The Pivot 314 Fellowship is a year-long program presented by the Office of the Provost and the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Pivot 314 offers graduate students curated programming focused on professional development, strengthening leadership and communications skills, as well as internship opportunities. This Fellowship provides an opportunity for mid-career doctoral students to engage with the St. Louis entrepreneurial community and to explore possible career pathways. Programming is centered around leadership, communication and entrepreneurship, and hands-on experience with a local start-up. The program runs for one calendar year beginning in January. The application opens up in fourth quarter each year for the following calendar year.

Our Mission

To provide exceptional resources and support to graduate students who will contribute to the St. Louis entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

2023 Program Information

  • The Pivot 314 fellowship is open to all WashU doctoral students. Preference will be given to mid-career doctoral students who have completed at least two years of study towards a PhD and are currently in their third, fourth or fifth year (at the time the application is due).
  • Students must be studying in residence full time during the entire calendar year of 2023.  (The student is expected to be in St. Louis for the internship during the summer.)
  • If not a U.S. citizen, the Fellow needs to be on a visa appropriate for a student for the duration of the fellowship.

Program Benefits
  • Professional development around leadership, communication and entrepreneurship
  • Experience working with an early-stage, St. Louis-based start-up while gaining a deeper appreciation of the local entrepreneurial community
  • Freedom to explore the myriad ways that a doctorate degree can be used within and in conjunction with academia and beyond
  • Networking with the St. Louis start-up community and the Cortex Innovation Community
  • Individual leadership coaching sessions
  • Leadership opportunity within a department, committee or organization within WashU
  • $4,000 stipend for summer internship

Requirements for Accepted Fellows
  • Attend monthly sessions (60-90 minutes in duration, one session per month), held in person.
  • Attend 2-3 special events throughout the year; fellows are especially encouraged to attend Skandalaris Center programming throughout the year, especially during the summer.
  • Maintain good academic standing in respective program, including but not limited to: maintain satisfactory academic progress according to respective graduate program.
  • Complete a 10-week summer internship with a St. Louis start-up between May-August 2023
The Application

Applicants should confer with their Principal Investigator (PI) and/or academic advisor prior to submitting an application. Incomplete or late applications will not be reviewed or considered.

A complete application should include the following information submitted through the application form:

  1. Cover letter that addresses your interest in the Pivot 314 Fellowship and the following prompt: Tell us about your academic and career trajectory and what is driving you to seek experiences in the St. Louis startup community and how those experiences and the leadership and communication skills developed through this fellowship will translate into your future career?
  2. Current resume/CV (in PDF format).
  3. One faculty letter of recommendation. (Please have the recommender address the letter to Pivot 314 Fellowship Committee and submit directly to

Applications for the 2023 cohort have closed. Applications for 2024 will open in October of 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What kind of programming does this fellowship offer?
A: Programming is centered around leadership, communication and entrepreneurship. Highlights of 2022 programming include:

  • Introduction to the Start-up Community in St. Louis
  • Tapping into Your Own Leadership Skills
  • CIC and Cortex Tour  
  • Intimate events with university leaders
  • The Basics of Excellent Public Speaking
  • Entrepre-brewership event with Urban Chestnut founder
  • The 3dCV Workshop

Q: How does a fellow secure an internship?
A:  The Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation & Entrepreneurship will assist with identifying relevant ventures interested in hosting doctoral students. Students, however, are ultimately responsible for searching, networking and securing their opportunity. 

Q: What is the time commitment for the internship?
A: The summer internship is 20 hours per week for 10 weeks and occurs during the months of May – August based on an agreement between the venture and the fellow.

Q: When is the internship stipend paid?
A: The stipend payment schedule is created based on internship timing with funds distributed evenly over the duration of the internship (each month).

Q: Will a fellow receive course credit for the internship?
A: All fellows are enrolled in a zero-credit course to document the internship. International students will note this class on their Curricular Practical Training Documentation (CPT).

Learn About Summer Internship Experiences

Summer 2022 blog posts

“The internship experience has been invaluable for learning about the biotechnology industry. I am certain this experience will be what I talk about most during future job interviews.”

Pivot 314 Fellow, 2021

Jessica Cissell, director of graduate programming and The Graduate Center

Meet our 2023 Fellows

Inquiries about compliance should be addressed to:
Vice Chancellor for Human Resources
Washington University
Campus Box 1184
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130

Specific information may be obtained from the departmental or administrative unit to which the student intends to apply.

Washington University encourages and gives full consideration to all applicants for admission, financial aid, and mentorship. The University does not discriminate in access to, or treatment of mentees in, its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, veteran status, disability or genetic information.