AIF Banyan Impact Fellowship

The American India Foundation Banyan Impact Fellowship is an immersive bi-national volunteer service program with immense strategic importance in the US-India corridor. By facilitating exchange and collaboration between young professionals from India and the US, the program aims to shape the next generation of leaders committed to positive and sustainable change and creating a lasting US-India relationship by broadening the existing constituency of future leaders, civil society and other stakeholders.

Through its emphasis on a service-leadership model, the bilateral program places young professionals from the US and India in service with communities and organizations across the two countries for mutual learning, capacity building, and leadership development in support of social justice. Fellows work on projects closely linked to Sustainable Development Goals and create sustainable impact through service and fieldwork across diverse thematic areas such as education, public health, livelihoods, social inclusion, minority rights, Dalit and tribal rights, climate justice, LGBTQ+ rights, gender, arts, sports, CSR, and many others.


National Deadline: January

The American India Foundation (AIF) Banyan Impact Fellowship for service in the United States is the U.S. track of the AIFbilateral Fellowship Program. This program is being implemented through a partnership with Atlas Corps, a global leader in the design and implementation of long-term Fellowship programs. This new leg of our Fellowship was added in 2022 and enables working professionals from India to serve across a diverse range of organizations in the United States. It accentuates the mission of our program and its relevance in the U.S.-India corridor.

By adding service in the U.S. to the existing India track of the Banyan Impact Fellowship model, AIF has expanded on the organization’s goals of strengthening the U.S.-India ties driven by civil society. Each year, five AIF Banyan Impact U.S. track Fellows serve full-time with Host Organizations in the U.S. for 12 months (July 2023-July 2024) to develop leadership skills and learn effective practices. They benefit from dual professional development and networking opportunities provided by AIFand Atlas Corps. The Global Leadership Lab and AIF professional development opportunities complement the Host Organization experience with the opportunity to develop competencies in key areas essential for the next generation of global changemakers.

U.S. track Fellows will participate in the program on the J-1 Trainee visa, and they will engage in group cultural activities like a D.C. Monuments Tour, sporting events, U.S. holiday celebrations, and more. Atlas Corps and AIF will also provide each Fellow with a living stipend to cover basic expenses (food, local transportation, and shared housing), a monthly phone plan, emergency health and travel insurance, and round-trip international airfare.

Eligibility Criteria

To create the next generation of social changemakers in India, AIF and Atlas Corps encourage emerging leaders with a minimum of 5 years of professional experience to apply for this opportunity. Ideal candidates are mid-career professionals who have experience leading processes or teams and have influenced an organization’s strategy. Specific requirements for this program include the following:

  • Be an Indian Citizen;
  • Willing and able to travel and serve full-time for 12 months from July 2023-July 2024. The Fellowship may start with remote service from India, with the majority of the 12 months occurring in the United States;
  • At least 3 years of relevant experience in the social sector, including nonprofits, social enterprises (including for-profit entities), government (both central and state) & quasi-government bodies; passion for future development and motivation to make a difference through service;
  • Between the ages of 27 to 35 by the program start date in July 2023;
  • Minimum of Bachelor’s degree or equivalent;
  • English proficiency (oral, writing, reading);
  • Able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organization before the program starts in July 2023; [NOTE: US Entry requirement]
  • Commitment to return to India and work in the social impact sector for at least two years after completing the Fellowship and be an active part of the Fellowship alumni community;
  • Committed to enriching learning opportunities for the Fellowship community and positively contributing to building U.S.-India bridges of understanding and partnership during their time of service and after;
  • Interest/experience in community-based development and diversity and inclusion.
  • Application Form
  • 2-3 Recommenders
  • Short Essay Secion (400 words)
  • Complete two NCA forms:
  • Launch your online application (application opens mid-September)
  • We are happy to obtain official transcripts free of charge for any student who requests one from us no later than two weeks prior to the national deadline.
  • Complete and submit application by National Deadline