Sillerman Center


Wall with "Make Good" mural painted on it

Our fellowship program is a core component of our work to inform and advance social justice philanthropy. From numerous applications each year, we select up to four eligible Heller students and help place them in philanthropy-related summer internships. Each fellow is compensated $6500. (Reimbursement for some expenses, such as atypically costly travel, may be covered and is negotiated on a case-by-case basis.)  

We invite eligible Heller MPP, MBA, SID, COEX, dual-degree Master's students and PhD students with an interest in the philanthropic sector to apply. Before applying, please be sure that your internship responsibilities will not conflict with the schedules and requirements of your academic program. You must complete a minimum of 300 hours of work at your internship site.

Fellows complete their summer internships at a U.S.-based grantmaking organization (e.g., a private foundation, a community foundation, a family foundation) or a philanthropic advisory group or affinity group (e.g., Exponent Philanthropy or Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees) or a research organization that explores issues related to philanthropy (e.g., The Foundation Center).

Some recent internship sites for Sillerman Fellows include: Unbound Philanthropy, Social Innovation Forum, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, the Boston Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation and many others.

The practice of social justice philanthropy requires not only the application of a structural analysis and an understanding of pressing social challenges. Social justice philanthropists are also concerned with making the sector itself more democratic, more racially and culturally diverse, more inclusive and better informed by the people affected by the social problems philanthropists aim to solve. The Sillerman Center is committed to these goals. We believe equity, diversity and inclusion — whether in terms of race, culture, ethnicity, disability status, socioeconomic background, LGBTQI identity or any other dimension of human variation — enriches our work at Heller and the philanthropic sector. We strongly encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply for our fellowship. Please know that even if you are not selected for a summer fellowship, we may still be able to assist you in finding other meaningful opportunities and connections within the philanthropic sector. If you are curious about philanthropy, we encourage you to reach out to us as a resource. 

The application for the Summer 2021 Sillerman Fellowship Application is now available. Applications for the 2021 Fellowship will be due on February 12, 2021. If you have questions, please contact Sheryl Seller at

2021 Sillerman Fellowship Application

Sillerman Fellows

Sillerman summer philanthropy fellowships enable eligible Heller MPP, SID, MBA, COEX, PhD, and dual-degree Master’s students to work at foundations, philanthropic organizations, funder affinity groups or funder networks anywhere in the U.S. The Sillerman Center's mission, to inform and advance social justice philanthropy through research, education, practice and leadership development, includes fellowships and internships and dissertation awards to encourage those outcomes. The Center provides stipends for summer internships that work well with the schedules and requirements of many of the master's degree programs at the Heller School.

Sillerman Doctoral Fellows

The Sillerman Doctoral Fellows are PhD students who wish to pursue dissertations in the area of social justice philanthropy. Stipends may be awarded to entering PhD students. Dissertation awards are also available to students with accepted proposals that include a strong focus on philanthropy.