Sadly, several weeks of efforts to produce a coherent Junior Fellows program in light of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a dead end, and we have made the difficult decision to cancel the program this year. Although many factors led to this unfortunate decision, two carried the most weight. First, universities in the DC area are all gradually cancelling access to summer housing (George Washington University already cancelled our contract). Second, the sponsoring organizations have strict work-from-home policies that we need to carefully observe. It is presently unclear when everybody will physically be allowed to come back to work, and when exploring work-from-home options with the organizations, it became clear that this is simply not an option for several employers. Many of this year's interns will need to access restricted data, and this would only be possible when actually working "on campus" at the different agencies.
The pandemic has constricted resources in such a severe fashion that offering a strictly work-from-home program would not provide the fellows with the type of experience that we are aiming to provide.
We also would like to let the Fellows know that you will be guaranteed a spot in next year's program, assuming that society is somewhat back to normal at that point. We cannot guarantee that you will be assigned to the exact same position, as some sponsoring organizations may choose to no longer participate. But we hope to have many of the same partners moving forward!
Thank you so much and Stay Safe.