2023-2024 Fellowship Activity Period: On or after August 1, 2023 through July 31, 2024
Professional Development Fellowship (PDF) Resources
- Professional Development Fellowship Webpage
- PDF Program Guidelines
- Professional Development Fellowship FAQs
- Questions: GCLOAskPDF@state.gov
- Current employees may submit a request for a reasonable accommodation via the Bureau of Global Talent Management (GTM) Next Employee Portal. Family members unable to access the portal should contact their post’s Human Resources Officer or GTM’s Office of Accessibility and Accommodations (OAA) at OAA@state.gov. Please allow sufficient time for processing requests.
Application Form Basics
Please read these instructions carefully and in their entirety.
- Locate the
- Click on the link. The form will open – DO NOT start filling the form here.
- Only use the link provided to access the PDF application form; do not use previous application forms.
- The link to the PDF application form will be accessible during the open application period.
- 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: .
- 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 GCLOAskPDF@state.gov with the following subject line format PDF Application LastNameFirstInitial (e.g., Jane Doe = PDF Application DoeJ).
- 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 Section 4: Budget below) will not be forwarded to the next part of the selection process.
- Look for information on the next application period in spring 2024.
- 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 employees in Leave Without Pay (LWOP) status. “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 PDF program. 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 GCLO 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 GCLO 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.
- TIP: Use only the post name itself. (e.g. “Paris”, “Mexico City”, “The Hague”). Do NOT write 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.
- 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 and conclude no later than July 31, of the following year.
- TIP: Make sure your PDF activities fall within these dates or your application will not be considered.
- 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 PDF Guidelines webpage 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 as well as the link to the expenses in the space provided. Do not embed links in the space above.
- TIP: To help with the application review process, check that the provided addresses link directly to the activity and related cost(s), i.e., not to the landing page.
- TIP: Check that the full link is included on the application.
- TIP: If the web addresses to the Project Activity and Cost do not fit in the space provided, please include the links in the email when you submit your application.
- TIP: If you have multiple providers, be sure you identify the provider with the corresponding links.
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, which must be completed during the fellowship period
- Per diem
- Meals, to include but not limited to: working breakfasts, lunch, networking social hours, happy hours, galas, dinners, etc.
- TIP: Refer to the Application Process section of the PDF Guidelines webpage for more information on expenses related to participation in conferences
- Startup business costs, 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
- Course materials and supplies
- 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, in the Section IV budget table on the application form.
- TIP: If expenses for the proposed activity are in foreign currency, you must include the amount in foreign currency in Section III (Detailed Description of Proposed Project) of the application.
- Only list expenses that will occur during the PDF period of August 1 and conclude no later than July 31, of the following year.
- 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.
- TIP: Complete the final calculations for line D (and E, if necessary)
- Enter the Requested Fellowship Amount (line D). DO NOT leave this field blank.
- TIP: 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.
- TIP: The requested fellowship amount (line D) must fall between $1,000 – $2,500. Any amount outside this range will be found ineligible.
- TIP: 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).
- TIP: 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 GCLOAskPDF@state.gov with the following subject line format PDF Application LastNameFirstInitial (e.g., Jane Doe = PDF Application DoeJ). You will receive an automated response once you submit your application.
- GCLO 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.
- To avoid being affected by technical issues, applicants are encouraged not to wait until the deadline to submit an application. GCLO is not responsible for late, lost, or misdirected submissions.
- Applicants are welcome to reach out to GCLOAskPDF@state.gov to confirm if their application has been received.
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: Global Community 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 Global Community), 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.