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 Vision

To enable graduate students to explore non-traditional doctoral career opportunities.​

Our Mission

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

2022 Application Information (closed)

  • 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 enrolled full time and studying in residence during the entire calendar year of the program.  (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 of 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
  • Participation in monthly sessions (60-90 minutes in duration, one session per month) held later afternoons/early evenings (Monday – Thursday).
  • Attendance at two to three special events during the year.
  • Completion of a 10-week summer internship with an early-stage (e.g. less than five years old) St. Louis start-up.  A $4,000 stipend will be distributed over the course of the internship period.

The Application

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.
  2. Current resume/CV.
  3. One faculty letter of recommendation. (Please have the recommender address the letter to Pivot 314 Fellowship Committee and submit directly to
  4. Response, in writing, to the following prompt: Describe a compelling example of how scientific, technological, policy, and/or design innovations have been used to bring about positive social outcomes. Examples can be from your personal or professional experience, or those you’ve observed. (Limit response to 300 words or fewer).

    The application for 2023 will be available in the fall of 2022. Applicants will be notified of decisions in December. Please contact Jessica Cissell ( with any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What kind of programming does this fellowship offer?
A: Programming is centered around leadership, communication and entrepreneurship. Highlights of 2021 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
  • Personal Branding and Executive Presence
  • The 3dCV

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 payments 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).

“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, interim director of the the Pivot 314 Fellowship

Meet our 2022 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.