not eligible.
  • You cannot request a fellowship amount larger than the amount listed on line C; the ‘Total Reimbursable Project Expense (line A) less 25% Applicant Responsibility (line B).
  • You cannot request a zero amount.
Section 5: Completion
  • In a few sentences, describe your future plans if you are awarded a PDF.
  • Save your application as LastNameFirstInitial.pdf (e.g., Jane Doe = DoeJ.pdf). Email your application to with the following subject line format PDF Application LastNameFirstInitial (e.g., Jane Doe = PDF Application Doe J). Your application must be received via email no later than April 30, 2021 (11:59pm EDT). You will receive an automated response once you submit your application.
  • FLO will acknowledge applications received by the deadline via email. Response time will vary depending on the volume of applications. Notification of receipt may take up to three weeks after the deadline. Applications cannot be altered or corrected after the deadline has passed.
  • You will not receive an email acknowledgment if your application is received after the deadline.


Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 2.75 hours per response, including time required for searching existing data sources, gathering the necessary documentation, providing the information and/or documents required, and reviewing the final collection. You do not have to supply this information unless this collection displays a currently valid OMB control number. If you have comments on the accuracy of this burden estimate and/or recommendations for reducing it, please send them to: Family Liaison Office, 2201 C Street NW, Room 2133, Washington, DC 20520.

Privacy Act Statement

AUTHORITIES: The information is sought pursuant to 22 U.S.C § 4026(b) (Establishment of the Family Liaison Office), 22 U.S.C. § 2651a (Organization of the Department of State), and 22 U.S.C. § 3921 (Management of the Foreign Service).

PURPOSE: The information solicited on this form will be used to award Professional Development Fellowships to Eligible Family Members and Members of the Household of employees of U.S. foreign affairs agencies to support them in their effort to develop, maintain, and/or refresh their professional skills while overseas.

ROUTINE USES: Uses for the system can be found in the System of Records Notice, State-31, Human Resources Records.

DISCLOSURE: Providing this information is voluntary. However, failure to provide the information requested on this form may affect the applicant’s eligibility to participate in the PDF program.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future